This level of cringe is so brutal that you almost feel compelled to look away.
Oh heck then, maybe just a peek!
Raquel Evita Saraswati, a Muslim activist who for years has encouraged people to believe that she is a woman of color, including Latina as well as of South Asian and Arab descent, is the [American Friends Service Committee's] chief equity, inclusion, and culture officer, a senior position that gives her access to the files of dozens of the organization's staff and volunteers. But Saraswati, who was born Rachel Elizabeth Seidel, is not a person of color, according to her mother, Carol Perone.
"I call her Rachel," Perone told The Intercept, when reached by telephone. "I don't know why she's doing what she's doing."
The lady was outed by her own mother.
That's some hard love from mom right there. But she went even further than that:
Saraswati, her mother added, is of British, German, and Italian descent — not Latina, South Asian, or Arab. "I'm as white as the driven snow and so is she," added Perone, who also shared with The Intercept photos of Saraswati as a child. In the photos, which the mother asked not be published, Saraswati's complexion is significantly lighter than the bronzed look in more recent photographs. Perone also shared with The Intercept her Ancestry.com profile and a photo of Saraswati's biological father, who is deceased. Another relative who asked not to be identified confirmed that Saraswati is white.
I mean, I'm not trying to be mean here, but...yeah, judging from her Twitter profile photo, I can see white. I can definitely see it. I'm just saying is all.
Ms. Saraswati, on the other hand, is very much convinced of her own ethnic heritage, to the point that at times she has envisioned herself as some sort of ancient Theban queen or something:
It's not a bad look! Unless you're, you know, white.
Incredibly, it looks like the AFSC is not only standing by their gal, they evidently don't even really care if she's white or not!
Layne Mullett, a spokesperson for the AFSC, conveyed a statement from the organization's leadership team that said, "We are in receipt of the documentation alleging that our Chief Equity, Inclusion, and Culture Officer, Raquel Saraswati, has been misrepresenting her identity. AFSC has given Raquel the opportunity to address the allegations against her, and Raquel stands by her identity. Raquel also assures us that she remains loyal to AFSC's mission, which we firmly believe." The statement added that "AFSC does not require any employee to ‘prove' their heritage as a condition of their employment, or in order to be valued as a member of our team."