Rachel Dolezal's Parents, Larry And Ruthanne, Say They Hope To Reconcile With Their Daughter Someday
Less than a week since her story hit the national airwaves, Rachel Dolezal resigned from the NAACP as chapter president in Spokane, Washington. With how quickly the media firestorm escalated, it's easy to forget her parents were the ones who outed her true race in the Coeur d'Alene Press. Dolezal's parents, Lawrence (Larry) and Ruthanne Dolezal, have given a number of interviews over the past several days, from BuzzFeed to Fox News. Their Today appearance on Monday, however, which took place hours before Rachel's resignation, offered a new look at what may have led their daughter, who is white, to present herself as a black woman.
On Monday, the Dolezals told Today they had not previously confronted their daughter about the misrepresentation of her race because the family had been estranged for years.
We had never been asked to be involved. We had never been questioned before.
But the Dolezals insisted they didn't seek out to get their story in the news. Rather, Larry said they were contacted by the Coeur d'Alene Press as possibly "part of some investigative reporting" and decided to tell the truth.
We taught our children, as we raised all six of them, tell the truth. Always be honest. So we weren't going to lie. We told the truth. Rachel is our birth daughter.
When asked what outcome they hoped to see from the public debacle, the Dolezals said they were optimistic for their family's future.
(Larry) We still hold out hope that we'll be able to be reconciled someday.(Ruthanne) And we hope that Rachel will get the help that 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
Though they say they did not intend to make their story known, they haven't hesitated in offering more insight into who Rachel is. In an interview with People, Ruthanne described Rachel as a "master artist" who was "very good at doing her makeup."
She was always winning prizes … she was always at the top of everything – top of her class, top of any kind of exhibits she put [her work] into … art shows.
Today scored big with the Dolezal family: Rachel is set to sit down for a live interview with Matt Lauer Tuesday morning on Today. It will be the first time she will speak on the controversy that has since created new discussion on what it means to be black, or any race for that matter.