Singer Keri Hilson tweeted Friday that people should “thank” Spokane, Washington NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal for her work with the organization, despite the fact that Dolezal’s ethnicity is being questioned by her birth parents. Hilson’s comments sparked outrage on Twitter.
On Friday, Dolezal’s parents, Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal, came forward to say their daughter was white. Dolezal, however, has said she identifies as black.
“I do consider myself to be black and that’s because … you know, that’s how I identify,” she said in an interview with Spokane’s CBS affiliate. “I actually don’t like the term ‘African-American.’ I prefer the term ‘black.'”
In the aftermath to the controversy, the NAACP said it supported Dolezal’s work. “One’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership,” the organization said in a statement.
On Twitter, Hilson said she didn’t “defend” Dolezal for her actions, but was pleased with the work Dolezal did for advancing civil rights.
“Hey, she got outta bed every morning & did excellent work for the advancement/equality of MY ppl,” Hilson wrote on Saturday. “THAT affects me. Let God handle the rest!”