A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student has resigned from her teaching position and lost a teaching job at another university after admitting to falsely claiming to be a person of color.
CV Vitolo-Haddad admitted to posing as a person of color and apologized in two Medium posts last week, CNN reported. Vitolo-Haddad, who also uses the pronouns they/them and also claims to be nonbinary, announced they were resigning as co-president of UW’s Teaching Assistants’ Association.
Vitolo-Haddad’s troubles began on September 4, when an anonymous person on Medium accused the graduate student of falsely identifying as black and continually changing their story on their family history.
“Though their claim to a POC identity was vague, the one consistency was their insistence that they were a constant target of acts of racism and that they came from some kind of nonwhite background. They referenced it frequently on social media and in interpersonal conversations,” the anonymous person wrote. “Their stories lacked coherence, but they intimated an insider status that made (and makes) people hesitant to question them.”
The writer compared Vitolo-Haddad to Jessica Krug, a tenured African History professor at George Washington University who resigned after an investigation was opened into whether she masqueraded as a black woman for years, The Daily Wire previously reported.
Like Krug, Vitolo-Haddad has also “shirked any (potentially Afro) Latinx identity over the past year and begun claiming North African Blackness,” the author wrote.
Vitolo-Haddad then wrote their own post on Medium admitting to the deceit, writing, “so deeply sorry for the ways you are hurting right now because of me.”
“I have let guesses about my ancestry become answers I wanted but couldn’t prove. I have let people make assumptions when I should have corrected them,” they added.
Vitolo-Haddad made a second post that was edited on September 11, finally admitting they were of southern Italian/Sicilian heritage, CNN reported.
“It was my choice and error to identify any differently,” Vitolo-Haddad wrote.
“When asked if I identify as Black, my answer should have always been ‘No.’ There were three separate instances I said otherwise,” Vitolo-Haddad wrote. “I should have never entered Black organizing spaces.”
“They are not my place. Once realizing this, it wasn’t sufficient to just leave; I should have explained that directly to the people who invited me and clarified my identity,” they added.
The revelation also cost Vitolo-Haddad a tenure-track position at California State University-Fresno, CNN confirmed.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Jessica Krug made headlines earlier this month after an investigation was opened into her alleged false identity. In that case, a blog post on Medium allegedly written by Krug herself admitted to the deception.
“To an escalating degree over my adult life, I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness,” the post stated. “I have not only claimed these identities as my own when I had absolutely no right to do so — when doing so is the very epitome of violence, of thievery and appropriation, of the myriad ways in which non-Black people continue to use and abuse Black identities and cultures — but I have formed intimate relationships with loving, compassionate people who have trusted and cared for me when I have deserved neither trust nor caring.”
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