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Old 30th September 2022, 04:17 PM   #1
d4m10n
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Race Fraud

Happened across "indigenous" scholar Andrea Smith recently, and it lead me down a wiki rabbit hole of people who pretended to be an ethnicity/race other than the one they were raised in, for various reasons. Probably the most famous examples are Ward ChurchillWP and Rachel DolezalWP and Elizabeth WarrenWP although I'd say that last one is iffy at best, because DNA. One of my personal favorites is Hilaria BaldwinWP who faked being Hispanic to a level which is rarely seen even in Hollywood.

Since I hate to start a thread without a question, my question is this: Why?

(Also, which interesting cases did I fail to mention?)
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Old 30th September 2022, 04:23 PM   #2
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I wouldn't count Warren as "pretending" to be anything. She related a story from her grandmother saying she had some Native American blood, and DNA then backed it up. For any other person, it would be a non-story, but the conservatives led by Rush Limbaugh mocked her as "Pocahontas."

If she was going around constantly invoking her "native heritage," it would be one thing. But I don't remember her doing that. In fact, I only ever recall conservatives bringing it up, and then acting like she was doing it.
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Old 30th September 2022, 04:25 PM   #3
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From a psychiatric point of view, it's possibly a form of Munchausen's Syndrome, but connected to race/ethnicity rather than illness. When Caucasian people decide to present as non-Caucasians*, it could be seen as a move to introduce a certain element of victimhood (for obvious historical reasons) and to position the person as a challenger to the white majority rather than a member of that majority. There may also be practical reasons related to beliefs around hiring quotas and other ethnicity-based representations in society.


* Interestingly, I don't think there are any documented examples of non-Caucasian people presenting as Caucasians - and that would perhaps lend weight to the reasons I suggest above.
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Old 30th September 2022, 04:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
Interestingly, I don't think there are any documented examples of non-Caucasian people presenting as Caucasians
There is literally a word for doing exactly that.

ETA: Even more interesting link.
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Old 30th September 2022, 04:38 PM   #5
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It probably has to do with it being illegal to openly offer advantages to white people based on their race, and generally counter-productive to complain when someone gains such advantages through fraud.

There's no NAAWP handing out advocacy and other benefits to people based on their white race. Just a majority of white people who are happy to hand out benefits to anyone who at least passes. And if they stop passing, there's no public scandal. Just a stalling out of their career. Or not, as the case may be.

I'm sure ethnographers could supply LJ with plenty of case studies and first person accounts of self-identified non-white people choosing to pass in order to reap some benefit or exploit some opportunity. If he cared to look for them.
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Old 30th September 2022, 04:51 PM   #6
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Being an Indian gives you a place in the victims' line instead of the oppressors' queue.

Gina Mills is another good one:

Quote:
A college dean who landed her job by claiming to be a Native American artist who pedaled $35,000 quilts has resigned in disgrace after it was revealed she is the white daughter of a Maine pageant queen.

Alleged identity fraudster Gina Adams, 57, was born in Connecticut to white ancestors, and announced her resignation Tuesday.
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Old 30th September 2022, 05:07 PM   #7
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Hard to respect a report whose editor passed "pedaled" for "peddled".
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Old 30th September 2022, 05:12 PM   #8
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Maybe the quilts were on bicycles?

Also, further down in the article, there was this:

Quote:
In an unearthed clip from 2018, greeted an audience in native Anishinaabemowin language: 'Boozhoo, aaniin anishinaabee nowadow,' before recanting her grandfather's 'troubled' past.
I'm sure the author meant "recounting." The state of editing is poor nowadays.
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Old 30th September 2022, 05:26 PM   #9
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By the way, Rachel Dolezal is now available on OnlyFans, where for $9.99 a month you can see her posing scantily clad to promote her line of lingerie products. I saw a couple of leaked photos; save your money.
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Old 30th September 2022, 05:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Hard to respect a report whose editor passed "pedaled" for "peddled".
Apparently MSN picked it up from the Daily Mail. Yeah, piss-poor job of editing.
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Old 30th September 2022, 11:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Apparently MSN picked it up from the Daily Mail. Yeah, piss-poor job of editing.
The errors are not in the Daily Fail piece now, so they’ve either been fixed or MSN introduced them. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-dean-job.html

Is this different from all those Americans who claim to be Irish?
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Old 30th September 2022, 11:26 PM   #12
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I don't think "race fraud" is a thing. I mean, it is no more a thing than "gender fraud", is it?

People should be able to identify as the race of their choosing, and reap the benefits of such, in today's world. It is not something I am in love with, but fair is fair.
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Old 30th September 2022, 11:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
By the way, Rachel Dolezal is now available on OnlyFans, where for $9.99 a month you can see her posing scantily clad to promote her line of lingerie products. I saw a couple of leaked photos; save your money.

She kinda thicc, yo.
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Old 30th September 2022, 11:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TheGoldcountry View Post
I wouldn't count Warren as "pretending" to be anything. She related a story from her grandmother saying she had some Native American blood, and DNA then backed it up. For any other person, it would be a non-story, but the conservatives led by Rush Limbaugh mocked her as "Pocahontas."

If she was going around constantly invoking her "native heritage," it would be one thing. But I don't remember her doing that. In fact, I only ever recall conservatives bringing it up, and then acting like she was doing it.
Quote:
Nearly a week after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) apologized to the Cherokee Nation for a controversial DNA test that suggested she had Native American heritage, a new report has emerged that Warren identified as American Indian in the 1980s.

Warren wrote she was American Indian in a 1986 registration card she filled out for the State Bar of Texas, according to a report from the Washington Post’s Annie Linskey and Amy Gardner. Gardner tweeted out a picture of the original form. Warren filled out the card after she was admitted to the bar, the Post reported. The form says information about her ethnicity was being gathered for statistical purposes; there’s no indication it was used for professional advancement.
https://www.vox.com/2018/10/16/17983...can-indian-dna

Well, it is one thing to claim something casually. It is another to put it on official forms, right? Like I supposedly have Cherokee on my dad's side of the family. But I don't check the box for "Native American" on any forms.

But, as I say, who cares? Just "identify" as an Indian. That should be good enough.
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Old 30th September 2022, 11:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TheGoldcountry View Post
I wouldn't count Warren as "pretending" to be anything. She related a story from her grandmother saying she had some Native American blood, and DNA then backed it up. For any other person, it would be a non-story, but the conservatives led by Rush Limbaugh mocked her as "Pocahontas."

If she was going around constantly invoking her "native heritage," it would be one thing. But I don't remember her doing that. In fact, I only ever recall conservatives bringing it up, and then acting like she was doing it.
Yeah. Iíve got, according to my family, a tiny amount of Cherokee ancestry from both my mother and father. But I donít go around identifying as Native American or trying to open casinos. Someone even suggested, over thirty years ago now, that I apply for a Native American scholarship. When I laughed at that she asked, ďwhy not?Ē, and I said Iíd rather not take money away from people who actually qualified for it.

Loads of people in the Americas have some native ancestry. Itís not anything remarkable. And Iím not aware of Warren ever having tried to exploit her few drops of native blood. Limbaugh just made an issue of it because he was a ****-bag who mocked people for a living.
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Old 1st October 2022, 02:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I don't think "race fraud" is a thing. I mean, it is no more a thing than "gender fraud", is it?

People should be able to identify as the race of their choosing, and reap the benefits of such, in today's world. It is not something I am in love with, but fair is fair.
This was my line of reasoning and I'm surprised that it doesn't get more support here, of all places.

If transrace isn't a thing then it soon will be and we'll see a different take here. It'll go from, "why?" to, "why not you transracephobic piece of ******".
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Old 1st October 2022, 02:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Is this different from all those Americans who claim to be Irish?
Ooooof!
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Old 1st October 2022, 02:56 AM   #18
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Alan Cumming just appeared in a show about a man in his 30s who went back to secondary school here in Scotland. There was a recent report about a woman who claimed to be a Rothschild and who got into Mar-a-Lago and met with Trump based on that. In other words people claim to be things they are not for all kinds of reasons. If there are benefits to being a different race you can bet some grifter will go for it.
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Old 1st October 2022, 03:19 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by TheGoldcountry View Post
If she was going around constantly invoking her "native heritage," it would be one thing. But I don't remember her doing that.
Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post
And I’m not aware of Warren ever having tried to exploit her few drops of native blood.
One of Elizabeth Warren's Harvard Law Students Explains Why Her Native-American Gambit Matters

Quote:
In April 1992, scores of protestors demonstrated outside Dean Robert Clark’s office, some of them wearing masks of Clark’s face. Nine students (my closest friend among them) refused to leave the Dean’s office for over 25 hours. Their specific demand? That the administration hire a faculty member who was a “woman of color.”

After the protest broke up, Dean Clark filed disciplinary charges against the disruptive students. But the administrative hearing to determine the fate of the “Griswold 9,” as they came to call themselves, turned into a circus. Jesse Jackson issued a plea for leniency, and hundreds of spectators filled the hearing room to watch students turn the tables on Dean Clark and effectively put Harvard on trial for discrimination.

It was against this backdrop of race and gender activism that Elizabeth Warren arrived in Cambridge. Then a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, she came to Harvard as a visiting professor (that is, on a trial basis). During this time, Warren categorized herself as Native American and was deemed a minority in a professional directory used by law schools for recruiting purposes. Warren says she classified herself this way to meet other Native Americans. That may be true; it must also have had the effect of catching the attention of hiring committees at prestigious law schools.
Quote:
One thing is certain: Once Warren joined the faculty, Harvard touted her minority status in order to burnish its diversity credentials, listing Warren as a minority in internal documents and compliance reports and telling the Harvard Crimson that the law school had a Native American female on the faculty.

The story of Elizabeth Warren’s ascent to Harvard raises legitimate questions about whether it was ethical for her to hold herself out as a minority to employers—for her own benefit or for theirs.
Seems clear to me that:
1) Harvard was under pressure to increase the racial diversity of its faculty in the 1990s.
2) She held herself out as a minority. Whether this factored into their decision to hire her is unclear, however:
3) After hiring her, they did hold her out as a minority hire, both internally and for PR purposes.
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Old 1st October 2022, 03:30 AM   #20
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Appropriation of other cultures has always been a thing. Art students and fashion designers often look to other cultures for 'ethnic' ideas. Paul Simon went to Africa to discover different music and came up with Graceland. Eric Clapton and co did the same thing some years earlier with American deep south blues numbers.


The backing on The Lion Sleeps Tonight was directly filched from native South Africa, so a bunch of South African musicians have reclaimed it in order to get their rightful royalties, except they are not allowed to sing the words or use the actual tune, which are copyrighted.


As long as you give credit to the originals, IMV borrowing from other cultures adds a richer dimension to our own lives. I had a season ticket to the British Museum and regularly visited the V&A (fashion and style history) to enjoy all of this.

'Race fraud' has always been a thing because people like change. They need new flavours, new ideas, new recipes, new fashions, all the time.
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Old 1st October 2022, 03:50 AM   #21
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The Boston Globe:

Filings add to questions on Warren’s ethnic claims

Quote:
But for at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.

In addition, both Harvard’s guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet.
Quote:
In the years before Warren first came to Harvard Law, the school was under intense pressure to diversify its faculty. In 1990, Derrick Bell, a prominent black law professor, went on a one-man strike, taking an unpaid leave of absence to protest the fact that the law school had not yet brought a black female academic permanently on board. He was dismissed from the faculty.
Quote:
Warren arrived as a visiting professor in 1992, but left a year later. By then, she had been listing herself for seven years as a minority in a legal directory often used by law recruiters to make diversity-friendly hires. She continued to list herself in the book until 1995, the year she took a permanent position at Harvard.
Long story. Don't want to quote too much of it. It also gives more examples of Harvard making claims in the press that she was a Native American. It also makes clear that part of the definition of "Native American" is that a person have some sort of official affiliation as a member of a recognized tribe.
Quote:
The Harvard document defines Native American as “a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.’’ It notes that this definition is consistent with federal regulations.
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Old 1st October 2022, 04:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Is this different from all those Americans who claim to be Irish?
Oof; right in the avatar with that one.

And yes, it is qualitatively different inasmuch as there are few benefits reserved to Irish Americans.
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Old 1st October 2022, 04:54 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by TheGoldcountry View Post
I wouldn't count Warren as "pretending" to be anything. She related a story from her grandmother saying she had some Native American blood, and DNA then backed it up. For any other person, it would be a non-story, but the conservatives led by Rush Limbaugh mocked her as "Pocahontas."

If she was going around constantly invoking her "native heritage," it would be one thing. But I don't remember her doing that. In fact, I only ever recall conservatives bringing it up, and then acting like she was doing it.
Not that mere facts interest certain of our resident posters.

Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
From a psychiatric point of view, it's possibly a form of Munchausen's Syndrome, but connected to race/ethnicity rather than illness.
And your basis from this inane theorising?

Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
* Interestingly, I don't think there are any documented examples of non-Caucasian people presenting as Caucasians - and that would perhaps lend weight to the reasons I suggest above.
Oh good grief....
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Old 1st October 2022, 06:02 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
* Interestingly, I don't think there are any documented examples of non-Caucasian people presenting as Caucasians - and that would perhaps lend weight to the reasons I suggest above.
Fwiw:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passing_(racial_identity)
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Old 1st October 2022, 06:21 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Happened across "indigenous" scholar Andrea Smith recently, and it lead me down a wiki rabbit hole of people who pretended to be an ethnicity/race other than the one they were raised in, for various reasons. Probably the most famous examples are Ward ChurchillWP and Rachel DolezalWP and Elizabeth WarrenWP although I'd say that last one is iffy at best, because DNA. One of my personal favorites is Hilaria BaldwinWP who faked being Hispanic to a level which is rarely seen even in Hollywood.

Since I hate to start a thread without a question, my question is this: Why?



(Also, which interesting cases did I fail to mention?)
Opportunism?
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Old 1st October 2022, 06:27 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
https://www.vox.com/2018/10/16/17983...can-indian-dna

Well, it is one thing to claim something casually. It is another to put it on official forms, right? Like I supposedly have Cherokee on my dad's side of the family. But I don't check the box for "Native American" on any forms.

But, as I say, who cares? Just "identify" as an Indian. That should be good enough.
"Identifying" is one thing. Lying is another.
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Old 1st October 2022, 07:31 AM   #27
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Is this like the 'welfare mom who rides a merc'?
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Old 1st October 2022, 07:52 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
The Boston Globe:

Filings add to questions on Warrenís ethnic claims

Long story. Don't want to quote too much of it. It also gives more examples of Harvard making claims in the press that she was a Native American. It also makes clear that part of the definition of "Native American" is that a person have some sort of official affiliation as a member of a recognized tribe.
What always got me about this story is the claim by Harvard that Warren's supposed Native American ancestry had nothing to do with her hiring and didn't even come up. It completely flies in the face of all the claims for needed diversity in hiring; here's a woman with supposed Native American blood and Harvard didn't see that as a plus?
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Old 1st October 2022, 07:57 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
Opportunism?
I think that's part of it, but I don't think that's all of it. Andrea Smith, for example, has been described as "one of the greatest indigenous feminist intellectuals of our time" by student activists fighting to overturn her tenure denial. I wouldn't go quite that far, but she certainly excelled in her chosen field, and would not likely have had as much opportunity to do so but for identifying as Native American.
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:24 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Susheel View Post
Is this like the 'welfare mom who rides a merc'?

A mercenary?
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:25 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Is this different from all those Americans who claim to be Irish?

I remember a German friend telling me she met an American who said, on learning that she was German, "Oh, I'm German too!" Sabine asked him which part of Germany he was from. The answer was something about a great-grandmother from some unspecified part of what is now Germany.

Sabine said (her words), "That doesn't make you German, that makes you American."

We get the same thing with people claiming to be Scottish, and not only (though probably mainly) Americans. I've had Americans on this forum insisting they were Scottish because reasons, apparently only having been to Scotland once or twice on holiday, if that.

It does raise the question though, at what point does a great grandparent cease to be relevant? Or how many great grandparents do you need of a particular nationality to be able to claim some sort of ethnic descent? Legal nationality is one thing, but claims based on someone who contributed only one-eighth of your DNA (maybe)? I don't know.
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:26 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
* Interestingly, I don't think there are any documented examples of non-Caucasian people presenting as Caucasians - and that would perhaps lend weight to the reasons I suggest above.

Please tell me I didn't read that...
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:27 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Happened across "indigenous" scholar Andrea Smith recently, and it lead me down a wiki rabbit hole of people who pretended to be an ethnicity/race other than the one they were raised in, for various reasons. Probably the most famous examples are Ward ChurchillWP and Rachel DolezalWP and Elizabeth WarrenWP although I'd say that last one is iffy at best, because DNA. One of my personal favorites is Hilaria BaldwinWP who faked being Hispanic to a level which is rarely seen even in Hollywood.

Since I hate to start a thread without a question, my question is this: Why?

(Also, which interesting cases did I fail to mention?)
People have been passing themselves off as something they arenít from probably before we came down from the trees, I doubt there is any single answer to why.
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:32 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Also, which interesting cases did I fail to mention?

I could mention any number of musicians who found it necessary to ‘identify’ as being of a different race in order to get around the appalling situation in which people of apparently different races weren’t allowed to work together, stay in the same hotels, eat together, travel together, etc. But I’m not sure that they would be on-topic.
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:39 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
* Interestingly, I don't think there are any documented examples of non-Caucasian people presenting as Caucasians - and that would perhaps lend weight to the reasons I suggest above.
Depending on what you mean by Caucasian. And presenting as or openly identifying?

One thing common to the examples so far is the chosen race/ethnic group is either within the bounds of possibility or makes up such a small part of their ancestry that it's practically invisible and the only thing saving it is cultural standards. The one-drop rule made Rachel Dolezal's career.
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:55 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
People have been passing themselves off as something they arenít from probably before we came down from the trees, I doubt there is any single answer to why.
Agreed; each individual case must be considered individually.
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:56 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
By the way, Rachel Dolezal is now available on OnlyFans, where for $9.99 a month you can see her posing scantily clad to promote her line of lingerie products. I saw a couple of leaked photos; save your money.
I used that story to horrify friends that like to Rick roll people. Seems like suitable revenge.
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:57 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
I could mention any number of musicians who found it necessary to Ďidentifyí as being of a different race in order to get around the appalling situation in which people of apparently different races werenít allowed to work together, stay in the same hotels, eat together, travel together, etc. But Iím not sure that they would be on-topic.
Can't see why it wouldn't be.
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Old 1st October 2022, 10:58 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
People have been passing themselves off as something they arenít from probably before we came down from the trees, I doubt there is any single answer to why.
How about three: Status, recognition and material gain. (obviously, I'm not including those who are actually convinced they're something that they aren't.)
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Old 1st October 2022, 11:09 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It does raise the question though, at what point does a great grandparent cease to be relevant? Or how many great grandparents do you need of a particular nationality to be able to claim some sort of ethnic descent? Legal nationality is one thing, but claims based on someone who contributed only one-eighth of your DNA (maybe)? I don't know.
Ethnicity is primarily a matter of what culture you identify with. DNA plays only a small role mostly in the form of largely irrelevant traits that may or may not result in a distinctly identifiable facial features.

Frequently, however, common appearance features result in groupings that make absolutely no sense at a genetic leave. Eg it's common in the US to think of African American as a group based on shared physical features even if they are much farther apart wrt to DNA that white Americans are. What ties African Americans together isn't DNA or even physical appearance it's cultural ties, shared experience and treatment within American society.


IMO anyone can be part of that ethno-cultural group so long as they have lived within that culture and shared the experience of people within that culture. If you grew up in a Scottish community and shared the same experiences as all the Scottish people around you, you should be considered Scottish regardless of your DNA. Conversely someone who hasn't lived that life an hasn't shared those experiences should probably refrain from claiming that culture, even if they share DNA with it, because genetic differences between groups of humans is to small to be relevant.
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