'Outed' NAACP leader responds to claims she's not black
The leader of a local Washington state chapter of the NAACP responded Friday to claims that she has no African-American heritage.
Rachel Dolezal has been the president of the Spokane chapter since January, but this week her family, who lives in Montana, told local media outlets that she's not black at all — but Czech, Swedish and German.
"What I'd say to them is 'I don't give two s***s what you guys think,"' she said when asked about the allegations made by her parents in an interview with Sky News.
Dolezal stopped short of describing herself as African-American when asked, but she said she "can understand" why some might see a serious misrepresentation based on the claims.
"I actually don't like the term African-American," she said. "I prefer black, and I would say that if I was asked I would definitely say that yes I do consider myself to be black."
In an interview with Montana outlet KREM, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal said their daughter has always identified with the African-American culture, providing photos from her youth in which she looks starkly different from her current appearance.
"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 I think quite frankly don't think really understands the definitions of race and identity," she said.
The NAACP released a statement on the matter Friday:
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.
For more on this story, including how the Internet is reacting, see our earlier coverage on AOL.com.