Despite months of reluctance to address the issue head on, Rachel Dolezal finally admitted in an on-air interview Monday to be being born a white woman. The former president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP made an appearance on daytime televvision show "The Real" to argue that she should still be treated as a black woman, even though she is white.
All of the show's panelists are women of color and appeared to be unconvinced by Dolezal's claim of black womanhood. Dolezal was the center of a national controversy this summer for arguing she was "transracial," which critics called cultural appropriation.
Panelist Jeannie Mai, who is black, told the ex-NAACP activist it was difficult for people to understand her rhetoric on race.
“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," Mai said.
It was Mai's blunt statement that led Dolezal to concede for the first time publicly that she is white.
“Right, and that’s why I said, I acknowledge that I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black,” said Dolezal.
The audience, in response, erupted into applause and gave her a standing ovation.
Dolezal's parents were the first to come forward with the truth about her background after a Spokane newspaper reporter contacted the family. Her parents told the International Business Times in June that their daughter long embraced black culture.
“It was very noticeable,” Larry Dolezal, her father, said. “She loved the black people and embraced black as beautiful.”
Her parents expressed their confusion about their daughter's claims. She once claimed she had a black father and lived in South Africa, where she hunted for food with a bow and arrow.
“I think at this stage, she firmly believes her lies,” said her mother, Ruthanne Dolezal. “This case with Rachel poses the question, is it OK to lie?”
Watch the full interview from Monday here: