The father of Rachel Dolezal, the head of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of NAACP, told US media outlets his daughter was disguising herself as Native American and African-American.
“She’s our birth daughter and we’re both of European descent,” he said. “We’re puzzled and it’s very sad.”
In a Spokane NAACP Facebook post from January 2015 she is instead depicted with a black father.
Her mother Ruthanne told media her daughter’s ancestry was Swedish, German and Czech, with distant Native American heritage.
Rachel Dolezal is also chair of the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission in Spokane and an adjunct professor of African studies at Eastern Washington University.
The City of Spokane said today that it was determining if Dolezal had violated the city's code of ethics in her application to serve on the citizen police ombudsman commission.
"We are committed to independent citizen oversight and take very seriously the concerns raised regarding the chair of the independent citizen police ombudsman commission," Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart issued a statement.
"We are gathering facts to determine if any city policies related to volunteer boards and commissions have been violated. That information will be reviewed by the City Council, which has oversight of city boards and commissions."
The social media community is expressing outrage that her move trivialises the inequality experienced by black races, with the hashtag #RachelDolezal trending in the US.
Reverend Broderick Greer in Memphis, Tennessee, wrote on Twitter: “Only a white person could get this much attention for being black.”
He was joined by black social media activist Charles Wade who added, “This is all she wanted. To sit at the head of a table for black folks…and run it”
Australia’s own Twitter community has entered the conversation.
“White people stop swerving and stealing all the oxygen #RachelDolezal. We get you want to be special. We just want to exist,” said Indigenous Australian woman and lawyer Arabella Douglas.
Dolezal has been chief of the Washington NAACP chapter since January 2015. She is yet to make a statement.