DES MOINES, Iowa — One day after stepping down from her post with the NAACP in Spokane, Rachel Dolezal broke her silence.
Dolezal addressed the controversy over her appearance and racial identity on the Today Show Tuesday morning.
“I identify as black,” Dolezal said.
Dolezal called the issue as “complex,” not black or white.
“I don’t see why they’re in such a hurry to ‘white wash’ some of the work that I have done and who I am and how I have identified,” Dolezal said.
The change in her appearance has raised more than a few eyebrows.
“She appears to be a little darker skinned and I was ok maybe she is,” Karlee Hines of Des Moines said.
“She got away with it. She fixed herself up to look like she was half and half. She did a good job until her parents stepped forward,” Brenda Gochett said.
Gochett says she knows what it’s like to be a black woman and Dolezal needs to be truthful about who she is.
“There’s no good in being fake. You have to be real. Be real to yourself number one and then you can be real to everyone else,” Gochett said.
Hines is more willing to focus on her record of giving back to her community.
“I shouldn’t judge her. If she`s out there doing good, then go for it,” Hines said.
This evening, Arnold Woods, President of the Des Moines NAACP issued this statement:
The Des Moines Branch NAACP stands behind the mission of our storied organization to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. The support and work on behalf of that mission is not limited to one race, gender, sexual orientation, creed or status. The work of our organization can be carried out by any person concerned with the causes of equality and justice.
As the nation focuses on circumstances concerning the Spokane (WA) Branch, we stand with the membership of that chapter as they continue their work on behalf of the citizenry of their community. We offer our support to the members as they work through the ongoing situation. It is our sincere hope that this situation will resolve itself quickly so that they may return to the work of the organization and improving the lives of the citizens of Spokane.