'Another Academic Racial Fraud,' This Time in Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-Madison grad student CV Vitolo-Haddad confesses to being mostly Italian
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2020 8:24 AM CDT
'Another Academic Racial Fraud,' This Time in Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.   (Getty Images/beverett)

Apparently, academics pretending to be Black is a thing? Earlier this month, George Washington University professor Jessica Krug resigned her position after penning an admission on how she'd faked being Black. Now, out of Wisconsin, a similar case. Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, University of Wisconsin-Madison PhD student CV Vitolo-Haddad has resigned from their teaching position and as co-president of the school's TA grad student union after admitting to cultural appropriation in a Sept. 6 Medium post. "In trying to sort through parts of who I am, I've taken some very wrong turns," Vitolo-Haddad, who uses they/them pronouns, wrote. Their online apology was preceded by a Medium post two days prior titled "Another Academic Racial Fraud?" The anonymous writer presented what they claimed was evidence of Vitolo-Haddad's "race-shifting and copious lying."

After Vitolo-Haddad's online disclosure, they posted a follow-up saying they were "Southern Italian/Sicilian" but that their parents had "conflicting stories." "I have no idea what to believe and the public nature of this has left me scrambling and confused. I am deeply sorry for how this is playing out." Vitolo-Haddad added, "When asked if I identify as Black, my answer should have always been 'No.' ... I should have never entered Black organizing spaces." A UW-Madison rep tells the Journal Sentinel that Vitolo-Haddad isn't a current TA there, and per CNN, Vitolo-Haddad has also lost a gig at Cal State Fresno that was due to start in the fall of 2021. Meanwhile, the grad student workers union laments in a statement that it "unknowingly rewarded the toxic opportunism of performing Blackness" by electing Vitolo-Haddad to an executive position: "We intend to immediately begin the work of repairing this harm." (Read more University of Wisconsin-Madison stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.