My honest opinion - she was living a lie, purposefully to advance her career. From everything I've read about her that's what she did. Early on she went to a traditionally African-American school as a white woman and complained (and if I'm not mistaken sued) due to discrimination against her for being white. Then at some point after that she began posing as black. She claimed a person who was not her father was her father; she told her adopted brother to pretend to be her biological son; and the hair - she went to great lengths to perfect various traditionally black hair styles. It was a huge, elaborate ruse.
The issue isn't that she's working for the NAACP as a white person. That happens all the time. The issue is the active deception in order to advance her career. I don't care that a white woman wants to help, in her opinion, improve race relations through the NAACP. I have a problem with someone pretending to be something they are not in order to advance their career in a field they are interested in (in her case Africana studies and helping the NAACP).
Let's take a step back - if I, a white man, pretended to be black (let's say I shaved my head, dyed my beard/eyebrows, and somehow got my skin tone to match through makeup) for years to the point where I was co-opting black culture for my own advantage, would there be an uproar? If I were to star in a movie in a black role as a white man dressed as a black man, would people be angry with me? Would it be called black face and the world descend upon me angrily? Even if I had did it for years with no one noticing? I do not see how this is markedly different.
But she was committed to the "lie." That's the difference between intending to advance a career and being truly confused about who you are and what you stand for.
I don't believe she didn't care for her position, or that she intentionally lied about her perception of her own race to make money. I think she found a culture that she really found a home in, saw the issues that affect that culture, and did everything she could to understand that from her position. And undeservedly claimed to be part of that culture.
The rest of the story is human nature.
I think I've written too much