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White teaching assistant resigns for pretending to be person of color

UW-Madison TA apologizes to ‘comrades’ for claiming to be several various ethnicities

11 September 2020

THE COLLEGE FIX — A white teaching assistant and graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison released two apologies in the past week for falsely claiming a variety of ethnicities.

It comes just a few days after Jessica Krug, a professor at George Washington University, admitted to falsely presenting herself as black, when Krug is white.

CV Vitolo-Haddad’s hand was forced by an anonymous Medium post on September 4 that appeared to out the former teaching assistant. The post included screenshots of social media posts and recollections of conversations where Vitolo-Haddad claimed various ethnic backgrounds.

Vitolo-Haddad resigned from a teaching assistant position and as co-president of the Teaching Assistants Association at the public university. Vitolo-Haddad has claimed Cuban, Ethiopian, North African and “Afro-Latinx” lineage at various times, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Vitolo-Haddad is actually white and the family is from the Sicily region of Italy.

This summer, “Vitolo-Haddad described themself as ‘italo habesha,’ meaning of Italian and Eritrean or Ethiopian descent,” according to Inside Higher Ed, using the teaching assistant’s preferred pronouns.

“To my dear friends, loved ones, and organizing comrades,” Vitolo-Haddad began the September 6 post on Medium.

“I am so deeply sorry for the ways you are hurting right now because of me. You have expressed confusion, shock, betrayal, anger, and mistrust. All of those things are a consequence of how I have navigated our relationships and the spaces we share.” […]

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