Rachel Dolezal has resigned from her position as president of Spokane’s NAACP chapter. “Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me,” she wrote in a Facebook statement. “It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum.”
On Thursday, Spokane officials opened into an investigation into Dolezal after her parents claimed in several interviews that their daughter was white. When asked by journalists if she was black, Dolezal feigned confusion. “That’s a very—I don’t know what you’re implying,” Dolezal said. “I don’t understand the question.”
In 2012, Dolezal reportedly told her adopted brother, who identifies as 25 percent black, not to “blow her cover.” Dolezal also reportedly identified as white when she attended Howard University in the early 2000s.
Yesterday, Dolezal announced that she was postponing a press conference initially scheduled for Monday morning. In the statement posted this morning, Dolezal said Naima Quarles-Burnley, the chapter’s current vice president, would take over as president. From the statement:
I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions - absent the full story. I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion. Additionally, I have always deferred to the state and national NAACP leadership and offer my sincere gratitude for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm.
While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome.