The national media have largely moved on from the Rachel Dolezal story, turning their attention to far more disturbing events. But Dolezal — a black leader revealed to be white — remains a significant story in the community she repeatedly lied to. While many have pointed to her actions as evidence of the region’s struggles with racial issues, they fit even more cleanly into Spokane’s saga of getting fooled by scammers, fraudsters and liars. (And yes, the Inlander, was sadly not immune to being deceived.)
This compilation of Dolezal’s lies and other fishy actions can’t hope to be complete, but the goal is to give an idea of the sheer scale of Dolezal’s deceptions. Some deceptions are tiny. Some are massive. Other statements may not be lies at all, but have been thrown into serious doubt because of Dolezal’s other deceptions. We intend this to be a document that is continually updated as more revelations arise. Please let us know in the comments if there’s anything we missed. Or if there's a factual claim incorrectly labeled as false or suspicious, let us know that too.
1. Dolezal has repeatedly lied or represented that she is "black" or "multiracial." She is not. Yet she has made this claim in a variety of venues, including checking “African-American” on her application to the Spokane Office of Police Ombudsman.
2. ... Dolezal cringed at having to correct women who touch her hair and says she’s, like, “just please don’t do this to another black woman.”
3. ... Referring to Black History Month, Dolezal wrote, “Our story should be taught year round.” It’s not her story.
4. ... In an Inlander column, Dolezal referred to herself as a “black feminist like bell hooks and Harriet Tubman.”
5. ... In an Inlander column, Dolezal said her son doesn’t see the other black kids at the school as black, and “distinguishes himself as the only black kid at his school actually being raised by a black parent."
6.... In an interview in April with Inlander journalist Lael Henterly, Dolezal said, discussing the NAACP, “We’re black, we must be careful with our civil liberties.”
7. Dolezal has also repeatedly claimed that her adopted brother, Izaiah, is actually her son. For example, in an Inlander column, Dolezal calls herself “a mother raising two black sons.”
8. ... In an Inlander column, Dolezal refers to arguments with her “teenage sons,” plural.
9. ... In an interview with Melissa Harris-Perry, Dolezal said, “First of all, it means that I have really gone there with the experience in terms of being a mother of two black sons and really owning what it — what it means to experience and live blackness.”
10. ... In her first Inlander column, Dolezal said that “my black son is completing his degree.”
11. Dolezal has also repeatedly represented Albert Wilkerson, Jr., a black man, as her real father. In fact, he's a friend of hers, but not her biological father. For example, Idaho Rep. Paulette Jordan tells the Inlander when Dolezal served as her campaign manager that Dolezal “made it clear that she has part-black and part-native heritage,” and that Doelzal introduced him to her “father” Albert Wilkerson back in 2009.
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