NAACP President and Questions About Race

The NAACP president of the Spokane, WA, chapter has resigned after facing claims that she has been impersonating a black person. Rachel Dolezal's parents say she was born white; the family adopted four black children when Dolezal was a teenager, which some speculate began her changed racial identity. 

The NAACP released a statement supporting Dolezal and addressing threats to the organization.

NAACP statement

Today, Dolezal announced her resignation in a Facebook post addressed to the executive committee and NAACP members. Here are two paragraphs from her statement:

"I am delighted that so many organizations and individuals have supported and collaborated with the Spokane NAACP under my leadership to grow this branch into one of the healthiest in the nation in 5 short months. In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP.

It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley. It is my hope that by securing a beautiful office for the organization in the heart of downtown, bringing the local branch into financial compliance, catalyzing committees to do strategic work in the five Game Changer issues, launching community forums, putting the membership on a fast climb, and helping many individuals find the legal, financial and practical support needed to fight race-based discrimination, I have positioned the Spokane NAACP to buttress this transition."

Discussion Starters: 

  • What's your view of the situation?
  • The NAACP refers to "a legal issue with her family." How much does this play into the situation? 
  • Did NAACP do the right thing by supporting Dolezal? Did she do the right thing by resigning?