Dolezal: 'When I Was A Kid, I Drew Myself With The Brown Crayon'

Photo: Colin Mulvany/AP Photo.
Rachel Dolezal, who stepped down yesterday from her role as president of the NAACP's Spokane chapter, finally broke her silence on the Today Show Tuesday morning.

"I identify as black," Dolezal said, while not denying that, as the child of two white parents, she'd be considered by most as white. "It's a little more complex."

In a sit-down with Matt Lauer, Dolezal said she's long identified with the black community, saying that even as a child, she "self-identified with the black experience. I was drawing self portraits with the black crayon instead of the peach crayon."

When Matt Lauer asked her one of the most controversial questions around the scandal, whether she darkens her own skin, Dolezal wasn't entirely clear. "I have a huge issue with blackface. I don't put on blackface as a performance," she said, leaving it open to interpretation whether that means she doesn't darken her skin at all, or that she feels she does it in a more authentic way.

"I certainly don't stay out of the sun... But, this isn't some freak, Birth of a Nation blackface performance," she said. "On a very real, connected level, I’ve had to go there." She also agreed with a quote Lauer read from a recent Washington Post story that states blackface is always racist.

Lauer also asked about her lawsuit against Howard University, the historically black college she attended, and which she sued in 2002 for discriminating against her for being white. Lauer asked if she hadn't, in that instance, re-adopted her white identity out of convenience. She disagreed, saying that when she became pregnant, she was denied her scholarship and TA job because people at the university assumed her white relatives could help her — and she maintains that was unjust. The lawsuit was unsuccessful.

"They support the way I identify," Dolezal said of her sons, Isaiah and Franklin, who were in the studio for the live taping. "Mom, racially you're human and culturally you're black," she said one of them told her.

Dolezal had been expected to speak at an NAACP meeting set for Monday, but cancelled it without rescheduling. Later that day, she used a Facebook post to resign her position. "Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It's about justice," she wrote.

More from Politics

1. Major News: A bill to prevent the government from shutting down and to fund the fight against Zika was stalled in the Senate. With a 45-55 vote, the...
We're clearly entering a golden age of socially conscious athletes. As the United States undergoes one of its most important eras of social upheaval since ...
Next week, a bill that bars Louisiana strip clubs from hiring dancers under the age of 21 goes into effect, and while it's been in discussion for some ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
But take heart. There won’t be a President Trump. Not if I and millions of other women in this country have anything to say about it
A young girl delivered a powerful message of peace speaking at the first Charlotte City Council meeting since violence threatened to rip the city apart ...
Hillary Clinton long ago learned to let the insults roll off her back. And in doing so, she’s uncovered Trump's Achilles' heel
Donald Trump believes that climate change is a hoax. Sorry, Donald Trump does not believe that climate change is a hoax. Are you confused yet? I don't ...
Less than 12 hours after being criticized for calling out a former Miss Universe about her weight, Donald Trump is doubling down on his body-shaming ...
Watching the first presidential debate, I felt three things: terror, inspiration, and skepticism
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
Imagine if Donald Trump had accused Hillary Clinton of fighting ISIS her "whole life"? Or if Clinton had coined the term "Trumped Up, Trickle Down" on ...
"Wrong." "That makes me smart." "Why Not?" "Ugh." No, those aren't snippets of a conversation with a cranky 5-year-old. They're just a few of the ...
1. ICYMI: Charlotte lifted its curfew after days of protests following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Scott, 43, was shot and killed last Tuesday...