Rachel Dolezal: Black Critics "Don't Know What I've Walked Through And How Hard It Is"

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Former Spokane NAACP chief Rachel Dolezal speaks to MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry about how "hard" it is to be transracial and be rejected by some elements of the black community. Dolezal says her critics "don't know what I've actually walked through and how hard it is."

"Stepping outside of myself, I would probably be enraged," Dolezal said about herself.

"They don't know me," Dolezal said about critics in the black community. "They really don't know what I've actually walked through and how hard it is. This has not been something that just is a casual, you know, come and go sort of identity, you know, or an identity crisis or something to fade away."

MELISSA HARRIS PERRY: When you talk about -- when you respond to my questions, are you black and your response is yes, there are listeners who are enraged. Not confused, enraged. And many of those listeners, many of those observers who are angry are black women. Can you understand that anger?

RACHEL DOLEZAL: Yes. And I would say in a -- stepping outside of myself, I would probably be enraged. I would be like what the -- this person, how dare she claim this? But those -- they don't know me. They really don't know what I've actually walked through and how hard it is. This has not been something that just is a casual, you know, come and go sort of identity, you know, or an identity crisis or something to fade away. People have asked like, so, are you going to go back to being white? If you're rejected by the black community, what do you do? I'll be me. I'll be me.

I feel like at the same time I never want to be a liability to the cause. And I take that very seriously and in consideration. There's so much to just process with sort of going from being celebrated as a black woman and loving how that feels by all the students that I mentor and, like, feeling like, all right, I can be me and they get me and I get them and we talk about, you know, yeah, you know, just Iggy Azalia and cultural appropriation and all these things. I teach race and culture classes, I teach black studies, I teach black feminism.

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