Another Pretender Drummed out of the Tribe
A diversity activist allegedly lied about her race and has in turn left her post at a social justice organization – leaving a scandal in her wake.
Raquel Evita Saraswati, the chief equity, inclusion, and culture officer of social justice organization American Friends Service Committee, claimed to be a woman of color of Latina, South Asian and Arab descent, but her mother told The Intercept she is not. This followed an open letter from her peers questioning her background. (USA Today)
Is there anyone left out there who does not understand why this happens? Cultural cachet? Sincere solidarity? Looking for love and acceptance?
Related question: Why is it never a non-cis woman of color pretenting to be a white hetero man?
The “Experts” Strike Again
Saraswati is accused of “pretending to be another race.”
Lying about one’s racial or ethnic identity is tricky to unpack without clear motives, but anyone masquerading as another race or ethnic group should understand their actions could be harmful to the communities in question.
When someone dons a culture’s lived experience as a costume identity, they do not celebrate that culture – they discredit it, experts say.
The article descends into the bowels of post-modern racial identity politics…
“The very idea of being able to transition to a (different) race discredits trans and gender diverse people’s experiences of gender affirmation,” several Australian academics of Edith Cowan University wrote in a 2021 piece for The Conversation.
Why is it acceptable for a person to present as a different sex, but not present as another race?
Firstly, it’s important to note that the concepts of sex and race are different. Sex is based on biological factors such as genetics, hormones, and reproductive anatomy, while race is a social construct that is based on physical characteristics such as skin color, facial features, and hair texture.
[paragraph of gender deconstruction psychobabble]
In contrast, race is not considered a fundamental aspect of a person’s identity in the same way that gender identity is. While race may be an important aspect of a person’s cultural heritage and identity, it is not considered a biological or innate characteristic in the same way that sex is.
I know many women, pejoratively referred to as ‘TERFs’ who would disagree. Declaring yourself a woman, after a blissful childhood free of fondling, ogling, objectifying, balancing trying to please with maintaining your dignity and autonomy, menstruation and all the other discomforts of becoming a woman that are well documented… I could see how that would upset women, especially those young athletes beaten by recently-declared ‘women’ with bodies build by testosterone and other male hormones.
The Ls, Bs and Gs of LGBTQ+ are expressing displeasure at being lumped in with the Ts and Qs. Can you blame them? It’s not the same thing.
My buddy Chat went on to explain the history and dangers of cultural appropriation. *sigh*
Without ‘cultural appropriation’ we would all be dead, because the shriveled, isolated pockets of humanity that refused to share folkways, knowledge and genes with one another would have driven humankind extinct.
“You dumb Polack!
All “cultural appropriation” is not insulting. I’ve traveled around the world and met many Laurences of Arabia. They do not denigrate or lampoon the cultures they adopt. Why would you adopt a culture just to mock it?
Ultimately, this is about gatekeeping, who gets to be in the tribe. To look at it charitably, you can’t call yourself a soldier if you haven’t been through the battles.
At its worst, it’s just one more mean girl pile on, usually directed at an “imposter” who was living within the tribe and serving her adopted community as a strong advocate and a force for good until people unmasked her.
What say you?
* Cultural Appropriation
Cultural appropriation is the act of adopting elements of an outside, often minority culture, including knowledge, practices, and symbols, without understanding or respecting the original culture and context1. It involves some level of ignorance or apathy; that is, appropriators are using a cultural element for their own benefit, whether it be monetary, social, or otherwise, without fully understanding or caring about the cultural significance of what is being appropriated (AI Generated, from sources: Britannica, Dictionary.com)