NAACP Releases Statement Supporting Rachel Dolezal

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The NAACP has officially responded to the controversy surrounding Rachel Dolezal, the president of the organization's Spokane, Washington, chapter, who alleged she was black when she is actually white, with a statement of support.

"The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal's advocacy record," the organization wrote in a statement sent to Mic, specifically noting their support for "Dolezal's advocacy record" rather than Dolezal herself. 

"NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter," the statement read. "One's racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership."

The organization also took the opportunity to encourage the participation of people across races. 

"In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization."

Read the full statement below:

Baltimore, MD – For 106 years, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has held a long and proud tradition of receiving support from people of all faiths, races, colors and creeds. NAACP Spokane Washington Branch President Rachel Dolezal is enduring a legal issue with her family, and we respect her privacy in this matter. One's racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership. The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal's advocacy record. In every corner of this country, the NAACP remains committed to securing political, educational, and economic justice for all people, and we encourage Americans of all stripes to become members and serve as leaders in our organization.

Hate language sent through mail and social media along with credible threats continue to be a serious issue for our units in the Pacific Northwest and across the nation. We take all threats seriously and encourage the FBI and the Department of Justice to fully investigate each occurrence.

Rachel DolezalSource: Nicholas K. Geranios/AP
Rachel Dolezal  Nicholas K. Geranios/AP

How'd she get caught? Dolezal came under public scrutiny after she drew attention to herself when she claimed she was the victim of a hate crime because of an abusive package she found in her post office box. The police could not find DNA or fingerprints on the package and, given it had no proof of postage, they concluded it was placed there by someone with a key to the postal box. Many are speculating it was Dolezal. 

"It's very sad that Rachel has not just been herself," Ruthanne Dolezal, Rachel's mother, told the Spokesman-Review in an interview Thursday. "Her effectiveness in the causes of the African-American community would have been so much more viable, and she would have been more effective if she had just been honest with everybody."

The NAACP hasn't explicitly said they'd support Dolezal in her current role as president of the Spokane chapter. In abstraction, however, they welcome people of all colors and shapes to push the agenda for racial equality forward.