Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Local NAACP to host community meeting

The public firestorm surrounding Dolezal has been a distraction from the work of the NAACP, she said.

“We want the focus back on the issues at hand,” she said. “For us it’s not about Rachel, it’s about the work. She will have to answer for her own actions.”

In the interests of mending their relationship with the community, the NAACP is inviting the public to a special meeting at 7 p.m. on June 29 called “Community Conversation: Moving Towards Healing.” The meeting will be held at the Holy Temple Church of God in Christ, 806 W. Indiana.

“We want to assure people that we stand for integrity,” Quarles-Burnley said. “We’ve been here for 95 years and we will work together so that the legacy will continue.” Nina Culver, SR  story and photo

What steps can the community take toward healing?

Spokane Council removes Rachel Dolezal from police panel

Dolezal, who had portrayed herself as a black woman for years before her parents disclosed last week that she’s white, never responded to letters from Stuckart and Spokane Mayor David Condon asking her to step down. She resigned under fire Monday as president of the the Spokane chapter of the NAACP and later appeared on network TV shows to defend her decision to present herself as a black woman.

“We haven’t heard from her,” Stuckart said, noting that instead Dolezal apparently decided to issue a statement to the national media.

The City Council, which oversees city boards and commissions, voted 6-0 to remove her. Councilman Jon Snyder was out of town. Full story.David Wasson, SR

SR gets letter from writer who threatened Dolezal

It was mailed to the newspaper from Oakland on the same day Dolezal departed Spokane for an afternoon flight to New York City to appear on the “Today” show. It arrived at the newspaper Thursday morning.

The writer refers to himself or herself as “War Pig (Ret.),” before changing to “Sgt. X.”

The earlier letters were considered hate mail and spurred a police investigation. They have been among the storylines that have unmasked Dolezal as a racial poseur and possible hate-crime fabricator in the aftermath of her repeated claims that she has been a victim of harassment, burglary and death threats. Read more.


Dolezal visited city where hate mail was postmarked

Rachel Dolezal was in Oakland, Calif., just days before she reported receiving a package of threatening mail in a Spokane U.S. Postal Service box.
The package Dolezal reported receiving on Feb. 25 included images of lynchings and photos of individuals pointing guns, along with a typed note signed "War Pig."

In May, the now-former Spokane NAACP president reported the receipt of similar mail from the same sender. The letters - from "Formerly known as: 'War Pig (Ret.)'" - were postmarked in Oakland, and offered an apology for the earlier package.

Through a public records request, The Press received documents showing the city of Spokane paid for Dolezal and Adrian Dominguez to travel to Oakland on Feb. 17. The purpose of the two-day trip, according to travel expense records, was for training to assist Dolezal and Dominguez in their volunteer positions on the city's police oversight commission. More here. Jeff Selle, Maureen Dolan, Cda Press


Vestal: As Dolezal played her game, many of us played along

Police were investigating it, had assigned it to a major crimes detective, and said they were taking it seriously.

During the interview, a small handgun sat on the coffee table in Dolezal’s living room. Afterward, Spokesman-Review photographer Colin Mulvany asked her if she would hold the gun for a photograph.

She suggested getting her other gun.

Her bigger one. Read more. Shawn Vestal, SR


Spokane NAACP asks police to continue hate mail investigation

“In response to recently reported acts of hatred, we call upon the appropriate law enforcement officials and the United States Postal Services not to minimize such acts in our community,” the statement said. “The Spokane NAACP is requesting that the Spokane Police Department, the USPS and other agencies involved give full disclosure of the findings, conclusions and ongoing investigations related to the ‘hate mail’ received at the Spokane NAACP mailboxes and related incidents.”

Spokane Police spokeswoman Teresa Fuller said she interpreted the statement as a request for SPD for investigate the allegations fully, “which we have.”

The case has been suspended, not closed, Fuller said. The DNA of a male was recovered from tape on the envelope, but no match was found, Fuller said. If that changes, police will resume the investigation, she said. Read more. Nina Culver, SR


Rachel Dolezal’s claims ‘lost the trust’

Hours after she boarded a flight to New York City with intentions to break her silence this morning on the “Today” show, more than two dozen demonstrators gathered outside the NAACP offices along West Main Street to hold signs reading “#IntegrityMatters.”

Angela Jones said after the rally she joined the Spokane chapter of the NAACP on Monday, following the announcement of Dolezal’s resignation. Jones said she’d “consciously” avoided becoming an official member of the group because of her disagreements with Dolezal’s strategies.

“We could have said, ‘Oh, let’s cancel it,’ once she announced her resignation,” Jones said of the rally. Instead, members of the NAACP, Spokane Human Rights Commission and area Indian tribes showed up to illustrate that the efforts of those groups would continue without Dolezal. More here. Eli Francovitch, Kip Hill, SR

WA Post: The Damage Dolezal Has Done

Her years of deception came to an end after her inability to answer a simple question at the end of an interview with KXLY television reporter Jeff Humphrey. “Are you an African American?” he asked. After a long, blinkless and blank stare, Dolezal said, “I don’t understand the question.”

Chil’, please!

Dolezal most definitely understood the question, which is why she took flight 16 seconds after Humphrey’s query. She posted a picture of herself last January with a black man on her Facebook page who she claimed was her father. And she checked “African American” and all the other race choices on an application for a public position in Spokane. Those turned out to be two loose threads that quickly unraveled once pulled by Humphrey and Dolezal’s own white parents. Full story. Jonathon Capeheart, Washington Post

Dolezal posts resignation on Spokane NAACP Facebook page

I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions - absent the full story. I am consistently committed to empowering marginalized voices and believe that many individuals have been heard in the last hours and days that would not otherwise have had a platform to weigh in on this important discussion. Additionally, I have always deferred to the state and national NAACP leadership and offer my sincere gratitude for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm.

While challenging the construct of race is at the core of evolving human consciousness, we can NOT afford to lose sight of the five Game Changers (Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Health & Healthcare, Education, Economic Sustainability, and Voting Rights & Political Representation) that affect millions, often with a life or death outcome. The movement is larger than a moment in time or a single person's story, and I hope that everyone offers their robust support of the Journey for Justice campaign that the NAACP launches today!

I am delighted that so many organizations and individuals have supported and collaborated with the Spokane NAACP under my leadership to grow this branch into one of the healthiest in the nation in 5 short months. In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP.

It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley. It is my hope that by securing a beautiful office for the organization in the heart of downtown, bringing the local branch into financial compliance, catalyzing committees to do strategic work in the five Game Changer issues, launching community forums, putting the membership on a fast climb, and helping many individuals find the legal, financial and practical support needed to fight race-based discrimination, I have positioned the Spokane NAACP to buttress this transition.

Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist, whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me. It's about justice. This is not me quitting; this is a continuum. It's about moving the cause of human rights and the Black Liberation Movement along the continuum from Resistance to Chattel Slavery to Abolition to Defiance of Jim Crow to the building of Black Wall Street to the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement to the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement and into a future of self-determination and empowerment.

With much love and a commitment to always fight for what is right and good in this world,

Rachel Dolezal

Breaking: Dolezal stepping down as NAACP Spokane president

“This is a peaceful demonstration statement that is not about us but delivering a unified message that integrity matters,” said Kitara McClure, the former multicultural director at Spokane Community College and a member of the NAACP

Demonstrators are expected at 35 W. Main St. between 5 and 6 p.m.

Dolezal, elected president of the local NAACP chapter about seven months ago, was expected at the organization’s monthly members meeting tonight to address the recent disclosure by her parents and other family members that she has falsely portrayed herself as black for years.

But Dolezal sent chapter members an email Sunday saying, “Due to the need to continue discussion with regional and national NAACP leaders, tomorrow’s meeting is postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.”

In response, chapter member Justin Pimsanguan sent an email to members saying the chapter has business to conduct apart from Dolezal’s troubles. More here.


The second “War Pigs” letter sent to Dolezal was an apology, not a threat

The intent of the original letter is unclear. Though investigated as a threat, the package does not mention Dolezal directly, police note, other than including a copy of an Inlander blog on Dolezal's reaction to a "Shorty Can't Breath Either" sign at a local business.

There are no direct threats against her, the police report says.

One page does contain photographs of old lynchings, apparently drawn from a website of historical lynching photography called Without Sanctuary, along with references to the Zebra killings.

“Dolezal did admit that these photographs appear to be the same ones that she uses in her presentations when discussing the history of racism,” the detective states in the report. Dolezal believed the anonymous sender may have trailed her. Full story. Daniel Walters, Inlander


Updated: Credibility of local NAACP leader questioned

Dolezal is the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, chairwoman of the city’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, adjunct professor at Eastern Washington University and commentator in the Inlander weekly newspaper. Formerly she was director of education at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene. She spoke at a demonstration in Baltimore last month after the death of a black man there that sparked national outrage. And her leadership of the NAACP was cited by the city when announcing that a three-state regional division of the national organization would meet in Spokane this summer.

But questions have arisen about her background and her numerous complaints to police of harassment. Members of her family are challenging her very identity, saying she has misrepresented major portions of her life. More here.

Cda Press: Dolezal, Black like me?

"It is very disturbing that she has become so dishonest," said Dolezal's mother, Ruthanne Dolezal, in a phone interview from Northwest Montana, where Dolezal grew up.

Rachel Dolezal, 37, was highly visible in the media in North Idaho when she lived in Coeur d'Alene and was employed from 2008 to 2010 as education director of the Human Rights Education Institute.

Dolezal's application for appointment to Spokane's new police ombudsman commission was signed by Dolezal and submitted in May 2014. The application was acquired by The Press through a public record request. Full story here. Jeff Selle, Maureen Dolan, Cda Press


Questions raised about NAACP hate mail

SPOKANE, Wash. - A police report raises questions about reports of threatening hate mail sent to Spokane's NAACP president. Major Crimes detectives have concluded that the mail was never processed, despite showing up in the organization's post office box.

Rachel Dolezal, president of Spokane's NAACP chapter, said she found an envelope containing threatening mail in the post office box on North Monroe in February. The 20 pages of notes included pictures and lynchings and words like "war pig."

"I was immediately struck by guns pointed towards me," Dolezal told KXLY of the pictures in February.

Spokane Police took possession of the envelope and dusted for fingerprints. Investigators then went back to the Rosewood post office where the NAACP gets its mail in a locked box.

Postal workers told detectives the envelope had not been canceled, time stamped or imprinted with the bar code that directs mail to the right destination. According to the police report, the postal inspector told detectives, "The only way this letter could have ended up in this P.O. box would be if it was placed there by someone with a key to that box or a USPS employee." Full story.Jeff Humphrey, KXLY

Selection committee for new ombudsman struggles to select final member

Pastor Shon Davis and Whitworth University history professor Lawrence Burnley were among the names considered for the final seat on the committee to search for a new Spokane police ombudsman.

But after a half-hour of sometimes pointed discussion Tuesday morning, the committee’s four members agreed to hold off on selecting a community representative until candidates could be interviewed.

The committee, which is composed of City Attorney Nancy Isserlis, ombudsman Commissioner Adrian Dominguez, Spokane Police Capt. Brad Arleth and Sgt. John Griffin, identified Davis and Tommy Williams, president of the faith-based organization Operation Healthy Family, as top candidates for the seat at an informal meeting last week.

But Dominguez said Tuesday that conversations with several members of Spokane’s NAACP raised concerns that Davis and Williams did not have enough community support to serve on the search committee.


Black pastors bash NAACP

The Coalition of African American Pastors announced Tuesday that it does not agree with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s decision to endorse the legalization of same-sex marriage.

CAAP launched a petition last week to oppose broadening the legal definition of marriage.

The coalition includes leaders of black churches and veteran civil rights leaders who marched with Martin Luther King Jr.

The NAACP voted to endorse same-sex marriage Saturday, and NAACP President Benjamin Jealous publicly endorsed gay marriage Monday.

“The NAACP has abandoned its historic responsibility to speak for and safeguard the civil rights movement,” CAAP founder and President William Owens said Tuesday. “We who marched with Rev. King did not march one inch or one mile to promote same-sex marriage.” More here.


NAACP Leader To March In Spokane

The head of the nation’s largest civil rights organization will lead a march in Spokane on Sunday to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed April 4, 1968. Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will speak at the Demand Justice and Promote Peace event, which will include a march from the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena to Riverfront Park. “We feel very privileged that he is going to come in,” said V. Anne Smith, president of the NAACP’s Spokane chapter. In addition, Oscar Eason Jr., president of the NAACP Alaska, Oregon and Washington State-Area Conference, will be a speaker. The event starts at 3 p.m./Kevin Graman, SR. More here.

Question: Would you feel safe marching in the parade Sunday in Spokane to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., only months after the bombing attempt?

Minnick Rejects Tea Party Backing

The Tea Party Express, one of the national voices of the Tea Party movement, created some political shockwaves when it endorsed Democrat Walt Minnick for re-election earlier this year, the only Democrat the group threw its support behind.  Now the group is coming under fire for racial content in a recent fictional letter penned by its spokesman.  The man responsible for the letter says it was meant to provoke discussion after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) condemned elements of the Tea Party movement as racist.  Minnick sent a letter Monday condemning the Tea Party Express for its failure to rebuke the man behind the letter and declined the support from the group/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Did Minnick hurt himself by rejecting the Tea Party Express endorsement?