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I think as bi- and multiethnic African Americans, we should be commenting on Rachel Dolezal and her misrepresentation as a biracial black woman [“Head of Spokane NAACP quits amid furor over racial identity,” Local News, June 16].

I, for one, am pained by what she did. I was born before the civil-rights movement, and went through lots of racism that affected my opportunities in life. Although she has done some good in Spokane and has black brothers, she has cast suspicion on all of us as multiethnic people with African descent.

People have argued with me when I tell them that I’m black. They say things like, “If I were Hispanic, I’d be proud.” Or they hate me because they think I’m Middle Eastern. Before the civil-rights movement, I was called racial slurs. Now, I find we are in more peril because she just threw another wrench into the perception of us.

What am I going to have to do? Carry around my birth certificate? I am what I am, and my life experiences have not been those of privilege mainly due to the fact that I am a black woman.

My parents lost all they worked for because they were an interracial couple in the early 1950s. They were both college educated, yet we wound up in a housing project with my parents afraid for our lives. They received continuous death threats. I remember at the age of two looking out my bedroom window to see a cross burning. I remember a hate march around my parents’ home, and so much more.

These are not the experiences of Rachel Dolezal.

Kathleen West, Seattle