Infamy has not been kind to Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP leader who kicked off a national debate about racial identity after claiming she is black though her parents are white.
The only work she’s been offered since the scandal broke in 2015 is in reality TV and pornography, she says in a new interview with Britain’s The Guardian newspaper.
She still, unapologetically, identifies as a black woman and does not believe she did anything wrong.
“I don’t think you can do something wrong with your identity if you’re living in your authenticity, and I am,” she told the Guardian. “If I thought it was wrong, I would admit it.
“I’m not going to stoop and apologize and grovel and feel bad about it.”
Today she is jobless, living on food stamps and is days away from being homeless, said the 39-year-old woman who used to lead the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash.
“She has applied for more than 100 jobs, but no one will hire her, not even to stack supermarket shelves,” The Guardian reports. “She applied for a position at the university where she used to teach, and says she was interviewed by former colleagues who pretended to have no recollection of having met her.
“She has changed her name on all her legal documents, but is still recognized wherever she goes. People point at her and laugh.”
Dolezal feels as if she is still atoning for what happened.
“Right now the only place that I feel understood and completely accepted is with my kids and my sister,” she told the newspaper.
Dolezal instigated national debate about racial identity when it was discovered that though she was living as a black woman she was born to white parents. Her parents released childhood photos of her as a young blonde girl to prove her biological Caucasian background.
She said in interviews that her hair style and tanned skin led people to believe she was black and she didn’t correct them.
At the height of the scandal she resigned her position with the NAACP and Eastern Washington University fired her from a teaching job.
She told the Guardian that she “began to see the world through black eyes” as a teenager when her parents adopted four black children.
She writes about that experience in her upcoming memoir, “In Full Color.” She said 30 publishing houses turned down her story until she found one willing to publish it.
“The narrative was that I’d offended both communities in an unforgivable way, so anybody who gave me a dime would be contributing to wrong and oppression and bad things, to a liar and a fraud and a con,” she told the Guardian.
Dolezal said she wrote her memoir to “set the record straight” and to open up a dialogue about race and identity and encourage people to be who they are.
“I feel like the idea of being trans-black would be much more accurate than ‘I’m white.’ Because you know, I’m not white,” she said.