What to make this weekend: Saturday night dinner for less than €6
What to make this weekend: Saturday night dinner for less than €6

Sarah Finnan

Take a tour of Made.com founder’s chic London pad
Take a tour of Made.com founder’s chic London pad

IMAGE Interiors & Living

The benefits of batch cooking, from more time to more money
The benefits of batch cooking, from more time to more money

IMAGE

It’s time to learn your attachment style…and how it’s impacting your relationship
It’s time to learn your attachment style…and how it’s impacting your relationship

Mairead Heffron

Maisie Williams, Jennette McCurdy, Drew Barrymore and the plight of abusive parents
Maisie Williams, Jennette McCurdy, Drew Barrymore and the plight of abusive parents

Sarah Gill

Supper Club: This delicious French Onion Soup makes for a seriously tasty lunch
Supper Club: This delicious French Onion Soup makes for a seriously tasty lunch

Jennifer McShane

October Event Guide: Festivals of food, art, comedy, jazz, and all things Halloween are on the horizon
October Event Guide: Festivals of food, art, comedy, jazz, and all things Halloween are on...

Sarah Gill

Duvet Day: Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you sleep well
Duvet Day: Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you sleep well

Sarah Finnan

Member competition: WIN a six-week mentorship with the Mentor Her programme
Member competition: WIN a six-week mentorship with the Mentor Her programme

IMAGE

Does glycolic acid work as deodorant?
Does glycolic acid work as deodorant?

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

Civil Rights Leader ?Falsely Claiming To Be Black?


By Jennifer McShane
14th Jun 2015
Civil Rights Leader ?Falsely Claiming To Be Black?

In what was one of the more bizarre stories to pop up over the past day or two, a civil rights leader in the United States has sparked outrage amid claims that she has ?falsely been portraying herself as a black person.? Those were the words from her Caucasian parents who said that their daughter Rachel Dolezal’s heritage is Czech, Swedish, and German, with possible traces of Native American.

Rachel Dolezal, who has identified herself publically as African-American for years via her social media accounts and through her work, has been the president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP since January and serves as the chair of the city’s police oversight commission.

When her parents spoke to media outlets, they said: ?She’s clearly white as we are,? adding that their daughter ?has not explained to us why she has disguised herself and been deceptive about her ethnicity.?

The claims have sparked outrage online with some saying it’s a clear case of ?ethnic fraud,? and others saying that, similar to Bruce Jenner’s transition into a woman, Rachel should be allowed to identify as whichever ethnicity she chooses.

RD_Pic_2

Her parents said their daughter had adopted black siblings and had attended school in Mississippi, where her social circle had primarily been African American. She later married and subsequently divorced an African American man, they said.

They claim that she began to adapt her appearance following her divorce in 2004. ?Rachel has wanted to be somebody she’s not. She’s chosen not to just be herself, but to represent herself as an African American woman or a bi-racial person and that’s simply not true and it’s wrong that she’s deceiving people,? Ruthanne Dolezal (her biological mother) said.

Rachel has since said that she isn’t in contact with her biological parents because of an ongoing lawsuit and that she “dosen’t consider them her real parents.”

When questioned about her racial ethnicity in an interview, Rachel refused to answer the question, saying: ?I feel like I owe my executive committee a conversation,? she said, adding that the subject was a ‘multilayered issue?.

?The question is not as easy as it seems,? she added. ?There’s a lot of complexities – and I don’t know that everyone would understand that. We’re all from the African continent.?

She later said that she “understood” people may feel she had been guilty of misrepresentation.

“It’s more important for me to clarify that with the black community and with my executive board than it really is to explain it to a community that, quite frankly, don’t really understand the definitions of race and ethnicity,” she said.

“I don’t like the term African-American, I prefer black. So yes, I do consider myself a black person,” she added.

Celebrities such as Cher and singer Keri Hilson have tweeted about the matter and the social media outlets have gone crazy over the whole thing:

We don’t really know what to think about this, but it’s a complex issue for sure.

What are your thoughts?

@Jenny_McShane

LOVE this? Why not have IMAGE delivered directly to your door each month? Check out this month’s offer here.