The adopted brother of the white woman who passed herself off as a black civil rights activist has described her behaviour as tantamount to “living in blackface”.
Ezra Dolezal, who is African-American, said Rachel Dolezal once asked him not to reveal that her biological parents are white.
He said did not know how to respond on the day three years ago when his sister asked him “not to blow her cover” after she claimed her father is black.
“It’s kind of a slap in the face to African-Americans because she doesn’t know what it’s like to be black. She’s only been African-American when it benefited her. She hasn’t been through all the struggles. She’s only been ‘African-American’ the last few years,” Mr Dolezal, the adopted brother of Rachel, said in a local newspaper interview at the weekend.
Ezra said that in 2011 Ms Dolezal started changing her appearance, darkening and curling her hair, which he described as tantamount to “living in blackface”, referring to the theatrical technique used historically by white actors pretending to be black, which is now widely seen as demeaning.
Ms Dolezal, 37, generated controversy and outrage last week after she was exposed as having two Caucasian birth parents, while presenting herself as black in her job and social life.
She runs the local branch of the civil rights group the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) in Spokane, in Washington state.
She is also chairman of the local police oversight committee, which monitors race relations issues, and is prominent among black community leaders in the city.
On Sunday, Ms Dolezal postponed a meeting scheduled for Monday with the NAACP at which she was due to address the controversy. A new date has not been given.
She walked away from a television interview last week after being challenged about her parents and her claims to be black.
Source: Telegraph UK | Joanna Walters