NBC News gets first crack at Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP leader who is reported to have misrepresented her race. Dolezal, who resigned her post today in a letter but otherwise has been silent since a newspaper wrote about her racial identity last week, will break her silence in exclusive interviews with NBC News and MSNBC tomorrow.
NBC News landed the “get” despite/because of having today piled on interviews with her white parents, from whom she is estranged.
Following a live, in-studio interview with Matt Lauer on Today, Dolezal will sit down for separate interviews with Savannah Guthrie for NBC Nightly News, Melissa Harris-Perry for MSNBC, and NBCBLK, NBCNews.com’s African-American vertical.
Dolezal resigned from her position as president of the NAACP’s Spokane chapter in the wake of the report she is the child of white parents who has been identifying herself as a black woman. This morning on NBC’s Today, mother, Ruthanne, speculated that her daughter “may have felt that she had some advantage in her activism by being portrayed as a black woman.”
She added, “We hope that Rachel will get the help she needs to deal with her identity issues. “Of course we love her, and we hope that she will come to a place where she knows and believes and speaks the truth.”
Her father, Larry, said the Coeur d’Alene Press contacted them about a week ago “to see if we were, in fact, her parents.”
“We taught our children, as we raised all six of them, ‘Tell the truth, always be honest,'” he said. “So we weren’t going to lie; we told the truth: Rachel is our birth daughter.”
After their daughter announced her resignation in a letter, they couple appeared on MSNBC to continue to say they hope she gets her identity issues resolved and that they wish her well. Last week, when the Coeur d’Alene Press report broke, she was quoted as saying of her parents: “What I would say to them is that I don’t give two s***s what you guys think. You are so far done and out of my life.” In a statement late last week, the NAACP said Dolezal was involved in a “legal issue with her family.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.