The Rachel Divide (2018) Movie Script

I kind of wanted to talk
about how you grappled with identity.
You talked a lot
about having to pick a side.
Talk more about that.
I guess, um... I know who I am,
and my kids know who I am.
And pretty much, I don't think
anybody else really does.
I'm Rachel Dolezal, the president
of the NAACP in Spokane, Washington.
I said this is enough,
and so I just took a U-turn, went home,
got my African-American flag,
made a sign, "Malcolm X is my hero,"
and came down here.
Under my skin
Rachel Dolezal has become the new face
of the area's civil rights movement.
Trayvon Martin, just a real reminder
of the risk my sons face every day.
Deep in the heart of me
A 37-year-old black man just died
in police custody in Spokane, Washington.
And if there is no justice,
there will be no peace.
That you're really a part
She's a real one-woman,
black-led, organizing entity.
We're stepping out.
We're taking the lead,
and we can take this to other communities.
Riots are the voice of the unheard.
It's important for us to feel
what's going on in our nation
and to express that black lives do matter.
Under my skin
Are you African-American?
I don't-- I don't understand the question.
Are your parents, are they white?
I ref-- I re--
It all came crashing down
for NAACP Spokane president
Rachel Dolezal.
Bushwhacked by a local reporter,
she was thrown by a basic question:
Was she black or white?
Breaking news, Rachel Dolezal
has resigned her post
as the head
of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.
She was also booted
from the local police oversight commission
and as a professor
of Africana studies at EWU.
Are you an African-American woman?
I was drawing self-portraits
with the brown crayon.
Are you black?
Her double life
has made international news.
Just for the record, Rachel Dolezal
is your birth daughter?
-That's correct.
You doubt whether they are your parents?
I haven't had a DNA test.
Why point out an African-American man
-and say, "That is my father..."
- That's my dad.
...when you know that your father
is a Caucasian man?
Any man can be a father.
Not every man can be a dad.
She is nothing but a con artist.
She sued
Howard University, and in that lawsuit,
she didn't claim to be African-American.
She claimed to be a white woman.
She's been passing
as this woman for over five years.
If this bitch don't know by now
what it's like, she's never going to know!
Do you feel
you have been deceptive at all?
There have been moments
of some level of creative non-fiction,
but nothing about being white
describes who I am.
She's a bit of a Rorschach test.
If you look at her and you want
to believe that she is a hustler,
you will see a hustler.
If you want to see somebody
struggling through the complexities
of life that a lot of us
struggle through, you might see that.
Who's the gatekeeper for blackness?
Who can protect it, define it, own it?
Do we actually have the right
to live exactly how we feel?
Good morning.
You awake?
Franklin, I feel like you need,
like, some socialization,
'cause you've been
kind of homebound all summer.
Yup. I've had a crappy summer.
Your brother should be landing now.
Should I go in? Because--
No. You're going to draw
too much attention.
I think they're recording us back there.
You're going to knock me over.
-Can I flip them off?
-Taxi right here.
-Who's recording?
How they're sitting in a ta--
They're in a taxi recording us.
- What?
- Them, in that taxi.
Man, really?
I didn't get to go to Howard.
- You didn't?
- Hmm-mm.
I was going to go on Monday or yesterday,
but it was raining,
so I... didn't get to.
That's too bad.
There'll be other times.
- I'll definitely be back. That's my city.
- Two more years.
That is my city.
You're nicer than me.
You already want
to go attack the guy in the taxi.
And what was that about? Like--
You know, people see vi--
You know, people see me or they...
whatever. They just--
You were sitting over there.
She wasn't even trying to hide it.
It's so crazy.
This is how it's been all summer?
It feels like
I've had this trial by the public
and the jury is still out
on who Rachel Dolezal even is
and if she's a good person or bad person,
if she's white or black.
All she has to do is just say she's white,
and then everything's fine.
So yours is the first clue.
It's a girl.
Take it out. Open it. Open it.
Now that it's open, it's--
It's a girl.
It's pink and there's a tiara.
- It's a boy.
- It's a boy?
- It's a boy.
- How do you feel?
- I have no boy names picked.
- I was going to ask you.
I was like, "You lining up
all those other names."
'Cause I felt like everybody
was so sure it was going to be a girl.
I did too.
I want something, like,
with historic significance,
but I also want something that's not
too hard to pronounce or find a job.
Devante. There.
Devante's perfect.
Three boys, chilling out
when he's old enough.
That'll be fun.
Hey, come in.
How are you?
-I'm all right. How are you?
-Good to see you.
The people
who accept me for who I am
and stood by me when all this happened
are my two sons, Izaiah and Franklin,
and my sister, Esther.
Did you see my Facebook post?
I haven't yet. What--
So I made
the pregnancy announcement today.
-Yeah, really?
Oh, my goodness!
So I'm trying to, like--
I'm not going to go on there, um,
but I just said,
"So happy to have Izaiah coming home.
Also excited to announce that we're
expecting an addition to the family."
That's awesome!
So I'm hoping... I'm like fingers crossed
that it doesn't become,
like, a scandal, you know?
Or just people can just be happy for us.
Yeah. Let's leave it at that.
Let us have a private life to some extent.
So think I'm going to probably
not come in with you guys this time
and just drop you off and pick you up,
'cause I don't feel like dealing
with the possibility of questions
or whatever people have to say.
-All right.
-All right, Franklin.
I don't want to go in alone.
You don't want to go in alone?
Well, go in with Izaiah.
You might as well, you know?
- What's up, guys?
- What's going on?
- How you guys doing, man?
- Good, how are you?
Would you please move?
Okay, so where do you
want me to park, is what I'm asking.
You can park anywhere you want.
I just want to make sure that Franklin
can find me when he comes out.
Well, your son ain't lost.
Just move from out in front of my shop.
It's just like so har--
You know, that's why we stay in our house.
That's why we are at home
all the fucking time,
is because people make it so hard
to just do normal things.
Are you okay?
All my mom did was say that she was black
and people start losing their minds.
She's done a lot for the community.
People don't bother to recognize that.
All they know--
All they say is that she's a liar.
But all that stuff she's done
is nothing compared to all this.
I can hear her crying in her sleep
when I'm trying to sleep
and that is the only thing that makes me
not be able to go to sleep at night,
knowing that my mom is acting like this.
This has affected pretty much everybody.
The number one thing I hope for
is that none of this will affect
my sibling, my future sibling.
Yeah, I know you're 13.
You don't want to be hugged, but...
-Yes, I'm 13.
-I love you.
If any of this happened, it wou--
If this had to happen, I wish
it would have happened when I was older.
Every week, I apply for
or inquire about at least three jobs,
and still haven't gotten
a single interview.
There are very limited positions
in this whole area
for anything having to do
with race and culture studies,
black studies, Africana studies,
anything like that.
"The selection process
is highly competitive.
Thank you for your interest.
After careful deliberation,
decided to hire another candidate."
People still tiptoe
around anything attached to my name,
and I think that everybody's
waiting for somebody else
to take the first step to hire me
or give me an opportunity,
because they don't want
to be the one that's...
you know, the organization
that's hit with the media,
having to defend why they hired me.
We're blending it throughout, right?
Just pull up a picture
of the size you want, and then--
Okay, so it was like this last time.
Doing hair has been keeping
the bills paid and our family afloat.
Did we have to put,
like, Justice braids last time?
Yeah, we did. Let me show you.
I've talked a lot about,
like, losing friends and stuff,
but I have not lost a single hair client.
So how you feeling?
My body has been up and down.
Well, I heard one pregnancy
can be different from the other.
I think, you know, there are just
other factors this time around, you know?
One of the people I lost contact with
was my dad Albert.
He, like a lot of other people,
didn't know everything about my past.
And, you know, it's been difficult
to know where he stands right now.
I posted a picture of him
on my Facebook page,
and it's one of the things
that Jeff Humphrey put in my face
at the end of an interview
about hate crime investigation
and was kind of used as a tool
for framing me for fraudulence or untruth.
- Is that your dad?
- Yeah, that's... that's my dad.
This man right here is your father?
Right there?
-You have a question about that?
-Yes, ma'am.
The first time
that I really became directly involved
in looking into who is Rachel
and what is she about
is after she claimed
that the NAACP post-office box
had received some hate mail.
And that prompted us to file
a public records request
for all the investigative reports.
Well, tonight, Spokane detectives are
investigating a potential hate crime
and a death threat mailed
to the local NAACP president.
I was dubious of Miss Dolezal.
Dolezal says she's
been victimized more than a dozen times
in both Spokane and Coeur d'Alene,
including the appearances
of nooses around her homes,
yet police have made no arrests.
People had doubts
about Rachel prior to this.
You would hear, at the very least,
skepticism about her.
The idea that she had said things...
either inflated things
or invented things,
that was out there and it was--
And it existed in the law enforcement
community in particular.
There are new questions this evening
about racially charged threats sent
to the president of the Spokane NAACP.
The police department had determined
that whoever put this hate mail
in the NAACP post office box,
it was an inside job.
The mail, the hate mail
had never gone through the postal service
or any type of processing,
and one of two people
had a key to that mailbox.
And one of them was Miss Dolezal.
And when it became apparent that Rachel,
who was having trouble being honest
about a number of things,
was perhaps lying to us about that.
And I thought it prudent to confront her.
What would you say to the folks that say
maybe you put that letter in there
because you were one of the people
that have the keys to do so?
Rachel's complaints
that she'd been the victim of hate crimes
made it appear that racism
and the white supremacist movement
was making a comeback, and it wasn't.
And because it wasn't,
we felt compelled to out her.
Are you African-American?
I ref-- I ref--
She felt that the more that it appeared
that racism was making a comeback,
that more people would want
to get involved in shouting down racism.
But we did what local TV news
is supposed to do.
We found out somebody was lying,
somebody was misleading
the police about hate crimes,
and dethroned somebody
that had a lot of power
but not the integrity necessary
to do this job properly.
We've had NAAC presidents
long before Rachel came here
who were darker complected and they
didn't receive that much hate mail.
So how is this woman
receiving this much hate mail?
That is what got me.
I said, "You know what?
Nobody has that much bad luck."
This community is blessed.
We will rise above this
and no longer settle for leaders
that will not tell the truth.
We need to hold our leaders accountable.
How is anybody supposed to believe
any word that comes out of your mouth
when she talked about their roles of race
for African-Americans and the disparity?
She was speaking truth,
but now, in Spokane,
it's hard to push that message.
And who's affected by this?
All the people that the NAACP
had been advocating for.
She destroyed something that now
we have to rebuild, if we can.
She created the destruction
for any black woman after that,
because she was pulling this race card.
We do not believe that you can build
a just community on lies.
That's right.
I don't care what color she is.
I don't care
how she ethnically identifies,
but it's not okay to lie.
That's not okay.
If you really believe
that integrity matters,
let me hear you say, "Oh, yeah!"
In black culture,
if someone's saying that they're black,
you're not going to question it.
But I think over time...
I started to pick up on some things.
When I met her,
I looked at her and I was like, "Wow."
And I didn't want to be mean,
but I was like,
"This looks like a white woman
in a black woman's wig."
And I said, "I don't know what it is,
but it's just something about her
that just doesn't click
and something doesn't feel right,
because she didn't have
a story about her foundation
and what made her do
this civil rights type work."
Every time I think back
about anything she's ever told me,
I have to say,
"Well, was it true? Was it true?"
I don't know.
She would tell me all these stories.
I was always like,
"Where's-- I need a chronological--"
I couldn't find the chronology.
And so that's
why it's just really hard for me,
and then the fact is I don't know
what's fact and what's fiction.
There's so many layers to this.
That's kind of freaky.
You want to zoom in on that?
Somebody's concealed pistol license.
Some male was in my yard
with a concealed carry permit.
Like, what--
You know, do I call the police?
Do I mail it to him?
But this-- We've had ho--
You know, home invasion.
And we've had prowlers.
And this whole story framed me as a liar
and then everything else in my life
got framed as fraudulent,
including incidents of hate crimes.
This is the same thing
that typically I'd call the police,
turn it in, and then they would decide
if it's a hate crime or not.
Ugh, I don't know.
It just-- It freaks me out,
for my kids... especially.
Here's Rachel's story that I did.
Is it possible
that somebody would do that?
Of course it's possible
that somebody could do that.
What bothered me though,
about the way the hate mail was handled,
it was as if there was a need...
for Spokane
to act like that never happens,
which I know is not true, because it
does happen here and is proven out.
The city of Spokane,
it's very much a not diverse place.
And there's been a desire here
to make the story of our region and race
that we triumphed over racism.
And that's kind of a Chamber of Commerce
version of history
that doesn't really swear.
We have plenty of examples since then.
I mean, we had a guy who tried to bomb
our Martin Luther Kind Day parade.
White power!
And it has been and remains
the home over the years
to some racist, right-wing extremism.
I got letters that were similar
to the letters that she said she got.
I think there's been an assumption
that she faked those letters,
but I think
the question remains unanswered,
and I wouldn't be at all surprised
if those letters were real.
I also wouldn't be surprised
if they weren't.
I would not at all be surprised
if more than one thing is true here.
And that's part of the problem
with this question of her credibility.
What's ironic is for all
of the vilifying that people did of Rachel
for saying that she was acting black,
she was treated the way black people
are treated when we raise issues.
Rachel was
absolutely disrupting the status quo
in a way that I don't think
many people were comfortable with.
We're here to say, "Not one more."
I remember Rachel leading
a Black Lives Matter protest,
and I don't remember it happening
before Rachel took a leadership role.
Who is Mike Brown?
Rachel was part
of the Police Ombudsman Committee,
which was looking at police oversight.
I'm worried about the body cameras.
They are underutilized.
We have something like 220
and we currently
are using 17 or 19 on the streets.
I think there are valid criticisms
about Rachel's behavior,
but she was doing good for this community,
and now she's pretty much
a pariah in Spokane
in terms of trying
to have a productive life here.
What's next for you
now that you don't have the NAACP?
I know you still have a lot of care
for the social justice in Spokane.
How are you going to make
that happen here?
I'll figure it out.
I just, like, appreciate the fact
that you have shown your support
and, like, actually come to see me,
'cause I feel really isolated here.
I mean, I feel like I can make
things better a little piece at a time.
But there's a sense of, like, hopelessness
that it's never going to be the same.
Like, I'm never going to be able
to be me and, like, be seen as black.
I'm always going to be, like,
that white girl that said she was black
or that, like, trans-racial girl,
or the, you know, the faker
or the whatever. I don't know.
Well, I mean,
since everybody hates you anyway,
then more so for you to be yourself.
Yeah, other than I have to make money.
That's my thing,
is like how do I mend this breach?
I am hoping it's just kind of like
a family feud, you know what I mean?
Like, there's this misunderstanding
between some black people and me
and that we'll, like, come to terms
and get over it.
Like, they'll come to know who I am
and we can like, "Okay, we're cool now."
So how do you think I can fix that?
I don't know. Move to Mars.
Franklin, do you have
everything you need in the suitcase?
'Cause I'm going to zip it shut.
I do.
Bobbo, we can't let you out
'cause we're leaving.
Oh, I'm going to Los Angeles
and I'm going to be
on the talk show called The Real.
I love the hosts of it.
The painting looks amazing, Momzy.
I feel very comfortable
kind of in that mix.
I've been avoiding all media.
That was a strategy
that I was hoping would work.
Thank you for getting this for me,
The best outcome if...
it's just friendly questions
to help clear my mom's name.
The worst thing that could happen is
they make you choke up on your own words.
Do you feel like I've choked up
on my own words before?
Like when?
Your first interview.
- This is our time
Don't waste another minute
We're now joined by Rachel Dolezal.
Rachel, what does being black mean to you?
Blackness can be defined
as philosophical, cultural, biological
and I think you do have to kind of like
walk the walk if that's who you are.
So you feel that you walked
the walk of a black woman?
We're trying to understand why,
in some instances,
you never told people that you were white.
I mean, it--
Are you ashamed of being white?
Well, like Dick Gregory says, "White
isn't a race. It's a state of mind."
-Okay, you know, but no, no!
-Nothing about whiteness describes me.
Let me tell you something. I'm black.
I can't be you. I can't reverse myself.
Let's check you, Rachel.
-That's actually the truth.
-If the police stopped me,
you could throw that off
and show that little, light,
nice fine hair up under,
and you might get away.
I may not.
I may not even make it into jail.
Rachel, I think it's kind of hard
because you're not black.
You weren't born black,
so when you say you are black,
it makes it hard for people to understand
where you're coming from.
Right, and that's why I said,
I acknowledge I was biologically born
white to white parents.
And I identify--
That was the first time.
I think this is the first.
That's all they want.
But I identify as black, you know?
I think that's the first time.
People just feel like they
just want to hear the truth,
and I think that-- It was honest.
It's just those little things that make
you feel honest and real and connected.
And we know this year has had
a really bright moment for you
because you are pregnant.
So I guess the baby's black, huh?
I walk out and Loni Love was like,
"So what is it you like about being black?
Is it the men?"
It just went from there into--
I was like, "Oh, God, here we go."
Yeah, I know. I saw your face.
I'm... very skeptical
when I hear of anybody
wanting to interview you
or film you or anything,
because, uh, you never know
people's intentions.
Just like they lured you in with promises
of politeness and friendliness and--
-We saw what happened. I mean--
Right. Well, Franklin was backstage,
and they had to like, hold him back
from running out onto set to, like, stop,
'cause he wanted to, like, stop them.
Because I would never
have brought him either.
It made me really angry.
So this last week has been really rough
'cause of all that.
Has anybody else done anything
about it... to you?
Franklin didn't want
to go to school on Monday,
'cause he was scared that kids at school
were going to know about it.
He asked me to, like, change my hair
so that people wouldn't recognize me
with the red hair, so I did.
I don't ever like to hear
that you're looking...
for ways to pay the rent.
That means-- That's, like,
the most basic of basics, so...
That's quite scary, actually.
Life goes on.
Identity is such
a highly emotionally charged part of life,
because it's so deeply personal,
and yet it's something
that all humans universally experience,
is having to contend with who we are.
My friend sent this to me
because she noticed that I was included
not only in the article,
but also on the timeline.
One of the quotes in here is,
"Gender roles are merging.
Races are being shed.
In the last six years or so,
but especially in 2015, we've made--
Been made to see how trans and bi
and poly, ambi, omni we are."
You know, I've seen myself as black
since a very young child,
and then that kind of was
conditioned out of me.
And then I started to be perceived
as biracial by others in about 1998.
And then by about 2006,
I, you know, started
more identifying as black openly.
And people spin that into however they--
however it fits
within their internal dialogue about race.
"Some people call her trans-racial,
others found insult in her masquerade.
And they said there was something
oddly compelling about Dolezal too.
She represented dementedly,
but also earnestly."
Earnestly, dementedly,
like, I don't know.
How am I demented?
"It was as if she had arrived in a future
that hadn't yet caught up to her."
And I thought that was
a really insightful thing.
It was a big year for
personal identity in the United States,
and announced
that its 2015 Word of the Year is...
Trans era.
All this fluid stuff.
White privilege.
You're saying that I can't have
a hairstyle because of your culture?
I don't need your disrespect.
Now we're having a big national discussion
about something called "trans-racialism."
There's actually
a different category of blackness,
about the achievement of blackness,
despite one's parentage.
Is that possible?
She's taken on the ideas,
the identities, the struggles.
She's given us
an opportunity to open our minds
in terms of how we think about blackness
and what blackness really means.
You angry with her...
'cause she picked up
what you trying to throw away!
You buying bleaching creams!
She makes it sound
like you can pick your race.
-She needs to shut up.
-There you go.
To simply say,
"I use the brown crayon,
therefore I'm black,"
is kind of insulting.
Race in this country is constructed
based on a complex
and interwoven set of factors.
It's not a hairstyle.
It's not an affinity for a music.
You can't just appropriate persecution
just because it's cool.
She didn't go through
the struggle that we went through.
And she don't know
half of the things that we endured.
So no, she's not qualified.
Is it the same as Caitlyn Jenner?
Not at all. Not even close.
Okay, so Caitlyn Jenner's a woman,
even though Caitlyn Jenner
was unquestionably a man.
-But she went through a process--
-Rachel Dolezal is white!
What makes somebody black?
I've given you the penis on the man.
You give me the what makes
a black person black.
Well, having dark black skin
and being of African origin.
Adhering to a certain cultural--
All of those things.
Okay, I want to stop you.
What Van is saying is exactly what some
people are saying about Caitlyn Jenner.
You just don't buy it there,
but you buy it here.
And that's the problem.
But no, this is different, man.
Her blackness is a performance
and our transness is our identity.
Can we just agree there's one race
and it's the human race?
Watching our feelings and reactions to it,
it tells me more about all of us
and about our national anxiety around it.
It's the perfect modern mind-bender.
I'm gonna add some funk
What do you consider funk?
Funk, add some funk
Prior till now,
I have chosen not to talk about my past,
and that decision has been intentional
for holding our family together.
Now it's thrust upon us.
I feel like telling my story
is the only way, by writing a book.
And not in an interview,
not in an article, not in a sound bite.
I hope that will be enough
to where I can start being seen
for who I am and my kids can be free.
My birth story
was narrated to me from my mother
as being one
of the most traumatic times of her life
and that I almost killed her, because she
hemorrhaged, almost bled to death.
Larry and Ruthanne
were going by the Bible
and Adam and Eve didn't need a doctor
or midwife, so they didn't either.
On my birth certificate
it lists "Jesus Christ"
as the attendant to my birth.
My older brother, Josh,
his birth was textbook,
very easy for my mother,
and because of how I was born,
he was blessed and I was cursed.
He was loved
and I was in need of earning love.
I internalized that I either did
something wrong or was just wrong.
So when the adoptions happened,
it just was like a connection.
Ruthanne said that she felt called by God
to save babies from abortion via adoption.
It became evident that white babies
were going to take longer
and also be more expensive.
Ezra was adopted first,
and then Izaiah, Zach, and then Esther.
They got spiritually led
to adopt children,
and then they realized,
"Oh wow, we have four black children."
Like, they just tried
to raise us to be white.
You know, we didn't have
any pride in ourselves.
We didn't know who we were.
We were just white people
with skin conditions.
Up here in Montana
it is mostly white.
We did get a lot of stares.
There were people staring
all the time, you know?
It was in the newspaper a lot
about my parents adopting...
kids that were, you know, of color.
They were coming into a home
that had zero cultural understanding.
I just felt like I could
bridge the divide,
so I was allowed to check out
a lot more black history books, novels,
you know, anything
that was written by a black author.
With my siblings, it was almost
like I had, for the first time,
a legitimate reason
or an acceptable excuse
to pursue what really spoke to my soul.
I never talked to my parents about that,
because I knew that they were not...
Well, they wouldn't be okay.
I'd probably get--
I'd probably get a beating for it.
So it's like I didn't... I don't know.
I just kept that to myself.
I would characterize Larry then
as physically and emotionally abusive.
They were borderline extremism,
the way they intertwined
religion and discipline.
They would spank us
with, like, a glue gun glue stick.
And they would raise welts all over.
And they used those on us
since I was about...
two and a half, three years old.
They used a black baboon whip on us
over in South Africa.
And I still got scars from that.
This was from the glue stick,
and then this was from the baboon whip.
Kind of easily visible.
Because I love them,
it is my duty and my calling
to protect them
and to be there for them
in any way that I can.
I don't hate anybody.
But I do have a deep, let's say,
disliking for Larry and Ruthanne.
It is the one job of a parent
to give your child a childhood
they don't have to recover from,
and if they have to,
then you done messed up.
And that's something I had to do.
I guess I'll just leave it there.
There are some things
that probably will never... heal.
Just seeing the scars on Izaiah's back
before I got custody of him...
I knew I could never again
call Larry and Ruthanne my family.
That was just it. It was over.
I think Rachel choosing her identity,
it was a way of disassociation,
being like, "I have nothing
to do with these people."
You know? Like, I'm different,
and so on, on her quest
for self-discovery, you know,
as it led her away from the family,
she began to realize her identity
was not with Larry and Ruthanne.
Every step toward freedom,
every step toward empowerment
was a step away
from what I was conditioned to believe
in a very religious household.
Creativity and imagination
was my way of coping
and escaping during my childhood.
And my release valve was my imagination.
Like, I feel like we have choices
about how we cope and how we release.
My creative process is resourceful,
so a lot of what I do
looks like a painting,
but is oftentimes
made with other materials.
Sometimes I'll paint on eggshells
or on puzzle pieces or other textures.
It is all just about finding
the compatible pieces
and what works together,
what creates beauty and harmony.
Art to me is a language.
It's not just for decoration,
and so there has to be a response.
And so I kind of have to feel like I have
an audience in order to create something,
and right now, I feel like the audience
is so hostile and unpredictable
and sort of shut me out that I'm not sure
what to say with my art.
Even now I feel like I'm being punished
by Larry and Ruthanne.
It's like they amassed a global army
trying to out me and publicly shame me.
You know, it's--
I should be over it, 'cause I'm 37,
but it still hurts when it's your mom.
This has been out here for two years?
-I think it's been about two years.
Or I thought it was.
I mean,
do you want to have a bag of stuff
in case you want to keep anything?
Yeah, I don't know. Let's--
Maybe? This will be the "maybe" bag.
This is a weird walk down memory lane.
Like, I was a weird person.
Well, it was the environment.
Oh, look at this! This is horrible!
Whose is-- Like these-- I can't--
It used to be Mom's.
It reminds me
of my weird freaking childhood,
so, I'm like--
I'm kind of glad to be rid of it.
When I turned 18, I started
messaging my sister on Facebook,
just saying,
"Is there any way you can help me?"
Like, I was so disassociated
from Larry and Ruthanne.
Like, they didn't even seem
like parents to me.
They were just the people,
like, my jailers.
And so we set a date, and I packed
all my stuff up in garbage bags,
and she showed up the next morning
and I just didn't say anything.
I just grabbed my bags and went to her car
and loaded everything up and drove away.
I'm really proud of you
for making all your progress.
I need to check with Colorado law,
make sure that we're not running out
of time for you.
-Or you can or whatever.
But we need to probably check on that.
The judge decided that you can bring
the case back at another time.
I still kind of want to wait till things
die down a little more, you know?
Like with the media and everything.
I really hope that you get
your day in court
and that, you know, you get justice.
Just start here.
I believe that the reason
that the parents were motivated
to do what they did publicly
was to punish me for standing with Esther
and siding with her
in a court case against Josh.
It started when I was five.
I didn't know that the things
he was doing to me were wrong, you know?
He called them "exercises."
You know? He was just like,
"Well, it's our little secret."
I tried to tell my mom,
like, "Hey, your son is touching me.
Like, hey, is this normal for him
to touch me there or to do this?"
And she would just be like,
"Stop telling lies,"
and give me a bar of lye soap
to put in my mouth for an hour.
They all treated me like I was doing
something wrong for even bringing it up.
I was really the smoking gun for her case,
because it was her word versus his word.
He said he didn't do it.
She said he did it.
And, you know,
in the court of public opinion,
me saying, "And he did it to me too,"
carried weight in breaking that tie.
Josh was then arrested and indicted
on four counts of sexual assault.
That court case
was scheduled to be in a jury trial,
so Josh hired a private investigator
here in Spokane to discredit me.
I didn't think the private investigators
were going to dredge up stuff
and then bring in the media.
I did talk to the private investigator,
and I talked to him under the agreement
that I wouldn't identify him.
He clearly wanted
to undercut her credibility.
He was working for another family member
who Rachel had allegedly accused
of sexually abusing her.
He said
that she was lying to us about that,
as well as her racial background.
All the media hit right before she was
supposed to go testify with her story
and her testimony
from Josh molesting her as a child.
Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal join me now.
Thank you both for being here.
Thank you for having us.
Rachel Dolezal's parents are white,
and they're standing by to speak with us.
I felt that I was made
into a public spectacle for the family.
Why tell people this?
As much as we're concerned
with Rachel's identity issues,
we're also concerned
with her integrity issues.
Do you think she's pathological?
Larry and Ruthanne saw their opportunity
to completely discredit her
for her testimony
for the trial that was coming up,
because who would believe somebody now?
Like, her standing in the city
had been completely shot.
There's actually a legal matter
that involves one of your sons.
What can you say about that?
Of all of Rachel's faults
and malicious fabrications,
this is definitely the worst.
Rachel is not always honest,
and neither is Esther.
Put two and two together.
If Rachel's lying about this,
then she's probably lying about this too.
She says it's complex.
Is it complex or is she just lying?
I don't think there's
really anything complex about truth,
what's true and what is not true.
There is clearly some complicated
family dynamics at play here.
Is there any reason why Rachel might feel
a need to disconnect from you?
Really none that we can think of.
They have convinced themselves
that their firstborn is so perfect
and, you know, above reproach
that he could not have possibly done
something as horrible
and that both of us are fabricating
this story to bring revenge on them,
which truly, this case has
nothing to do with the two of them.
Do you think
that she's been deceiving people?
Yes, Rachel is a master artist,
and so she's able to disguise herself
and make her appearance
look like any ethnicity.
Every color shows up better
when juxtaposed next to
or laying on top of another color.
So you always want to, like, cover up
the white of the canvas before painting.
Creativity and imagination
were really fundamental
in my identity and evolution
of knowing who I am,
partly because I'm a creator,
like I'm an artist.
I make things. I do things.
I need a hug.
You have a good day?
I guess.
Anybody say anything crazy
today at school?
Nobody really knows 100 percent
about Frederick Douglas except for me.
Because, like, there is this one kid,
he said, "Wasn't he, like,
Lincoln's assistant or assassin?"
I'm just different.
My life is different.
Everybody at my school
has, like, a few close friends, you know?
Like, one or two really close friends
that they can rely on.
I don't really have that.
I mean, I doubt that any of the kids
have a mom that's known across the nation.
Maybe that's why I don't really have
as much friends is because of that.
Why does she put up with that?
Why does she put up
with this entire family?
Your dad's here.
-No, he isn't!
-Yes, he just pulled up.
What are you talking about?
Look out the window.
All right.
You look good.
Come here. Hug.
I will see you in...
Uh-huh, I knew it was coming.
Forty-eight hours.
Certainly it might seem convenient
to just get out of the area
and start a new life somewhere else
and have a new beginning,
but that's not an option for us.
Because of the custody arrangement,
the only other way that I could relocate
would be if I got permission from his dad,
which previously
has not been on the table.
I was unhappily married
and was unhappily married for five years.
I think in many ways I was
sort of his, like, trophy wife
because he saw me as white.
He hated that I was going to Howard.
You know, I was like wearing dashikis,
and he just didn't like any of that.
I felt like I needed to stick it out.
As a girl, I was taught women were to be
domestic and submissive to their husbands,
and that was
kind of the highest goal in life
and so I think that really played into me
staying in my marriage
for as long as I did.
It actually came to a situation
where I had to choose
between being a wife or being a mother,
and that's when I decided that being
a mother was more important to me.
Are you going to wake up?
What's up, little dude?
What you doing?
Mom, I can't hold him like this.
He definitely looks like you, Mom.
-When you first saw him...
-Yeah? was the happiest
I've ever seen you, ever.
It's kind of refreshing
to have a little life
that hasn't been
tainted or jaded, you know?
I'm going to keep him protected
until he's, like, my age.
How are you going to do that?
Well, if anybody says
the closest thing that's mean to him,
they're going to have to deal with me.
Good luck, bro.
Good luck on that one.
I don't want him to have
a confusing childhood like I did, either.
I want everything
to be straightforward for him.
The baby actually gets, by default,
categorized how the mother is,
how the mother identifies
in Washington State.
Whatever I identify as
is how they identify him.
That's so stupid.
-So if there's a--
-That is so stupid.
-If there's an Asian father...
-And how does that even make sense?
...and a white mother,
then the baby's white.
But if she marks white.
But if there's an Asian mother
and a white father, then the baby's Asian.
And if you go to a near--
a different state,
-that could be completely irrelevant.
-Then it's different. Exactly.
I am going to remain
unapologetically black,
but I also am not going to allow
my baby to be whitewashed.
But if you're charged
with falsifying a legal form,
then it can be a felony.
It's really too personal.
I'm going to check...
black and white,
because I feel like that's truth for me.
How you doing today?
Ooh, bless you.
You looking at the artwork?
Mommy did that painting for you.
It's about a mama
flying her baby out of oppression.
I want you to be happy and free.
Yes, I do. Yes, I do.
I have his dada's baby book
because I want him to know
who his dad is.
He worked
at the Air Force base in Spokane,
and we didn't really have
a long relationship,
so he kind of made it clear
it was either... marriage or abortion.
And I didn't feel like
that was really where I was at
with my thought process at that point.
Like, those weren't the only two options.
So I proposed that we,
you know, co-parent as friends,
and he wasn't interested in that.
I don't ever intend on introducing him
to any of the Dolezals
or toxic family members.
When it comes to extended family tree,
there's a very real cliff.
Hat for you.
Are you ready to see grandpa?
What's up in here?
-That's good! Is that good?
I met Rachel
about eight, nine years ago.
We had something in common
in art and black history.
And we went on to do
a lot of things in the community.
Did you get all the bouncies?
-Did he get you?
-All right. It's okay.
Shortly after that story broke,
I needed some breathing time.
I needed some space,
'cause, you know, I've had some...
Hmm, hmm...
You know, I'm not a dummy, you know?
I've had some feelings
one way or the other,
you know, over the period of times
that was transpired in all this stuff,
and I said,
"Well, stick to your first mind, Albert."
Because her heart was in the right place.
Her mind was in the right place.
That's the only thing
that meant anything to me.
When she calls me, she says, "Dad."
When I go down,
she introduces me as "Dad."
Okay, that's an honor to me.
Anybody can be a father,
but I don't think very many people
can be a dad or daddy.
Like, I keep thinking like,
"What's next for me?"
And I wish I could use some
of the knowledge that I have,
but with everything
happening on June 11th,
that pretty much wiped
the whole schedule out for me.
If Rachel feels in her heart
that she is a black person,
who are we to say that you are wrong,
you know, in your race?
Race was created by Europeans
and they were wrong.
Maybe 20 years from now
there will be a future
that allows us to be exactly who we are.
-It is going to change.
It's going to change.
You know, just be yourself.
She never woke up and said,
"Franklin, I know what I'm going
to do today. I'm going to be black."
It just gradually happened,
to the point where it was actually
full-blown, she's identifying as black.
When I got custody of Izaiah is
when I started to self-identify as black.
Izaiah didn't want to be seen as adopted.
He wanted to be seen as part of the family
and taking in my brother
set her on that journey even more,
so my brother would feel more with us.
'Cause it wouldn't make sense
for my big brother to look
the way he did if my mom was white.
It happened over time gradually
where I started to view her
as a mother instead of a sister.
I think about situations where she's
been there when nobody else was.
I think that's what a mother is, right?
Izaiah gave me several gifts.
One of them was being his mom.
He also gave me the gift
to be able to name and claim my identity
in a way that I hadn't before.
This is the Clearly Transparent event,
and we're very happy
to be hosting Rachel Dolezal.
So, if we're looking at years, looks like
2016 is becoming really a lot about race
and that was one of the reasons
why I wanted you to be here
to speak about that.
Um, race is so complex.
And there's a lot to say about that.
I was born black. I was born male.
I'm still inhabiting this body,
but from as early as I could remember...
I didn't align with that
and still really don't.
I think once more people feel safe
that you will hear additional stories
about, you know, conflicts
with race identity
or any other kind of intersections
that are in there,
so, in a way, I think Rachel's
kind of like that pioneer.
I remember you saying how you feel
is more powerful than how you're born.
Now, for most folks,
you identify as how you identify
or you accept what you've been
assigned as and you go with that.
But some people, you know,
have to work on that.
And I know that I've got
my own issues with that.
Black and male is
how I'm coded on the outside.
But on the inside, I have felt
more white and female, believe it or not.
It's peculiar to hear that
probably to most people,
but that's what my reality has been,
and another reason why I wanted you here
is because I felt that you were kindred
in that, you know,
you are embodying your truth.
A lot of people don't fit in a box.
And I hope that as a society we can get
to where we can embrace somebody
for exactly who they are
and not impose
this racialized worldview on them.
And neither race nor culture
nor ethnicity are biological.
But we still continue
to proceed as if it were.
I just want to say I like your flavor,
I like your style, I love your hair.
- Thank you.
- But...
- I have struggled as a black female,
- Mm-hmm.
and I don't feel that you share
the struggle of being a black female.
I have earned the right
to call myself a black woman.
So I take issue with you calling yourself
an African-American female
without having to endure
the initiation process of being one.
Explain what that initiation process
would be.
Uh, discrimination in stores.
Discrimination in school.
Discrimination among black people and how
they feel about one color versus another.
Job discrimination.
Racial profiling.
Being pulled over by the police.
That is my experience. So--
Self-hatred towards your hair, eyes,
skin, nose, lip size,
butt size, body shape.
Not being the picture of beauty
in American society.
I understand,
but I have an entire life story
that has led up to this point,
and I apologize if there is anything
I've done with my life choices
that have caused offense.
But I can't cease to exist.
I can't just go away.
I can't stop being.
I'm still here because I do care.
You could be doing so much more with
all of your knowledge and your passion
if you were coming
from an authentic place
of "I grew up this way.
I was born this way."
But you know what, I am for these people
and I believe in their struggles
and this is why we need to end racism
and end white supremacy, yada yada yada.
You're not being able to accomplish
what you could accomplish
if you were being who you really are.
You know, I think
that she's living her authentic self,
but there are a lot of wounds
that we still have to work through.
The idea of race being fluid,
at this point, I'm going to say no.
And the reason I'm going to say no
is because people don't understand
white privilege yet.
Trans-racial is
the epitome of white privilege.
If every ethnic group
cannot do that in the same capacity
and be received in that manner,
then it's a privilege.
If you grew up with that privilege,
it's not something you just
disappear with. It doesn't just go away.
I believe, flat out,
what she's done is fraud.
And she's trying to cover it up with,
"Let me just put something on it,
call it trans-racial."
If you put on black fa-- dark makeup
and you haven't told people
that you are white,
yes, I feel that you're in character
and you're portraying a persona
of what you think
the stereotype is of a black woman.
That's not being authentic.
I think she believed
the lie that she told.
I really do believe
that she came to the point
where she told a lie for over five years
that she actually believed it to be true
and she played it out how she thought
an African-American woman
would play it out.
But to see this woman
do this at this level...
And I'm like, "Wow, she was
a successful black woman."
But I also look at the place
of how race plays in America.
Was it easier for white people
to accept Rachel as an African-American
because she looked like them...
as opposed to a African-American
that has darker skin and kinkier hair?
Because the same message
was presented by several women of color
and never have any of them
received that type of support
in the work that we do
and the things that we say.
Hey, Rachel, it's Mike.
Hey. Okay, we're all here?
-Yeah, we're all here.
-All here.
My book agent has taken up
the cause of trying
to find a publishing house.
All the top 30 publishing houses
have turned it down.
All right, so the deal is this.
BenBella loved the summary,
but he said, "This is what my offer is."
You know, he prefaced it by going,
"Look, I think this book is worth
a lot more than what I'm going to offer."
And if it is, we're all going
to make out in the end anyway.
We're going to get
a lot of media attention on this book,
so we definitely want
to take advantage of the timeliness
that your name
is still very much recognized.
At this point, I've got my cigar about,
I've got the lighter
about one inch from the end of it.
I'm going to celebrate this one.
All right. Okay.
-I miss you guys.
When are we leaving?
-After school.
Mom, I have
baseball practice after school!
I asked if you wanted to come,
if I went back on the Today Show...
-I meant, like--
-and you said, "Yes."
Is it going to be the same as last time?
The freakin' interview
is going to be more positive
because it's about my book deal.
I don't know if they're
going to be nicer this time, Momzy.
Well, they're saying they're going to be.
-So you don't want to go?
What a terrible lie.
Everything about her is a lie.
The slam comes
as the candidate is coming under fire.
People love to say that women lie.
Guys, we're going in
in about another minute.
We're back at 7:40.
One year ago, Rachel Dolezal
became a household name
as the head
of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP.
She found herself
at the center of a media firestorm.
Do you feel now that you have any regrets
about some of the things you said
about yourself that have now
been revealed to not be true?
I'm not sure what you're referring
to with that,
but definitely I don't have any regrets
about how I identify.
I'm still me.
And nothing about that has changed.
I guess I meant the fact
that over the years
you had allowed people to believe
that you were black,
which you now acknowledge
you were born white.
-You'll be writing a book.
What are you hoping to say?
What are you hoping to shed light on?
I'm really excited to write the book
and challenge people to think
about identity and what is race?
Is that one human race
or are there... you know?
Like, why do we still want to go back
to that worldview of separate races?
Rachel Dolezal,
it's good to catch up with you.
Thank you for being here.
-Thank you.
-Appreciate it.
Thank you so much.
There was only that one question
that was just, like,
are you fucking serious?
You don't regret anything
you said that wasn't true?
I was like,
"What did I say that was not true?
Like, can you give me an example?"
- Sorry, guys. I'm sorry.
- You're fine..
Good morning.
Good morning.
Rachel, is the father of the baby
- So it's the van?
- Yes.
Rachel, I wanted to ask you this.
What do you think is the biggest issue
facing African-Americans today?
Do you think your life could be a movie?
Somebody said,
"Honest journalism is dead,"
as a reply to the Today Show.
"Watching and still have no idea
why your 15 minutes--
Why? 'Cause your 15 minutes are up."
That person gets blocked.
People saying I'm too weak
to simply admit the truth.
"No idea why you're..."
I don't get that one.
Somebody said,
"You opted into the black experience.
Well, I wanted to opt the fuck out."
I'm not about to go
on the comments on the Today Show,
'cause I even just opened that
and I could see it was not nice.
"You're a psycho
and in serious need of help."
"I wouldn't piss on her
if she was on fire."
Morning, everybody.
Rachel Dolezal is on the line.
-Hello, Rachel.
- Good morning!
Rachel, why would you
get yourself sucked back into the vortex
by putting out a book like this?
Well, I see it more
as getting out of the vortex, honestly.
Yet the main question
most people have is
what in the world were you thinking
pretending to be black?
Well, first of all,
I didn't pretend to be black.
But you did,
because you're not black.
No, because race
is a social construct.
Rachel, there are
some people out there listening
that would say that that is crazy.
If you're saying race doesn't matter,
then what does it matter
if you're white or black?
'Cause I'd like to know
at what point identity trumps reality.
How do you define
somebody who's black or white?
How do you define race?
Is it because you feel
like you want to be that way or what?
It's sort of the ultimate white privilege
to be genetically white,
but then to say, "No, I'm black,"
'cause you don't have to take on
any of the negative.
People say writing a book
is very therapeutic.
Have you ever had therapy?
Did anyone say, like,
this is not a normal thought process?
Or have you thought about that?
Like, maybe I should just go to therapy
and find out how I got here?
You're missing breakfast.
I got you fruit.
Time to get up. Come on.
I don't want to.
Franklin! Come on.
'Cause you didn't ask for this.
None of us did. Get up.
No, you did.
-Come on.
-I didn't.
Wake up, okay? I got you fruit.
I got you berries, watermelon.
There's orange juice, eggs.
We have food.
-Pancakes if you want some.
-I'll have a side of life invasion.
Hi, Storms. Are you there?
-Yeah. How are you doing?
-Good. I got chapter 21.
Yeah. I think
that was a pretty critical chapter.
You're fully owning being a black woman.
I think it was essential we fleshed it out
in the right way, 'cause--
-Right. Yeah.
-You know.
We're getting it done, though.
I'm feeling a lot better.
Twenty-one was a hurdle,
and now it's going to be smooth sailing.
Izaiah's chapter is coming up next
after the hur--
Neo-Nazi harassment chapter.
You know, Izaiah and Franklin
are so worried.
They're just like,
"How much are we in this book?
What are you going to say about us?"
I'm like, "I'm not trying
to write your life story,
but I really don't--"
I kind of have to make it personal.
And I have to put out a book
that's pretty transparent and personal,
and... and I know
that they're not ready for that
at their young ages right now.
And they kind of worry
about how it might impact their future.
It feels kind of shitty to me,
'cause I want to protect them.
At the same time,
I've got to do what I've got to do here,
and I've got to believe that the project
as a whole is going to hold together
and is going to, you know...
really be good for all of us.
Izaiah, how many pancakes do you want?
-Seven? Are you serious?
I'm just trying to figure out
myself right now, to be honest.
I'd like to see myself,
five years from now,
getting out of law school
with a J.D. from Howard.
If you're at Howard,
the environment itself nurtures you,
because everything's pro-black
for your empowerment.
Let's take a bunch.
Looks good!
It's been 13 years
since I've been here, so...
I love this campus.
There's a lot of history. You can tell.
One, two, three.
I'm trying to get Izaiah
to come to the law school here.
All right.
Izaiah, you should come in.
Ma'am, is your name Rachel Dolezal?
I was just wondering,
'cause I was like, "Am I crazy?"
Oh, God.
It's like everybody's starting to get
their cell phones out and everything.
It starts to get a little uncomfortable.
I guess for me, I don't know.
It's kind of off and on for me,
you know, as far as how it feels.
I guess I'll be honest
and say, like, when we are together,
it's more so, um...
It's just difficult at this point in time
because we have the same last name.
And so, my name will get out eventually.
It's just a matter of time,
I think, if I was to go there.
I don't know. I almost feel
like a burden to be with you, honestly.
'Cause I feel like when we're in public...
I just want you to be free
to, like, live your own life and not...
You know?
I don't want to be a shadow,
like, following.
I'm just aware of it.
I see this article
about you being at Howard.
What are they saying now?
"Rachel Dolezal's spotted
on Howard U's campus
filming a documentary on race."
I'm filming a documentary on race?
I really do not want to focus
on this for the rest of my life.
Do you think I do?
Well, why don't you just let it go away?
When something gets destroyed,
you have to rebuild it.
You can't just pretend
that it didn't happen
and everything gets fixed.
Why did the interviews
have to happen then, Mom?
Why couldn't you have just done that book?
It's called rebuilding.
Some people read--
This is going to affect
more than just your life.
Some people read, and so--
Yeah, what happened
affected more than just my life.
If somebody has hope,
don't take that away from them,
- 'cause maybe that's all they have.
- I'm not.
Trust me.
It is going to bite me in the ass.
This book coming out
and this documentary
might just backfire
like everything else has backfired.
Do you resent her choices?
I resent some of her choices
and I resent some of the words
she's spoken in interviews.
So talk to me. What's going on?
It's your film. We're taking this risk.
I'm putting my kids out there.
I'm putting Esther out there.
It's hard.
And I'm trying
to be the gatekeeper and keep--
And then you're just,
like, handing it over
to somebody who can just,
like, be a wrecking ball.
She can identify whatever she
wants to be, 'cause it's her business,
but when it's put in the limelight,
I don't think you should be pissing
people off more than they already are
unless you want
to get bit in the ass from it.
And she did not choose
her words carefully.
And it affected me.
It affected my brother.
The more that I hear about it,
the more that I talk to people about it,
the more it just drains me.
So what am I forgetting, Franklin?
What has not been said?
What don't people know about this story?
Nothing that I want people to know.
We've had some unusual activity
and I haven't really talked
to the neighbors,
but I was on Twitter the other day
and saw "That bitch
lives in my neighborhood. Yuck."
and had like the swastika
with the eagle and the wings, you know?
It's just hard to tell sometimes,
if people are just showing
their true colors online
or if they're more than talk.
The hate crimes,
I don't know if all of it,
like every single one was real,
but I know that the ones
that I was definitely affected by
were definitely real.
But I think everyone's capable
of lying about something like that.
It just matters
who's willing to go that far
and who's willing
to go through that mental pressure.
And I don't think my mom's willing
to go through that mental pressure...
but she could do that.
I'm not saying that she did.
I'm just saying that she could.
I do think part of her
trying to live out her identity
was about making it believable...
and assuming a level of experience
that she had not had.
Most of the time
when she would speak publicly,
she would speak only of hardship.
And then I would go back
and I'd think about all the times
that I felt like she was one-ing up me
or other people with her plight
and how every single time
she talks about anything
that has to do with her blackness,
it's always about her struggles.
And that seemed to be her way
of reminding people that she's black.
And her sons, the fact that her sons
would always have issues in schools
is what gave her a struggle.
If you were to ever really be around her,
she would always start off with,
"My black sons..."
For 500 years,
black life has been devalued,
and as my two sons here,
as symbolic victims,
with the dying or laying on the ground...
She uses them as an in
in order to have more struggle by proxy
to the strife of our community,
as a way to say...
"I'm at risk... 'cause of my black sons."
I had made a post
about Langston being born.
Somebody just posted, you know,
"Why do I see pictures
of your stupid N-word son's bare ass feet?
Those should be work boots I see."
Another one says, "I'll cheer him up
by slapping my unprotected dick
on his cheek
and then stroking it
till I bust in his eye, N-word."
So, it's gotten really out of hand.
I mean, especially
when you're attacking a newborn baby.
Why do you post?
If that's what you're going to get,
why do you post?
Why am I on social media?
I'm on social media--
I mean, I stay on social media
because it's the only way that I have
a presence in the world right now.
It's the only thing
that I have control over.
My case has been dropped.
I had a very strong case
and then everything kind of just flopped.
Because of how this scandal
has affected my sister's credibility,
it also has had an effect
on my credibility,
and so it's going to be harder
for me to find people to believe,
you know, my story
and believe what happened.
I have been trying to get in contact
with the district attorney
to see if there's anyone
who is willing to take my case,
but I haven't heard
any response back from anyone.
But I'm still hoping that I'll hear back.
It's time for me
to get out of the U.S. for a bit.
This scandal has had an impact on me.
Could you pass me that...
-The other cord.
This past year kind of has driven me to
put more emphasis on finding my own self,
to stop being known as Rachel's son
and start being known as Izaiah,
like, my own person.
Did you actually look into
whether it's cheaper
to just leave it on
till you get back in December?
I still have to--
Assuming I'm coming back in December.
It's a very unique and difficult
battle she has to face alone.
This might end up being
a little overweight.
As far as what she does
to get her story across,
I don't get involved with that
because I feel like that's not for me.
I don't know what's best for what
she should or what she shouldn't do.
She'll figure it out, though.
He can kind of shed the baggage
of association even though, you know,
it pains me to think about that,
but I feel like
to some extent it's just easier
for him to not be, like, right with me.
I'm going to be honest.
I am definitely
running out of patience for this.
The one thing that she could do
that would make people happy
is if she'd said, "Hey, I'm white."
But she's never going to do that,
so I don't see how she's going
to be able to change it that much.
You can't tell her, my mom, what to do.
Like, yeah.
Can't tell her what to do,
and you can't tell her what to say
or how to think or anything like that.
What do you wish? What do you hope for?
I hope this will all just go away...
so I can get on with my life
and not worry about it.
One of the saddest things for me
is really losing my community
and losing my sense of home.
I don't think I'll ever
be seen the same as I was.
People saw who I am
for only a few years of my life.
And that's really who I am.
I'm so hyper-conscious
of what other people are seeing me as
and how other people are viewing
my interpretation of myself.
It kind of just becomes
a lot of noise in my head.
There's been an entire year wasted,
'cause I've been sitting in this house.
The work that I was doing
has been all but stopped locally,
and the work that I was doing
with police accountability
has been completely stopped.
I'm benched, you know,
from the game right now,
and that's hard,
because I feel like I could be an asset.
I'm just like, "Put me back in the game.
Like, I'm ready."
I'm trying to take all this negativity
and turn it into something positive.
With collage, there's a process
of bringing order out of chaos.
Making something beautiful
out of something that would be discarded.
Black Lives Matter!
Whose lives matter?
With the Trump presidency,
civil rights are being pulled back.
So I feel like there's not time
to wait for my book to come out
and all these other things to happen.
Like, the time is now.
Whose lives matter? Black Lives Matter!
If I am able to just kind of incognito
support and participate,
that's at least something.
Last Martin Luther King day,
I was still just really raw
from getting pummeled.
I didn't want to go anywhere.
But, like, what else could people
say or do that hasn't already been said?
No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist U.S.A.!
- I'm so happy to meet you.
- Nice to meet you too.
I've been a strong supporter of yours
for many years.
What are you doing now?
I've been writing a book,
which comes out in March.
Your story?
Whose lives matter? Black Lives Matter!
I'm cautiously optimistic about the book,
and I hope that the humanness of me
is going to come through.
-Karl Mord is my name.
-I'm the producer.
-Nice to meet you.
Very nice to meet you.
Thank you for being here today.
Back at 8:38.
Rachel Dolezal
gained worldwide notoriety in 2015
when questions about her race
and ethnicity came to light.
Well, now she's written a book
about her life.
It's called In Full Color.
I'm sure it's a mixed bag, writing a book.
In some ways I'm sure it was cathartic,
but now you're
back in the spotlight again.
Any trepidation about that?
I'm almost 40 years old now,
and I know who I am
and I'm completely comfortable with that.
I do like the term trans-black.
I wasn't born this way,
but this is who I really am.
In the book, she compares herself
to a slave
and talks about how she fantasized that
she was kidnapped and taken from Africa.
Rachel, I learned a lot in the book.
Mostly I learned that it's
a much more complicated story.
-Quite a story, thank you very much.
-Thank you.
The book is out now.
It raises all sorts of really,
really interesting topics for debate.
Thank you for joining us.
Good afternoon,
and welcome to the New York Times
live Facebook chat.
We have a guest joining us today.
Rachel, can you introduce yourself?
Yes. Hello, my name is Rachel Dolezal,
and I've just recently written a book
and I'm really excited
to just discuss more about my journey
and the topics that it includes.
All right.
We do occasionally get
emotional emails from readers,
but we touched a nerve when we asked them
for their questions for you.
Viewers, you can post your questions
in the comment section now
and I'll begin by reading a couple
of their messages to get your response.
This is from Peter Scanlan.
"I enjoy the race-related column,
but why do you give
your valuable space to this fraud?"
And Rita Shaw posted,
"Why are you promoting this person?
The continual coverage she gets
only serves to do
greater violence to the community."
A question from Karima Wilson asks,
"What is the purpose of having her on?
How does it further anything?"
Your ass is still over here
benefitting from being a white woman
simply by being able
to give this goddamn interview,
simply for being able to be on all
these mainstream media-esque platforms,
because if somebody's black ass was over
here pretending that their ass was white,
the media would not take them seriously
with their dark skin and kinky hair.
It wouldn't happen!
In 2011, nearly 90% of all of the books
reviewed by the New York Times
were authored by white people.
Ten of those books reviewed by the
New York Times were by black women.
Ten. In a year.
People are saying that we should laud her
because she's done more for us
than we've done for ourselves.
Stop trying to act like black women
haven't been out here
fighting for ourselves,
fighting for our rights.
Do you guys know who Rachel Dolezal is?
Great. I do, too.
Just because you do good work
in the black community
doesn't mean you have to be black,
doesn't mean you get to be black.
Yeah, I feel like
she was a culture vulture.
Cultural appropriation.
Stealing from our culture
as they usually do.
This person pretty much stole
the life experiences of black women
and then tried to tell black women
about themselves... as a white woman.
My God.
Another white fiend lusting
after something she ain't bleed for.
Come here, girl!
My fist will make you the blackest bruise
you could ever wish to be.
And you'll still prosper?
You'll get a Lifetime movie entitled
All My Life I Had to Steal.
If you look inside of all of us,
like, we're all the same.
So to say you feel black, that means
that you can feel our oppression,
that you could feel our culture,
that you could feel our--
I'm not buying it.
I am a black man, but you cannot define me
by any of these fucking stereotypes.
She would say, "I feel black."
This is like saying all black people got
to like fried chicken, watermelon, right?
They got to listen to rap music.
You may stand besides me,
but when you say that that is you,
that that is your life, well,
that to me is disingenuous and total BS,
and you can keep that
and you can keep your book.
Betsy Walsh asks,
"Can you see yourself as identifying
as white sometime in the near future?"
What we need to do is start pushing
the voices of black women to the forefront
and pushing Rachel's
all the way to the back.
From my outsider's point of view,
it does feel like
the black community has spoken.
Can you be black or not be black
and who governs that decision?
I think there's no disagreement
that, you know, ultimately
black people govern blackness, right?
I would say that, um...
I feel...
I don't know.
I think that there's a place
for everybody at the table.
And I don't think
that the energy of attack and exclusion
is moving us towards equality.
But what about emotionally?
When somebody says,
"I can't do what you do
and that's why you doing it
makes me angry."
You know, I can't...
You know, I'm just not going to ever...
I'm never going to be that...
18-year-old white girl in Montana again,
wearing Amish dresses.
I can't live
in that particular mode again.
I'm not going to subject myself
to the punishment
of my parents all over again.
It's a God-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mommy is yelling no
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she's hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
'Cause she's seen it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh, man
Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh, man
Wonder if he'll ever know
He's on the best-selling show
Is there life on
Oh, oh, oh, oh
It's on America's tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now serving R369.
'Cause Lennon's on sale again...
What are we doing for you today?
So I'm doing a name change.
All right.
How are you going
to pronounce your first name?
-And middle name?
-And last name?
All right.
Two Ls, yeah.
So, if you take a look
here at the monitor...
Mm-hmm.'s going to pop up your new name.
So, top name is who you came in as.
Second name is who you're leaving as.
All right, congratulations.
-Hopefully this is a good thing for you.
-Thank you. Yeah.
All right.
As painless as that.
Wait for the flash.
And done.
All right. There you go.
-Thank you.
-You're welcome. Take care.
All right. You too.
A new start.
Is there life on
Is there life on Mars?
Took her to the Greyhound station
But they wouldn't take her fake ID
She said I been all over creation
And creation been all over me
If you were a color and I was a sound
We'd be
The loudest pretty thing around
To take a lot of pain
Takes a lot of nerve
You're better than I deserve
Looked and you searched
Your whole life through
When you finally saw it
It didn't see you
Bad choices set fire to the past
Like something funny
That won't let you laugh
If I was a color and you were a sound
We'd be
The loudest pretty thing around
Takes a lot of pain
Take a lot of nerve
You're better than I deserve
What if the grail wasn't holy?
What if it wasn't even a grail
Words on his skin
In red pen
Drain every drop of love
Out of your body by the end
If you were a color and I was a sound
We'd be
The loudest pretty thing around
To take a lot of pain
Takes a lot of nerve
You're better than I deserve
Takes a lot of pain
Takes a lot of nerve
You're better than I deserve