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Mfume urges Rachel Dolezal to 'speak the truth'

Kweisi Mfume
Kweisi Mfume

Former NAACP leader and Maryland congressman Kweisi Mfume on Monday encouraged Rachel Dolezal to "come forward" and "speak the truth" over the controversy surrounding her race.

Dolezal, the president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, had been presenting herself as being of mixed race when she was actually born to white parents.

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Dolezal stepped down from her post on Monday.

"Truth, veracity, integrity, those things are on the line, and so the issue is not so much that she happens to be white and happens to be president of the association, because the founders of the association were predominantly white and Jewish and Republican and female," Mfume told CNN on Monday.

"The issue here is whether or not there's a sense of truthfulness about what's going on, so I would caution others not to tell the organization what to do, but I think in terms of Miss Dolezal, it probably would be best for her to just simply come forward, speak the truth and the facts in this matter, and then allow it to run its own course," he said.

Mfume, a Democrat and former chief executive officer of the NAACP, served in Congress from 1987 to February, 1996. His name has been floated as a possible candidate to run for the Senate seat that will be left vacant by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's retirement in 2017.

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