The embattled president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) fired back at the criticism surrounding her after her parents revealed that she has been passing herself off as a black woman.
"I feel like the article was questioning -- and really it's Larry and Ruthanne who are questioning [her ethnicity]," Rachel Dolezal told KREM-TV. "So what I say to them is, I don't give two sh*ts what you think, you know? You're so far out and done from my life."
The criticism flared up when her parents, Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal, confirmed to the Couer d'Alene Press that she is white.
CBS News reported that NAACP officials expressed their support for Dolezal in a statement, attributing the criticism to a "legal issue with her family."
Dolezal, who has taught several courses dealing with African-American history and culture at Eastern Washington University, told KREM that she felt it was "more important for me to clarify that with the black community and with my executive board than it really is to explain it to a community that I, quite frankly, don't think really understands the definitions of race and ethnicity."
She also offered her own response to the question of her racial identity, after previously dodging the issue.
"I actually don't like the term 'African-American,'" she explained. "I prefer black. I would say that if asked, I would definitely consider myself to be black."
A profile on Dolezal published in 2012 also plays up what she has described as Native American descent. It reads in part:
Rachel Doležal was born in a teepee in Montana. She grew up wearing moccasins and was planting seeds by the age of 3. Resourceful and intelligent, she began creatively expressing herself at the age of 4. “I consider my first self-portrait (age 4) and my drawing of feet (age 5) to be the entrance to my artistic journey,” she says.
Now, at 34, she is occasionally called a “radical mongrel” by people who, let’s assume, were taught how to hate by the age of three and how to draw a swastika by the age of four. A simple click of the mouse explains the true meaning of the swastika rooted in the idea of peace and well-being, notions that Doležal hopes to spread. “With every shape, cut, stroke, smudge, texture and hue, I compose images that tell of my persistence through struggle, my journey toward peace, and my stubborn desire to somehow help the human race grow and evolve.”
Watch Dolezal's remarks to KREM, as aired on CBS News on Friday, below.