She posted a letter regarding her resignation on the NAACP Spokane chapter's website, first calling attention to the "racial and social justice movement" in Spokane, Washington and beyond, before addressing the criticism she's faced. Rachel wrote, "And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity."
"I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions - absent the full story," she continued. In case you missed it, Rachel – who was outed as a white woman by her parents to the media - not only was the president of the NAACP's Spokane chapter, but also teaches African American studies. The issue was never that she's a white woman who wanted to help the African American community or who took an interest in black culture. What got everyone expressing their "confusions" and "feelings" is that she pretended to be black for years and didn't need to do that to accomplish what she has.
Rachel's misstep not only got everyone talking, it also got the #askrachel hashtag trending, with people posting questions that might be difficult to answer if you're not familiar with black culture.
Like this one:
In her note of resignation, she continued, "In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP. It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum."
To what architectural structure did lil Jon direct us towards? A.) the roof B.) the window C.) the wall D.) both B and C #askrachel— John Pendleton (@johnspendleton) June 13, 2015
She went on to emphasize that she's still committed to "empowering marginalized voices," and that she will "never never stop fighting for human rights." Even with all she said in the letter though, she still didn't explain why she pretended to be black for so many years, nor did she admit that she is white.
This is a strong lesson to just be yourself. Instead of everyone talking about the strides Rachel made as the president of the Spokane NAACP chapter or the way she has fought for civil rights, she's now known as the 'white woman who pretended to be black.' And people are still making memes about it.