News » Citydesk

UPDATE: Rachel Dolezal Resigns 'Absent The Full Story'

by

UPDATE: June 15, 2015

Rachel Dolezal, following several days of controversy growing over her personal claims that she was African American while her parents said nothing could be further from the truth, announced Monday morning that she had resigned her position as the Spokane NAACP President.

Her letter to the Spokane NAACP Executive Committee read as follows:

It is a true honor to serve in the racial and social justice movement here in Spokane and across the nation. Many issues face us now that drive at the theme of urgency. Police brutality, biased curriculum in schools, economic disenfranchisement, health inequities, and a lack of pro-justice political representation are among the concerns at the forefront of the current administration of the Spokane NAACP. And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity.

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. The movement is larger than a moment in time or a single person's story, and I hope that everyone offers their robust support of the Journey for Justice campaign that the NAACP launches today!

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.

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. It's about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum. It's about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment.

With much love and a commitment to always fight for what is right and good in this world,

Rachel Dolezal"

ORIGINAL POST: June 15, 2015 7 a.m.

Following last week's headline-grabbing revelation that Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane, Wash. chapter of the NAACP, had fabricated a series of lies about her ethnicity to gain employment and support, more than a few Spokane residents were 
Rachel Dolezal
  • Rachel Dolezal
anxious to attend a membership meeting of the chapter scheduled for June 15, at which Dolezal previously said she would make a statement related to the ongoing controversy over her identity. 

That won't be happening. Dolezal now says the meeting is postponed "due to the need to continue discussion with regional and national NAACP leaders." According to Spokane-based KREM 2 News, the chapter's executive committee chair, Lawrence Burnley, responded to Dolezal via email, writing: 

"I'm puzzled by your decision to arbitrarily cancel/postpone the meeting without input from the executive committee which is scheduled to meet today. The Association's by-laws provides specific guidelines concerning monthly general/branch meetings. Article V, Section 1 states, "Regular meetings shall be held on a fix day or date each month." That date, as agreed upon by the executive committee, is the third Monday of each month which is [Monday]. I don't see any language in the by-laws that empowers you, or any one member, to arbitrarily cancel/postpone [Monday's] meeting."

Meanwhile, Dolezal's parents appeared on NBC's Today Show this morning, saying their daughter "has tried to damage her biological family and those kind of claims, as false as they were, seem to serve her purposes in her mind." The parents said they never sought out publicity on the matter and only revealed their daughter's true ethnicity when they were contacted by the Coeur d'Alene Press.