Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rachel Dozeal Says She’s Identified As Black Since She Was 5 When She Drew Herself With A Brown Crayon

Politico – Rachel Dolezal, the former president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, said Tuesday that the timing of the controversy surrounding her racial identity took her by surprise. “The timing of it was a shock. I mean, wow. The timing was completely unexpected,” Dolezal said in a Tuesday interview on NBC’s “Today” with Matt Lauer, adding that, “I did feel that at some point I would need to address the complexity of my identity,” but not at this moment. Save for “probably a couple interviews” that she says she would have done a “little differently,” Dolezal however said she would not change any of her decisions. Dolezal clarified to Lauer that she identifies as black, not African-American, and that she began feeling that way when she was “about five years old.” “I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon,” Dolezal told Lauer. Shown a picture of her younger self, Dolezal acknowledged that at the time, she would have been visibly identified by people who see her as white. But the former NAACP chapter president said that she never corrected news reports that identified her as “black” or “biracial” because, she said, “it’s more complex than being true or false in that particular instance.” “I certainly don’t stay out of the sun, you know,” Dolezal said when asked about whether she has done something to darken her complexion. “I also don’t, as some of the critics have said, put on blackface as part of a performance,” she added. “This is not some freak ‘Birth of a Nation’ mockery blackface performance.”


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