Rachel Dolezal Says She Has No Regrets About Racial Identity Controversy: "Racism Created Race"

The former NAACP chapter president from Spokane says racial identity is too "complex" to squeeze into a sound bite.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

Rachel Dolezal has no regrets. When we last heard from the former NAACP chapter president from Spokane, she was breaking down how her strict Christian upbringing ultimately inspired her to pursue a more "organic" process of finding a truer self. "I was my own personal Jesus," Dolezal toldBroadly back in December. "I was able to trust my own intuition."

The results of that intuition, of course, dominated headlines throughout 2015 and inspired a heated national discussion on the meaning of race in modern America. On Tuesday, Dolezal gave the nation an update on her post-scandal life and revealed her plans to pen a book on the complexities of racial identity.

"I don't have any regrets about how I identify," Dolezal toldToday's Savannah Guthrie. "I'm still me and nothing about that has changed." When asked to look back on her controversial 2015, Dolezal revealed her only wish was that she had given herself "permission" to live her life how she sees fit much sooner. "It took me almost 30 years to get there," she recalled. "Certainly, I feel like it's a complex issue. How do you just sum up a whole life of kind of coming into who you are into a sound bite?"

Dolezal, who hopes to eventually return to teaching and "social justice work," is currently working on a book centered on her own experiences with racial identity. "Race is such a contentious issue because of the painful history of racism," Dolezal told Guthrie. However, Dolezal argues, its history is more complicated than that. "Race didn't create racism," she said. "Racism created race."

Latest in Life