It looks like we have another case of ‘Rachel Dolezal[ism].’ Raquel Saraswati, a New Jersey-born ‘white woman,’ was exposed by her mother for posing as a woman of color, per the NY Post.
The 39-year-old has reportedly been telling colleagues that she is of Latin, South Asian, and Arab descent. According to the NY Post, the impersonation dates back to 2004. Saraswati was born Rachel Elizabeth Seidel according to her mother Carole Perone, who outed her daughter for
“faking her heritage.”
“I call her Rachel. I don’t know why she’s doing what she’s doing… I’m as white as the driven snow and so is she. I’m German and British, and her father was Calabrese Italian. She’s chosen to live a lie, and I find that very, very sad,”
Perone told The Intercept.
Saraswati has been an activist and has played a leadership role as the chief equity, inclusion, and culture officer of the Philadelphia-based American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a progressive Quaker group that fights
“violence, inequality, and oppression.”
She has since spoken out against her mother calling the allegations an
“I assure people that as soon as I am capable, I will provide answers to the recent discussion and attack on me. I understand all the reactions you’re having. I am currently taking the time to get to where I can answer in a way that is most helpful and thorough,”
she wrote, adding in a later tweet that
“more will come.”
An unnamed AFSC leader told the outlet that they feel deceived by Saraswati.
“Imagine the trauma of people who confided in her, trusted her, and shared sensitive information about their work and about their lives, thinking that she’s a fellow person of color,”
#Clique, what are your thoughts?