Dolezal resigns from Spokane NAACP; metro Detroiters have their say

The president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane Washington resigned after it was discovered she lied about being black - outed by her parents as a white woman.

Rachel Dolezal got away with posing as an African-American for more than a decade. The big questions tonight is why did she do it?

Dolezal self identifies as a black woman but her decision to live that out and deny who she really is could stem from how she was raised.

Metro Detroiters are sounding off about it.

"It's a weird sort of racism in a way," said Katie Haber, a white Detroit resident. 

"She's good with me," said Ali Thrower, who is black.

Rev. Wendell Anthony president of detroit's naacp

"I know there have been white presidents of branches before," said Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit NAACP. "We have whites on our national board of directors.

"I don't understand  why she found it necessary to portray a veil in terms of who she really is.

"What's interesting about this, is that this young lady has done great work out there and this reality kind of distorts what she's been doing."

"I think it's kind of taking advantage of somebody," Haber said. "Like of a culture, a people, a group."

FOX 2: "Did she rob the black community by posing as black woman? 

"She didn't rob the black community she contributed to the black community," said Elizabeth Atkins bi-racial author.

Atkins is the daughter of a black judge and white Catholic priest.

FOX 2: "She cares about what black folks care about?"

"And I love that her heart is in it," Atkins said. "But if she hadn't lied that's the problem."

FOX 2 asked white metro Detroiters if they would ever want to be black.

"Ask me if I want to be Michael Jordan, yeah I want to be Michael Jordan," said Dave from Detroit, who is white.

FOX 2: "Would you want to be a regular black guy?"

"I don't know what that is, Dave said. "I'm a regular white guy."

Quite frankly I'm not sure if I'd want to be black in today's society," said George Zimmerman, who is white. "I don't like what's going on in our country right now. It's not something i would want to aspire to in this society."

So why would Rachel Dolezal?

"When someone does something for 11 years the lie becomes a part of them," said psychologist Dr. Gerald Schiener. "And they convince themselves it might be true."

"If she comes from a family where her parents felt it was important to expose her to kids of all backgrounds and kids who are diverse and to adopt African-American kids, she may have identified with that. 

"She may have an inner sense of guilt for having advantages that other people  didn't have."

Dolezal stepped down saying all the media attention about race and ethnicity is overshadowing the issues the NAACP is concerned about like police brutality and economical inequality.

She said she will continue to fight for racial and social justice but not in this capacity. 

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