Satchuel Cole aka Jennifer Benton Indianapolis white woman admits to having pretended to being black as activist is now accused of misappropriating funds.
A white female Black Lives Matter activist has admitted in a social media post of having pretended to be black for years.
Using her ‘adopted name’, Satchuel Paigelyn Cole on Wednesday admitted ‘falsely’ appropriating the race identity and vowing to ‘seek help.’
Posted the activist: ‘Friends, I need to take accountability for my actions and the harm that I have done. 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.
The admission came after an investigation by Indy Black Live found Cole actually being a white woman, originally named Jennifer Benton, who had been passing as a light-skinned black woman for a decade.
Published photos by the outlet included yearbook photos of Cole’s white parents, along with documents showing Cole once listed her race as ‘white.’
Indianapolis has its own Rachel Dolezal!!!!!! Her name is Jennifer Benton and she goes by Satchuel Cole. She’s lied and said a black was her father and he’s not. Wooooooooooooowwww. pic.twitter.com/0wdSUMxqNh
— Frances Lee (@no_askfrances) September 15, 2020
Confusion & anger & betrayal
Benton’s fake name appears to be a reference to Robert Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige, a legendary black baseball pitcher.
‘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 now defunct food pantry called ‘No Questions Asked’ and advocated for the families of victims of police brutality.
Community members remarked that Cole 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 Cole’s Facebook apology.
Cole legally changed her name from Jennifer Benton in 2010, according to legal documents obtained by Black Indy Live.
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. But there’s more.
Accusations of misappropriations of funds
Indianapolis residents are now claiming to be victims of various schemes the female activist procured, with one accusing her of ‘misappropriation of thousands of dollars of funding collected by her over the years,’ Indy Black Live reported.
Another resident claims Benton acted as a slumlord in her property management work for housing for low-income families, according to Indy Black Live.
Benton has yet to public respond to the above claims.
Of note, Benton is third white woman who has come clean about pretending to be black in recent weeks, including Jessica Krug, a George Washington University African American studies professor & CV Vitolo-Haddad, a UW-Madison white graduate turned teacher who resigned her academic role.
And then there were these reactions that caught this author’s eye, see what you think?
‘Question, you’ve benefitted personally and professionally from Blackfishing. How will you pay reparations?’
‘You’re a predator, a colonizer and a white woman in its true form. Lying and deceitful. I can’t even come up with the words to describe how disgusting your tactics are.’