As Rachel Dolezal continues to defend her identity as a Black woman, the 37-year-old is leaving even more people puzzled, recently claiming she might not be biologically related to her parents.
Shortly after her interview on The Today Show with Matt Lauer, Rachel opened up to Savannah Guthrie on NBC News about her race and ethnicity. Dolezal, who was born a White woman, alleges she is not biologically related to parents Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal.
Her “proof?” The former NAACP Spokane, Washington president said her birth certificate was signed almost two months after she was born.
“I’m not necessarily saying that I can prove they’re not,” Dolezal responded. “But I don’t know that I can actually prove they are. I mean, the birth certificate is issued a month and a half after I’m born. And certainly there were no medical witnesses to my birth.”
Her perplexing statements didn’t stop there. In an interview with MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Dolezal said she’s entitled to owning her “Black experience” because she raised her adopted African-American brother and son.
“First of all, it means that I have really gone there with the experience in terms of being a mother of two black sons and really owning what it — what it means to experience and live blackness. And that’s one aspect,” she said. Another aspect would be that I, as a — from a very young age, felt a spiritual, visceral, this feeling of central connection with black is beautiful, you know, just the black experience and wanting to celebrate that. And I didn’t know how to articulate that as a young child, at the age of kindergarten or whatever, like you don’t have words for what’s going on. But certainly that was — that was soaked in. It was totally conditioned to not own that and to be limited to whatever biological identity was thrust upon me and married to me and so I kind of felt pretty awkward a lot of the time with that.”
When it comes to experiencing Blackness at a young age — Dolezal claimed yesterday she used brown crayons in self portraits at the age of five — her parents tell reporters that moment was a blatant lie.
“That didn’t happen,” said Ruthanne Dolezal, who is now estranged from her daughter. “It’s disappointing to see that Rachel is still making false statements… I was hoping to see a change.”
Dolezal continued to speak on the backlash she’s faced:
“I would say in stepping outside of myself, I would probably be enraged. I would be like, what the … You know, this — how dare she claim this?” Dolezal said.
Rachel doesn’t believe she’s passing as a Black woman, said she never labeled herself transracial, and made a segue into advocating for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Everybody’s life matters. But that’s why we have to say black lives matter, because the highest disproportionality, police brutality, disenfranchisement, education disproportionality in school discipline, curriculum, misrepresentation, all of this,” Dolezal said. “Black lives matter is the corrective to what’s happening. And to hashtag transracial lives matter is kind of like a diversion from that. And so I don’t think that’s, that’s not what I’m about.”
Despite Dolezal’s questionable narrative, she continues to claim her identity as a Black woman.
As the Rachel Dolezal racial identity drama continues, Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss if she has opened a door to discuss race in a new way or is this a new way to talk about Blackness without Black people? Watch the NewsOne Now conversation below.