Student Who Posted Rachel Dolezal Interview Wanted Public To See Her "Be Herself"
Lauren Campbell posted the roughly hour-long interview for a thesis project online after Rachel Dolezal's white parents called the former NAACP leader out for posing as black.
In one portion of the interview, Dolezal described being told she was white as a child by a teacher.
After years of pressure to act more white, Dolezal said public perception of her changed after she was the victim of hate crimes.
After becoming director of the Human Rights Education Institute — taking over the former site of an Aryan Nation compound — she said she became the victim of hate crimes from white supremacists.
Slowly, Dolezal said news coverage about her began to change. One description called her a woman from a "transracial family," the next called her a "biracial woman," and later she was described as black.
"As the hate crimes escalated, the more white supremacy groups did to me and my family, the darker my complexion became in the public's eyes," she said.
She also criticized white people who claim to understand the black community because they have a black friend, or a black partner, or a black child.
"You're using that to justify something — kind of a free pass," she said. "It doesn't mean you understand or identify with the struggle and liberation of that community."
As for her own identity, Dolezal hinted that public perception didn't really reflect who she was.
"I know who I am, and my kids know who I am," she said. "Pretty much, I don't think anyone really knows, totally."