Rachel Dolezal's former mentors talk about her past - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Rachel Dolezal's former mentors talk about her past

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The NAACP leader who resigned after being accused of lying about her race has Mississippi ties. She worked with Jackson-based Voice of Calvary Ministries. It's focus is racial reconciliation and Christian community development.

Ron and Joanie Potter took Rachel Dolezal under their wings. The woman they're seeing in the national spotlight is unfamiliar to them.

"If you believe you're black and you're not, you're delusional," noted Joanie Potter. "And you need some help."

Rachel Dolezal once called the Potters her "aunt and uncle". Now, they're trying to understand what they believe is an identity crisis.

"We thought of her as white," Joanie Potter said. "We knew she was white. But we also knew that she was really interested in black people."

Ron Potter even joked after meeting Dolezal that God made a mistake on the human conveyer belt when he was placing souls with bodies.

"Rachel was very interesting," he explained. "Actually when I experience her, what I experience is a white woman with a black soul."

Joanie Potter watched a physical transformation from a distance, on Facebook. First with hairstyles. Then, darkened skin.

"I didn't think anything of it," she admitted. "I thought, it's a compliment to our race. That's cool. She can be black. She can look black. It's cool."

But then she saw Dolezal say, "I identify as black," on national television. What she once though a compliment turned to almost insult.

"She can be white when she wants to be and if she wants to," Dolezal described. "She can have the privilege of being white if she wants to. Black people can't. And so that is like a "who do you think you are" type thing."

Ron Potter hopes a positive conversation will be sparked.

"We're trying to navigate what we mean by race, number one," he said. "And the extent to which race still matters in terms of equality, inequality, inferiority, superiority."

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