Yet another white person pretends to be Black, this time an Indiana activist
Jennifer Benton, an Indiana activist popularly known as Satchuel Cole, is the latest white person exposed to be masquerading as Black
Indiana activist Jennifer Benton, popularly known as Satchuel Cole, is the latest white person exposed to be masquerading as a Black woman.
Cole, who worked with various social justice organizations, including Indy10 Black Lives Matter and Indy SURJ, admitted to lying about her identity in a social media post and later apologized. According to IndyStar, the admission and apology came a day after an exposé about Cole’s family and race was published on the website, BlackIndyLIVE.com.
Expressing regret, Cole posted on the Facebook account of Satch Paige.
“Friends, I need to take accountability for my actions and the harm that I have done. My deception and lies have hurt those that I care most about. I have taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white. I have used Blackness when it was not mine to use. I have asked for support and energy as a Black person. I have caused harm to the city, friends, and the work that I held so dear,” Cole wrote.
Blackfishing, or the art of pretending or altering the appearance to look ethnically Black, isn’t uncommon. In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a former college instructor who passed as Black, was infamously uncovered to be a white woman and earlier this year Jessica Krug, a Black Studies professor at George Washington University, confessed that she portrayed herself as a Black woman after her identity was close to being revealed.
And now Satchuel Cole is the latest white woman to admit to pretending to be Black.
In 2017, while a member of Indy Black Lives Matter, Cole was the spokesperson for the family of Aaron Bailey, who was shot and killed by IMPD following a traffic stop. Also active in the LGBTQ community, Cole, who went by the pronouns they/them, was one of the Indy Pride Parade 2020 Grand Marshals.
“Race and racial identities are complex issues, but they need not be fraught; the situation here and situations like it are fraught and harmful because of the ways in which people construct false identifies and pasts to make inroads and gains within and at the expense of Black communities,” said Dina Okamoto, director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society at Indiana University.
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