Rachel Dolezal has officially resigned from her position as president of the Spokane, Wash. chapter of the NAACP after accusations that she’s been pretending to be black for the past five years.
“It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the presidency and pass the baton to my vice president, Naima Quarles-Burnley,” Dolezal writes on her chapter’s official Facebook page.
Dolezal also writes that she hopes the scandal about her true racial heritage will not distract the organization from its real focus.
“While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life-or-death outcome,” she says.
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“The movement is larger than a moment in time or a single person’s story, and I hope that everyone offers their robust support of the Journey for Justice campaign that the NAACP launches today!”
The NAACP originally stood by Dolezal, issuing a statement that reads, “One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership.” Celebrities like Keri Hilson and Cher have also voiced their support for Dolezal — only to be lambasted by social media for doing so.
While Dolezal does not explain her actions or attempts she has made to appear African-American, she ends the letter with a promised commitment to fighting for human rights.
“Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It’s about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum,” she says.
“It’s about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the #BlackLivesMatter movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment.”