A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student has resigned from their teaching role after admitting they have been lying about being black.
CV Vitolo-Haddad, who identifies as non-binary, admitted they pretended on multiple occasions to be black or Latino when they are actually Southern Italian and Sicilian.
They said they failed to correct peoples’ assumptions about their racial identity, ‘entered Black organizing spaces’ when they should not have and recounted three times when they didn’t say no when others asked if they were black.
Vitolo-Haddad confessed to the deception in two Medium blog posts where they apologized for ‘every ounce of heartbreak and betrayal’ they caused and announced they were standing down from their teaching assistant job at the university as well as their role as co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA).
The revelation comes weeks after white George Washington University associate professor Jessica Krug was publicly shamed after she admitted she had been pretending to be black her entire career.
CV Vitolo-Haddad (pictured), a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student has resigned from their teaching role after admitting they have been lying about being black
Vitolo-Haddad published a blog on Medium on September 6 apologizing for taking some ‘very wrong turns’ and deceiving people over their racial identity.
‘In trying to sort through parts of who I am, I’ve taken some very wrong turns. I never really owned up to them as they became apparent, nor recognized the trail of damage behind me,’ they wrote.
The grad student said they had let people make assumptions on their ancestry and did not correct them.
‘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 wrote.
They vowed to make ‘amends for every ounce of heartbreak and betrayal’ caused by their false claims.
In a second follow-up Medium post on September 8, the graduate student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication gave specific examples where they had deceived others about their racial identity and went into detail about their own confusion over identity.
Vitolo-Haddad said they are Southern Italian/Sicilian but ‘went along with however people saw me’.
CV Vitolo-Haddad, who identifies as non-binary, admitted they pretended on multiple occasions to be black or Latino when they are actually Southern Italian and Sicilian
They said they failed to correct peoples’ assumptions about their racial identity, ‘entered Black organizing spaces’ when they should not have and took lies from their parents about her heritage ‘at face value’
Vitolo-Haddad apologized for the deception in two blog posts and said they were standing down from their teaching assistant job at University of Wisconsin-Madison (pictured) and their role as co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA)
Vitolo-Haddad recounted three separate instances where when others asked if they were black, they did not say no.
‘When asked if I identify as Black, my answer should have always been ‘No.’ There were three separate instances I said otherwise,’ they wrote.
‘I should not have adopted any identity outside of what I know.’
Vitolo-Haddad stopped short of confessing to lying but said they should have ‘clarified my identity’ on these occasions.
They admitted to inserting them self into ‘Black organizing spaces I didn’t belong in’ on multiple occasions.
‘That deception was parasitic and harmful. I want to identify those moments and state what I should have done differently,’ they wrote.
In the second post, Vitolo-Haddad also laid some blame on their parents’ ‘conflicting stories’ about their heritage.
Vitolo-Haddad published one blog on Medium on September 6 and the second on September 8. They recounted three separate instances where when others asked if they were black, they did not say no
‘I want to apologize for ever taking lies about Cuban roots at face value, and for subsequently attaching myself to people’s perceptions of me as though it would provide answers where there are none,’ they wrote.
Vitolo-Haddad said they ‘latched onto’ ‘unreliable and unproven family history’ told by their parents and did not question it as false.
‘What I know now is that perception is not reality. Race is not flat, it is a social construct rife with contradictions,’ they wrote.
‘Fighting racism never required dissociating myself from whiteness. In fact, it derailed the cause by centering my experience.’
Vitolo-Haddad announced their resignation from their university job and their role at the union saying ‘education is build on a foundation of trust and accountability, and until I repair that I should not be teaching’.
They insisted they have never identified as non-white on paper or attempted to benefit from education scholarships or awards for people of color.
UW-Madison representative Meredith McGlone confirmed to the Daily Cardinal that Vitolo-Haddad had resigned from the teaching assistant position at the university.
‘UW-Madison expects that people represent themselves authentically and accurately in all aspects of their academic work,’ McGlone said in a statement.
Jessica Krug, 38, (pictured) a white professor of African American studies confessed in a Medium post earlier this month that she had been faking being black for years
This isn’t the first incident of ‘race faking’ at educational institutions in recent weeks.
Jessica Krug, 38, a white professor of African American studies confessed in a Medium post earlier this month that she had been faking being black for years.
The professor at George Washington University admitted she had deceived colleagues and students for years.
Krug grew up as a white Jewish child in Kansas City but assumed a series of different black identities throughout her career, she confessed in a Medium blog post on September 3.
Krug resigned from her role at the university last week following a backlash over the deception.