Rachel Dolezal's Parents Give First Interview Since NAACP Resignation, Hope She Will "Not Feel Compelled Any Longer to Be False"
Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal spoke to MSNBC's Thomas Roberts for their first cable news interview since their daughter resigned as head of the NAACP's Spokane, Washington chapter.
Just a little more than an hour after embattled NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal resigned her post amid outrage after her parents said she is a white woman pretending to be black, her mother says she hopes her daughter accepts the truth.
"I pray that she will take the steps necessary to embrace her true personal identity and not feel compelled any longer to be false or malicious toward her family," Ruthanne Dolezal, accompanied by her husband and Rachel's father, Larry, told MSNBC's Thomas Roberts in their first cable news interview since Rachel stepped down. Ruthanne acknowledged that Rachel's resignation letter didn't address whether she'd lied about her ethnicity nor did she apologize for doing so.
Still, Larry Dolezal says it was "certainly not" their intent to get their daughter to resign when they told a local newspaper that they are her parents.
"We support her in her decision," Larry said when asked what he thought about Rachel's resignation. "We read her letter. It was very well-written. We just hope and pray that what she said in her closing will be also inclusive of her family."
Rachel announced her resignation in a post on the NAACP Spokane chapter's Facebook page, saying that the attention had become a distraction.
"The dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity," the statement, embedded below, and attributed to Dolezal, read. "I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion."
Rachel's parents also addressed whether people could identify themselves as "transracial," with her mother saying she doesn't think that's possible.
"I don't see any honest way that a person can describe themselves as transracial because your ethnicity comes from your genetic code and what's handed down to you by your parents, your real biological parents," Ruthanne Dolezal said. "I think the healthy path to take on this kind of discussion is to find a way to embrace and celebrate who you really are."
Watch the full video of Rachel's parents' interview below.