16 June 2015 - Not quite black NAACP leader resigns
NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal resigns amid furor over racial identity
Staff (The Chicago Tribune)
Rachel Dolezal, the civil rights activist who rose to prominence as a black woman but was unmasked last week as white, said on Monday she would step down as head of the local NAACP chapter, citing concern that the controversy was hampering the group's larger mission.
In a message posted on the organization's Facebook page, Dolezal, a blue-eyed blonde from western Montana, did not explain why she had dyed her hair, darkened her skin and misrepresented herself as a mixed-race black woman for much of the past decade.
"While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the (broader social issues) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome," wrote Dolezal, 37. "This is not about me. It's about justice."
Payton Guyon (The Independent)
Prior to her resignation as local president, Ms Dolezal had canceled an NAACP meeting in which she was set to discuss her parents' revelation.
Over the weekend, one of her adopted brothers said that she had asked him not to reveal that she is white.
"She took me aside and just told me not to blow her cover," Ezra Dolezal, one of her African American adopted siblings, told KREM-TV. "She's like trying to say like people were racist to her her entire life, even though she grew up a white, privileged person up in Montana."
Camille Gear Rich (CNN)
The outing of Dolezal seems ironic given the recent public embrace of Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender woman formerly known as Bruce Jenner. Jenner seems to have ushered in an era of greater tolerance about the constructed nature of identity. After all, when a transgender woman is elevated to the cover of Vanity Fair, it's as though we have reached a tipping point. We can accept the idea that one's social identity can be radically transformed if it doesn't match with what one feels in the heart.
The stark difference in Dolezal's treatment forces us to ask what's the difference between claiming a gender identity versus a racial identity? Why is it that we celebrate Bruce Jenner's gender change and frown upon Rachel Dolezal's racial race?
Dolezal is disturbing for many people because she marks a cultural fault line. Like it or not, we have entered into an era of elective race -- a time when people expect that one has a right and dignity to claim the identity of one's choice.
Amanda Holpuch (The Guardian)
Dolezal, who is also a professor at Eastern Washington University, has said that she was a victim of hate crimes. She is also being investigated by the city of Spokane, which is looking into claims that she falsified her ethnicity when applying for a position on the city’s police board.
In a statement responding to the resignation on Monday, the group’s national president said it arrived “amidst the real work of the NAACP”.
“The NAACP is not concerned with the racial identity of our leadership but the institutional integrity of our advocacy,” Cornell William Brooks said. “Our focus must be on issues not individuals.”
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"16 June 2015 - Not quite black NAACP leader resigns ", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2015. Consulté le 07/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/16-june-2015-not-quite-black-naacp-leader-resigns-