Prominent human rights attorney who claimed to be Latina admits she is a white woman from Georgia

A prominent human rights lawyer and former president of the National Lawyers Guild has admitted that she is not Latina, but in fact a white woman from Georgia. 

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, senior counsel at the Latino Justice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, claimed Puerto Rican and Colombian heritage, according to Prism. 

Records obtained by the site say Bannan’s family in fact arrived in the United States from Ireland, Italy and Russia, and she was born in Georgia.  

On Monday, Bannan, 43, responded to the report and confirmed that she is white.

‘I am racially white, and have always said that,’ she said. 

‘However my cultural identity was formed as a result of my family, both chosen and chosen for me, and that has always been Latinx. 

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, 43, has admitted that she is not Latina having assumed the identity

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, 43, has admitted that she is not Latina having assumed the identity

Bannan admitted in response to an article that she was a white woman born in Georgia

Bannan admitted in response to an article that she was a white woman born in Georgia

‘My identity is my most authentic expression of who I am and how I pay honor to the people who have formed me since I was a child.’ 

Bannan is the latest in a growing line of people to be revealed as having assumed a false racial identity. 

Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria was ‘outed’ on December 21 as being a white woman from Boston, known until 2009 as Hilary, whose parents happen to live in Spain.

In 2015 Rachel Dolezal was called a ‘race faker’ for claiming she ‘identified as black’, despite being born to white parents.

Bannan (third from left) claimed Puerto Rican and Colombian heritage for over a decade

Bannan (third from left) claimed Puerto Rican and Colombian heritage for over a decade

Bannan said that she had dedicated herself to ‘using my privilege as a racially white, U.S.-based woman to denounce the aggressions of this country.’

On social media, people were unimpressed.

‘Girl, please stop,’ said one.

‘What the hell is that? She’s white,’ said another.

One accused her of ‘tryna Dolezal your way out through this’.  

Famous ‘race fakers’

Rachel Dolezal – former college professor and NAACP activist known for identifying as a black woman despite having been born to white parents. She was ‘outed’ in 2015.

Jessica Krug – a white professor of African American studies at George Washington University confessed in a Medium post earlier in September 2020 that she had been faking being black for years, and was in fact a Jewish woman from Kansas.   

Satchuel Cole – born Jennifer Lynn Benton, the Indiana-based activist and member of Black Lives Matter admitted in a Facebook post in September 2020 to having ‘taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white’. 

CV Vitolo-Haddad – she resigned from her teaching job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison after admitting in September 2020 that she pretended on multiple occasions to be black or Latino. She is actually Southern Italian and Sicilian.

Hilaria Baldwin – the wife of actor Alec Baldwin was born in Boston to American parents, but changed her name from Hilary in 2009. She has claimed to be Spanish, because her parents live there and she spent time there as a child. She was ‘outed’ in December 2020. 

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan – in January 2021 the prominent human rights lawyer admitted that she was not a Latina, but was born to white parents in Georgia. 

‘Race faking’ has become a frequent phenomena in the United States.

In September a community activist from Indiana who campaigned for racial justice outed herself after posing as a black person for years despite being white.

Satchuel Cole, born Jennifer Lynn Benton, admitted in a Facebook post to having ‘taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white’. 

The activist, from Indianapolis, was a member of the Indy10 Black Lives Matter group and in 2017 acted as a spokesperson for the family of Aaron Bailey, who was shot and killed by police following a traffic stop in June 2017.

Cole – who uses the pronouns they and them – is just the latest in a string of people  who have admitted to lying about being black.  

‘Friends, I need to take accountability for my actions and the harm that I have done,’ Cole wrote on a Facebook page with the name Satch Paige. 

‘My deception and lies have hurt those I care most about. I have taken up space as a black person while knowing I am white. I have used blackness when it was not mine to use.

‘I have asked for support and energy as a Black person. I have caused harm to the city, friends and the work that I held so dear. I will do the work to take responsibility for my actions and try to reduce the harm that I have already caused.’

Cole promised to work to repair the harm caused if possible.  

The same week, University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student CV Vitolo-Haddad resigned from a teaching role after admitting to lying about being black.  

Vitolo-Haddad pretended on multiple occasions to be black or Latino although the teacher is actually Southern Italian and Sicilian.  

Vitolo-Haddad confessed to the deception in two Medium blog posts and apologized for ‘every ounce of heartbreak and betrayal’ caused by the false claims.  

‘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,’ Vitolo-Haddad wrote.

Satchuel Cole, born Jennifer Lynn Benton, admitted in a Facebook post to having 'taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white'

Satchuel Cole, born Jennifer Lynn Benton, admitted in a Facebook post to having ‘taken up space as a Black person while knowing I am white’

Aaron Bailey, pictured, who was shot and killed by police following a traffic stop in June 2017

Aaron Bailey, pictured, who was shot and killed by police following a traffic stop in June 2017

The activist, from Indianapolis, was a member of the Indy10 Black Lives Matter group

The activist, from Indianapolis, was a member of the Indy10 Black Lives Matter group 

Jessica Krug, 38, a white professor of African American studies confessed in a Medium post earlier in September 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 following a backlash over the deception.  

Michelle Moyd, the Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor in the Department of History at IU, said that the recent spike in the exposure of race fakers will have extremely negative effects on the black community. 

‘Each time one of these frauds is exposed, the people around them are left to pick up the pieces,’ she said.  

CV Vitolo-Haddad (pictured), a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student, has resigned from a teaching role after admitting to lying about being black

CV Vitolo-Haddad (pictured), a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student, has resigned from a teaching role after admitting to lying about being black

Dr Jessica Krug resigned from George Washington University after lying about being black

Dr Jessica Krug resigned from George Washington University after lying about being black

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