“I identify as black,” Rachel Dolezal told Matt Lauer Tuesday morning on TODAY, after making national news for presenting herself as being mixed race, while she was actually born to white parents.
Dolezal, who was the head of the NAACP’s Spokane, WA, chapter and chairwoman of a police oversight committee, explained to Lauer that she has identified this way since her childhood.
“I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon, instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair,” she said.
“We weren’t going to lie, we told the truth,” her father Lawrence Dolezal said. “Rachel is our birth daughter.”
Dolezal believes that the focus on her situation should really be “about what it is to be human,” adding, “I hope that that can drive at the core of definitions of race, ethnicity, culture, self determination, personal agency and, ultimately, empowerment.”
Dolezal has since stepped down from her position, saying that her resignation is the best interest of the NAACP. Dolezal’s story has now sparked a national conversation over racial identity, and here’s what some SiriusXM hosts and guests are saying.
Sirius XM OUT Q‘s The Jolt:
“On one hand I think how completely horrible to lie to people. I think you should be able to be an advocate and an activist for anybody whom you feel a kinship to,” host Larry Flick said. “The problem with Rachel Dolezal isn’t that we now know she has stolen money cause she hasn’t. She hasn’t done anything wrong except lie about her background. It’s stupid. It’s inappropriate. It’s not something you should do. But she worked really hard for African-Americans… I’m not saying she should be allowed to be in the job. I’m not saying any part of this is good. …I really do think we’re preoccupied with this because when you take a second look at her, ain’t nothing black about the b*tch. That’s what people are freaked out. She doesn’t pass.”
SiriusXM Progress‘s Friday Night Fights:
“It was like it was a set up to get the NAACP to fire her, so then people could say the NAACP is racist,” host Mark Thompson said in response to a caller claimed the situation was suspicious. “You know what I mean? It just feels like that to me. I don’t know.”
Sirius XM Progress‘s Make It Plain:
“The thing that bothers me the most,” author and guest of the show Tim Wise said. “This is someone who has said openly that white folks have no role in the Black Lives Matter movement, not just as leaders — which I would agree with, we ought not be leading – she thinks white folks shouldn’t be involved…because in her estimation white folks can’t speak with any legitimacy to issues of racism.”
Today Show Radio‘s The Hoda Show:
“I think the thing that bothered me is when you start telling lies about things,” host Hoda Kotb said. “It makes you scratch your head as to why when, first of all, you know you’re going to get caught in those kind of things usually…It’s sort of like you tell a story and suddenly there’s another layer and another layer and another layer, and then boom you’re totally flat on your back, and you just wonder I mean some people do think the ends justify the means.”
SiriusXM listeners have access to TODAY’s live East Coast feed from 7-10 am ET and the West Coast feed from 10 am – 1 pm ET on Ch. 108. And at 1pm ET, catch the fourth hour of TODAY with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.