‘As a person, you have to just continue to be who you are,’ said Dolezal, who calls herself transracial. ‘And you can’t change who you are.’
Six years after gaining notoriety as a white woman who lived for years as a Black woman, Rachel Dolezal told Tamron Hall she still can’t find a job.
In 2015, Dolezal was living in Spokane, Washington, working as a professor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University and serving as president of the local chapter of the NAACP. For years, she had lived as a mixed-race woman who identified as Black, only to be outed as a white woman who was lying about being Black.
She then defined herself as “transracial” — and quickly became a punchline for comedians across racial lines, despite trying to explain her story in interviews and a Netflix documentary.
On Monday’s episode of “The Tamron Hall Show,” Dolezal said she has experienced financial challenges and has been unable to secure a job based on what she calls being misunderstood.
“I started with applying for all of the things I was qualified for, and after interviews and getting turned down, I even applied to jobs that didn’t even require degrees,” she said — jobs, she added, like “being a maid at a hotel, working at a casino. I wasn’t able to get any of those jobs either.”
Dolezal told Hall she wished she could be seen for “who” she is versus “what” she is.
“A mother, an activist, and an artist … that’s really who I am.” she said. “When it comes to race and identity, I’ve always identified racially as ‘human’ but have found more of a home in Black culture and the Black community, and that hasn’t changed.”
“I’m still doing the work, I’m still pressing forward, but it has been really tough for sure,” she maintained. “Not having a job for six years, having to create my own job and find my own ways to provide for my children through braiding hair, through grant writing to bring funds into marginalized communities and Black-owned businesses and non-profits, through painting, through doing pep talks on Cameo.com.”
“It’s definitely been a long six years,” said Dolezal, “but I really strongly believe that as a person, you have to just continue to be who you are. And you can’t change who you are.”
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