Keri Hilson
Keri Hilson (pictured) told her Twitter followers they should thank Rachel Dolezal, which then started a controversy. Getty

Performer Keri Hilson, who has appeared in Hollywood films like “Burlesque” with Christina Aguilera and “Easy A” with Emma Stone, sent Twitter aflutter Friday after she said people should thank Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), who is apparently white.

People quickly began to attack Hilson, 32, for her statement. She defended herself and said it was her opinion and people did not have to agree with it.

But Hilson got people so worked up that her name soon became a top-trending Twitter topic Friday, ahead of trends that had to do with Dolezal, like #AskRachel, #WrongSkin and #Transracial.

Dolezal has not issued a statement since her parents said she was born Caucasian, but the NAACP stands behind her and the work she has done for their organization. “The NAACP One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criterion or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership. The NAACP Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Conference stands behind Ms. Dolezal’s advocacy record,” part of the group’s statement said.

In fact, when she accepted a position as an adjunct instructor of Africana Studies in 2010 at Eastern Washington University, in Cheney, Wash., her race was never questioned. “It was assumed that she was black,” Scott Finnie, director of the Africana Studies Program, said in a telephone interview Friday. “Her own ethnicity was not germane to her being adequately credentialed to teach the courses that we needed her to [teach].”

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