Watch CBS News

NAACP Chapter President Questioned About Her Racial Identity

SPOKANE, Wash. (WJZ) -- Surprising accusations against an NAACP leader in Washington state. Her parents say she's white and has been falsely portraying herself as a black woman. Their comments are sparking national debate.

Christie Ileto with the controversy swirling around Rachel Dolezal.

She was in Baltimore last month after the April riots, even meeting with City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. But the firestorm started this week when a Montana couple came forward and said she is their daughter.

Rachel Dolezal heads Spokane, Washington's NAACP chapter, and if asked...

"I would definitely say that, yes, I do consider myself to be black," said Dolezar.

But a brewing firestorm of questions about her race surfaced after claiming a noose was left at her home and reporting she and her family are victims of various hate crimes.

Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal say their estranged daughter is misrepresenting herself.

"Our daughter is primarily German and Czech and of European descent," Ruthanne Dolezal said.

While controversy swirls around Dolezal, there's one organization that's standing behind her--the NAACP headquartered right here in Baltimore.

The group saying: "One's racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership."

Dolezal got a master's at historically black Howard University and is an Africana professor at Eastern Washington University.

She even visited Baltimore last month following the April unrest, meeting with City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

The debate has become the most tweeted about issue on social media, with the hashtag #AskRachel.

As for the hate crime allegations, police have not made any arrests.

Dolezal says the debate over her race is "an ugly byproduct of family dysfunction."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.