#AskRachel: Civil rights activist masquerading as black sparks 'trans-ethnicity' debate
The #AskRachel hashtag, created after the Dolezal affair, has sparked a myriad of questions that the black community shared on Twitter for Rachel (or, rather, anyone not pretending to be black) to answer. Critics, meanwhile, have been speculating about Rachel's role as the president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Are you: 1) White 2) Black 3) BiRachel #AskRachel
— Kimmi (@Kimbo_Slyce) 12 июня 2015
Dolezal, 37, who also serves as chair of Spokane's independent police ombudsman commission, is facing an ethics probe, after it appeared she identified herself in her application to the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission as white, African-American, and Native American when applying for the job.
Can't lie, this #AskRachel thing reminds me of transgender issues. She wants to be black, I ain't mad. She's transracial.
— Mister Terrific (@dmalake) 13 июня 2015
Dolezal filed numerous police complaints of racial discrimination
and harassment recently after she allegedly received hate mail.
“We are gathering facts, looking at city code, to determine
if any city policies in relation to boards or commissions were
violated,” Spokane’s City Council President Ben Stuckart
According to police records, however, the hate mail package Dolezal reported receiving did not bear a date stamp or bar code. Postal workers reportedly told investigators that it was very unlikely or next to impossible that the package could have been processed through the post office, but if so it must have been put there by someone with a key. Dolezal received a key to the post office box earlier this year, when she became the NAACP president. Asked if she had put the package there herself, she replied, as cited by Spokane's Spokesman-Review: “That’s such bullsh*t. What mother would terrorize her own children?”
These #AskRachel questions should be on these damn "standardized" tests.
— DeActivatedGlutes (@lanceholtphoto) 12 июня 2015
Dolezal has described the ongoing debate about her origins as a
“That question is not as easy as it seems,” she told the Spokesman-Review. Dolezal's birth certificate shows she was born to a white, Christian, Montana couple of European and Native American descent. According to Dolezal’s mother, Ruthanne, the family’s ancestry is Czech, Swedish and German.
— La Vida ® (@LeratoIshmael) 13 июня 2015
“There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that
everyone would understand that,” Dolezal said. “We’re
all from the African continent,” she added.
Dolezal told Spokane's KREM2 broadcaster earlier this week: "If I was asked I would definitely say yes, I do consider myself to be black."
— keith lyle (@funnykeithlyle) 13 июня 2015
Ruthanne Dolezal told the Spokesman-Review that she not been in touch with her daughter in years, saying Rachel began to “disguise herself” about 7-8 years ago, after the family had adopted four African-American children. According to her mother, it was the adoption that sparked Rachel's interest in “people of color.” About that time Dolezal also showed an interest in portrait art.
— HBCU Confessions (@HBCUfessions) 13 июня 2015
“Rachel is a master artist and so she is able to disguise herself and make her appearance look like any ethnicity. She could accomplish the work that she set out to do in the beginning by being herself and being a white woman who is an advocate for the African American,” her mother told the Guardian.
When you said you were a victim of racial discrimination, were you actually saying "Rachel discrimination"? #AskRachel
— JRehling (@JRehling) 12 июня 2015
Dolezal holds a Master's degree from Howard University. When she
applied, her portfolio was awash with “exclusively African
American portraiture,” and the university “took her for
a black woman” and gave her a full scholarship, her father,
Lawrence Dolezal, told the Washington Post.
“You’ve got a white woman coming in that got a full-ride scholarship to the black Harvard,” he explained. “And ever since then she’s been involved in social justice advocacy for African Americans. She assimilated into that culture so strongly that that’s where she transferred her identity.”
We accept that a person can identify as transgender. Could 'trans-ethnic' be a real thing? #RachelDolezal
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) 12 июня 2015
“But unfortunately, she is not ethnically by birth African
American,” he said, adding, “there seems to be some
question of how Rachel is representing her identity and
Dolezal is also a part-time professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University, a biography on the university website states. She is credited with re-energizing the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, according to the Spokesman-Review.
Funny thing about these #AskRachel questions...I didn't grow up with any of you. But we have the same experiences. That's culture.
— Names Mike. (@MiikeisACTIVE) 12 июня 2015
The NAACP said in a statement that racial identity was not a
qualifying criteria for civil rights group leadership and that it
"stands behind Ms Dolezal's advocacy record."
"NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter," NAACP, the largest African-American civil rights organization in the US, has added.
— Tre' (@TreHunnid) 12 июня 2015