Black Lives Matter Leader Caught Pretending to Be Black, Admits She's White
Prominent Indiana BLM activist caught faking race by local news outlet
A prominent Black Lives Matter activist from Indiana has been caught pretending to be black after a local news outlet dug into her past and discovered she's actually white.
Satchuel Cole, who was born Jennifer Benton to white parents, has now admitted to faking her race and apologized for pretending to be black.
Benton came clean after a report from BlackIndyLive.com revealed that she was not black, forcing her to issue a statement where she vowed to seek help after she was exposed lying about her race.
The outlet discovered that Benton once identified as white after finding yearbook photos and legal documents also proved her parents were white.
Benton, who reportedly uses “they/them” pronouns, changed her name in 2010, the outlet also reported.
According to Black Indy Live, it was shortly after the name change that her profile as an activist began to skyrocket.
“Friends, I need to take accountability for my actions and the harm that I have done,” Benton wrote in an apologetic Facebook post earlier this week, which continued:
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. If there are ways to repair the harm, I will do the work that is required to do so. I will continue to seek the help necessary to heal myself. I am sorry for the harm I have caused. I am sorry for the hurt and betrayal. I will do what I can to show that I want to be a better person.
Her fake name appears to be a reference to Robert Leroy "Satchel" Paige, a legendary black baseball pitcher, according to The Sun.
"Satchuel Cole" was highly visible in Indianapolis, Indiana's racial justice activism, working alongside the leadership of Indy10 Black Lives Matter and the Indianapolis chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice).
She also founded a food pantry called No Questions Asked and advocated for the families of victims of police brutality.
Community members remarked that Benton had been a well-regarded activist and could have simply contributed to causes without lying about who she was.
"What's so sad is you could have done all the same work and never had to lie to get it done. You just chose to," local resident Crystal Turner said in a reply to Benton's Facebook apology.
She claimed to have a black father who she had only learned about later in life, and the website Freedom Indiana even ran an article on her and her alleged long-lost black father.
Allegedly, a black identity wasn't the only think Benton misappropriated.
Indianapolis residents claiming to be victims of various schemes by the faker have emerged, with one accusing her of "misappropriation of thousands of dollars of funding collected by her over the years," Black Indy Live reported.
Another resident claims Benton acted as a slumlord in her property management work for housing for low-income families, according to Black Indy Live.
The case of Satchuel Cole is the latest in a string of racial scamming revelations.
George Washington University professor Jessica Krug, who had claimed various black identities throughout her adult life, recently confessed to being white.
In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, the president of the Spokane NAACP chapter, was also revealed to be white and passing as African-American.
Three years later, the term "blackfishing" was coined to describe a larger phenomenon of white women – especially social media influencers – using makeup and tanning products to appear racially ambiguous.