Rachel Dolezal sat down with the hosts of The Real on Monday to talk about her highly-publicized removal as head of the NAACP, and said for the first time that she is biologically white.
The interview came five months after Dolezal made headlines for refusing to answer a reporter’s questions about her race, sparking an investigation into her family and history. What was uncovered garnered more questions than answered, but Dolezal didn’t say much about it other than to acknowledge that she “identifies” as black. She repeated as much on The Real, but also admitted she was born to white parents.
“I acknowledge that I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black…sometimes how we feel is more powerful than how we’re born, and blackness can be defined as philosophical, cultural, biological, you know, it’s a lot of different things to a lot of different people,” Dolezal said.
While many are unable to understand where Dolezal is coming from, she says she went through many years of confusion before she was able to be comfortable in her own skin, and identifying as black helped her through those times.
“I’ve had my years of confusion and wondering who I really was and why and how do I live my life and make sense of it all, but I’m not confused about that any longer. I think the world might be – but I’m not. I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms,” she told Vanity Fair earlier this year.
The women on The Real held nothing back, asking Dolezal why she never told the truth about her heritage during certain times in her life–such as when she received a scholarship that would have otherwise gone to a black woman. When asked if she was ashamed to admit it, Dolezal said that “white isn’t a race, it’s a state of mind.”