We all have our little lies. One can lie about one’s age, on one’s CV, on the level of hair removal on one’s legs or back… But some go much further in the concept by downright inventing a skin color that is not theirs. And the worst part of it all is that the lie seems to work since it’s only years later that these false blacks reveal their whiteness to the chagrin of those around them. It’s called racial usurpation, or also “blackfishing” or “niggerfishing” on social networks and the phenomenon occurs most often in the United States but above all shows a desire (sometimes well-intentioned at the start) to s appropriate black culture. We also talk about the Kardashian effect whose Instagram editorial line was, among other things, a way of playing this cultural appropriation… We look at the few people who have been caught in the act.
1. The influencer Emma Hallberg, the assumed blackface
Emma Hallberg was one of those influencers accused of “blackfishing”. Why ? The young Swedish woman, as white as a Doliprane tablet, had nevertheless taken to posting photos of her on Instagram, clearly suggesting that she was black. The influencer defended herself by explaining that her skin was dull and that her color was 100% natural, which we allow ourselves to doubt…
2. Jessica Krug, the white historian who wanted to be Puerto Rican
Here is a typical and strangely widespread case in the United States: these white scholars who invent origins to better legitimize their anti-racist discourse. This is the case of Jessica Krug, a historian who first claimed North African, then Afro-American, then Puerto Rican origins. The academic, however, confessed to this big racial myth in an article on Medium. Is that enough to forgive the one who was nicknamed Jess la Bombalera and spoke with a fake Puerto Rican accent?
3. Rachel Dolezal, in black and against all
While she is a leader in an anti-racist organization, Rachel simply claims to be black. But like completely black. So inevitably, when her mother reveals in 2015 that her daughter is not at all black but of Czech, Swedish and German origin. Inevitably it creates a dirty atmosphere and Rachel Dolezal finds herself forced to resign from her post although she still claims today that she feels deeply Black even if she is not. She quickly becomes an object of ridicule and harassment whose story was summarized in the documentary Rachel Dolezal, a controversial portrait.
What just makes me laugh in this story is how people could believe before she confessed that she was indeed Black. Well, I mean… it shows. Physically. Well, there’s really no doubt what.
4. A doctoral student who always pretended she was Ethiopian and Cuban when she wasn’t.
In the wake of the revelations of Jessica Krug, the doctoral student Vitolo-Haddad who regularly spoke on social networks of the suffering that her family suffered because of colonization, finally revealed the deception in a Medium article.
5. Activist Satchuel Cole with fake African-American origins
Here again, we are faced with a “classic” case of an anti-racist activist who fakes her origins and finds herself at the foot of the wall of genetic reality, thus having to reveal the simple truth.
6. Aga Brzostowska, another pro-Black influencer in need of recognition
Like her Swedish colleague, the young woman defends herself from “blackfish” because she clearly explains that she did not have implants either in the lips or in the buttocks. Mouaif. I let you judge this TOTAL ABSENCE of pretending to be a black person.
7. Jaiden Gumbayan, Black until the end of the filter
Same social media story, same defense, same ridiculousness.
8. Actor Iron Eyes Cody, Hollywood’s Fakest Native American
While he was certainly of Sicilian origin (but don’t go looking for more exoticism, it stops there), the American actor has become the reference figure for embodying Amerindians on screen, he claimed thus its totally invented origins, but necessary to find a job. Practice.
9. Martina Big, renamed Malaila Kubwa
This German model is one of the rare cases of transraciality (noted in the same way with Rachel Dolezal): she feels black. To fully live this identity claim, she gets tan injections, breast implants (in the top of the largest breast implants in the world) and rename Malaila Kubwa. A little annoying.
10. Adam Wheeler, this white American who wanted to become a Filipino
Renamed Ja Du, this man has become a figure of the transracial movement which, according to him, should be recognized by society in the same way as transsexual people…