Middle Eastern-Latina Muslim Activist Exposed as White Woman

by Xara Aziz
Credit: My Heritage

The family of a DEI executive and activist has pulled the rug underneath one of their own after announcing that the woman is lying about her race.

Raquel Evita Saraswati, who works for a progressive social justice organization, was recently discovered to be a White woman of European descent, rather than the “Muslim, multiethnic woman” she has been representing herself as, according to Oskar Pierre Castro, an HR professional who helped hire Saraswati.

According to The Intercept, the woman’s name is actually Rachel Elizabeth Seidel and she gradually began wearing darker shades of makeup to match her newfound identity.

“I’m as White as the driven snow and so is she,” the imposter’s mother, Carol Perone told The Intercept. “I don’t know why she’s doing what she’s doing…She’s chosen to live a lie, and I find that very, very sad.”

Photographs from Saraswati’s past show that her original name was Rachel Seidel in old yearbook photos before she changed her first and middle name in college.

According to an open letter written by The American Friends Service Committee, the 39-year-old had gone to great lengths to wipe clean any evidence to suggest she was a White woman.

At the time of the woman’s hiring, Castro praised how her diverse background “really touched all the points” of “lived experience” they were seeking when they were looking to fill the DEI position she applied for.

“In my mind it was, ‘Great, a person of color, a queer person of color, who happens to be a Muslim, it’s a woman, all these things, and someone who seemed to get it,” Castro said. “I definitely feel conned. … I feel deceived.”

Her employer further added that they are looking at new “ways to move forward in a thoughtful and humane way.”

“AFSC’s Chief Equity, Inclusion, and Culture Officer is currently facing public allegations that she misrepresented her background and past associations,” they wrote in a statement. “She assures us that she remains loyal to AFSC’s mission, and we believe her. This is a deeply personal issue and as her employer we respect her privacy. We do not require any employee to prove their race or ethnicity as a condition of employment. That would be unethical and illegal.”

They continued that they are currently viewing the situation from different perspectives and will continue to approach the issue with “kindness, grace, integrity and care for all individuals.” 

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