She used to be a white woman named Rachel Dolezal posing as a black woman named Rachel Dolezal.
Now, she’s going by a much more African-sounding name – “Nkechi Diallo” – but she’s got an official new identity she probably never wanted:
The racially confused woman who became a nationally known figure – and national laughingstock — by pretending to be black was booked into the Spokane County jail in Washington state on Monday to face charges including welfare fraud, according to Fox News.
Last month, the woman now known as Diallo pleaded not guilty to the charges against her – first-degree theft by welfare fraud, second-degree perjury and making false verification, Fox News reported.
The charges stem from Diallo (who was known as Rachel Dolezal until October 2016, according to Fox) receiving more than $8,000 in food and child care assistance by maintaining she only had an income of $500 per month.
In reality, Fox reported, the woman who wrote an autobiography called “In Full Color” had deposited $84,000 into her bank account from 2015 to 2017 from “book sales, speaking engagements, soap making, doll making and the sale of her art, according to the case file.”
The criminal charge was the latest in the sad and very strange story of a woman who was born to white parents but considered herself black.
She forged a pretty good life for herself while posing as a black woman too, according to the Coeur d’Alene Press, the Idaho newspaper that outed her in a lengthy article in 2015.
The daughter of two very white parents in northwest Montana, Dolezal lived in Coeur D’Alene from 2008 to 2010 and was education director of the Human Rights Education Institute, an anti-racism organization
From there, she moved to Spokane, where she became chairwoman of the city’s Police Ombudsman Commission and president of the local chapter of the NAACP. She was also a professor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington State University.
She got launched into national headlines in 2015 when she made a public issue out of a Spokane restaurant’s sign that alluded to the famous phrase “I can’t breathe,” which is associated with the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being arrested by police in New York City in September 2014.
As the NAACP president, the 100 percent Caucasian Dolezal told a Spokane-area newspaper that the restaurant should not have alluded to the phrase. And that “the strangling of Eric Garner’s case reminds us of our cultural memory of the strangling through the nooses.”
“Our cultural memory” of nooses. She didn’t mean whites.
It wasn’t just that she was posing as a mixed-race, hyper-woke official that made Dolezal’s case so bizarre, though.
It was the way she slandered her parents and her own upbringing while doing it. According to the Coeur D’Alene Press report:
- She told interviewers she was raised in a teepee, according to the Press. She said the man who raised her with her mother was her stepfather (he wasn’t). She said her natural father was black.
- She claimed she was whipped by her parents as a child with instruments that “were pretty similar to what was used as whips during slavery.’
- She even sometimes claimed a black stepson her parents had adopted was actually her own illegitimate son.
In addition, she accused her biological brother of molesting both her and a black girl their parents had adopted. The brother was cleared of all criminal charges related to the adopted girl, according to the U.K. Daily Mail. He was never charged with molesting Dolezal.
From the long and public record, it’s clear this woman’s life was built on a series of lies. When it fell apart, she was reduced to lying about her income to get government assistance it doesn’t look like she actually needed.
But at least she’s found a new identity she’ll live with for a while: Criminal defendant.
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