Rachel Dolezal once sued for racial discrimination

After misrepresenting herself for years as black, Rachel Dolezal resigned on Monday as an NAACP chapter president. But her complicated history with race doesn’t stop there.

According to a Smoking Gun report, Dolezal filed a discrimination lawsuit in 2002 against Howard University, where she graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts degree. Dolezal, who then went by the surname Moore, accused the school of denying her a teaching post and access to scholarship aid based on the color of her skin, which was (and still is) white.

Dolezal’s lawsuit claimed that Howard was “permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult.” She further accused the university of showing preferential treatment to African-American students based on the fact that some of her artwork had been removed from a 2001 student exhibition.

A judge tossed out the lawsuit after finding no evidence that Dolezal, who later became president of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP chapter, had been a victim of racial discrimination. The ruling was later upheld by the D.C. Court of Appeals, Smoking Gun reports. Dolezal was ordered to reimburse Howard University $2,728.50 in legal costs.

Following her resignation on Monday, Dolezal thanked the NAACP “for their unwavering support of my leadership through this unexpected firestorm.”

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“Please know I will never stop fighting for human rights,” Dolezal wrote on Facebook, “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.”

H/T Smoking Gun | Photo via Rachel Dolezal/Facebook

Dell Cameron

Dell Cameron

Dell Cameron was a reporter at the Daily Dot who covered security and politics. In 2015, he revealed the existence of an American hacker on the U.S. government's terrorist watchlist. He is a co-author of the Sabu Files, an award-nominated investigation into the FBI's use of cyber-informants. He became a staff writer at Gizmodo in 2017.