As the strange tale of outed Black impostor and now former NAACP official Rachel Dolezal continues to unravel, details of the great lengths Dolezal went to assert her faux Blackness and other privileges are astounding.
Monday, it was revealed Dolezal once sued Howard University for racial discrimination for refusing to let her teach there because she was a White woman.
The Smoking Gun website obtained legal documents noting Dolezal’s lawsuit against Howard in 2002, which is the year she graduated from the HBCU with a Master of Fine Arts degree. According to the documents, Dolezal, at the time known as Rachel Moore, drew her lawsuit against Howard and art professor Alfred F. Smith. The suit was filed in Washington, D.C.’s Superior Court, and during the filing, Professor Smith led Howard’s Department of Art.
According to a Court of Appeals opinion, Dolezal’s lawsuit “claimed discrimination based on race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender.” She alleged that Smith and other school officials improperly blocked her appointment to a teaching assistant post, rejected her application for a post-graduate instructorship, and denied her scholarship aid while she was a student.
The court opinion also noted that Dolezal claimed that the university’s decision to remove some of her artworks from a February 2001 student exhibition was “motivated by a discriminatory purpose to favor African-American students over” her.
A judge dismissed Dolezal’s complaint in February 2004, a year and a half after it was filed. Judge Zoe Bush did not find any evidence that would tie Dolezal’s claims to Howard’s alleged actions. In a D.C. Court of Appeals ruling, Judge Bush’s decision was upheld.
Dolezal lost big in her lawsuit bid and after her case was dismissed, she was ordered to pay Howard a “Bill of Costs” reimbursement of $2,728.50. She also had to pay Howard close to $1,000 because of an obstructive court filing that tried to delay an examination of mental and physical stress by an outside doctor. Dolezal was seeking damages related to medical and emotional distress.