After intense scrutiny on her actions and widespread speculation about her motives, the former Spokane NAACP president who came under fire for allegedly misrepresenting herself as Black broke her silence. On Tuesday, in a Today interview, Rachel Dolezal said she identifies as Black.
When asked by anchor Matt Lauer if she were African-American, Dolezal responded, "I identify as Black," and that she has done so since the age of 5.
"I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair," she said. When Lauer asked her when she started "deceiving people" about her race, she said, "I do take exception to that because it's a little more complex than me identifying as Black or answering a question of 'Are you Black or White?' "
Considering the mountain of criticism that has been lobbied at her over the week, would she have changed anything? Dolezal said she would have made the same choices:
As much as this discussion has somewhat been at my expense recently, and in a very sort of viciously inhumane way come out of the woodwork, the discussion is really about what it is to be human. I hope that that can drive at the core of definitions of race, ethnicity, culture, self-determination, personal agency and, ultimately, empowerment.
Watch the interview below: