Thread Collection: On Racefakers (3/14/2021)

Still locked because people refuse to respect my boundaries, but if you have access to my main account the original thread is here. Lightly edited for clarity and to organize the points better.

Related to some publishing shit: the reason racefakers like the ones pretending to be super biracial/light skinned Black women or non-Black Latinx are able to succeed in publishing/education/fandom is because they benefit from playing off of anxieties about rejecting people based on their looks

They workshop their new POC identities over time, starting with some previously unknown ancestor of color and leveling up to being part/half of whatever they’ve decided to colonize over months or years. And because they’re now presenting/pretending as lightskinned POC…well:

They absolutely then start to pull the “did you assume my ethnicity” card and claim they’re white passing or claim some shade of brownness when they’re literally just… white.

They take advantage of POC desire for community and leverage white anxiety/guilt to catch allies.

If a black person calls them out, they’re like “I’m black too, this is actually colorist and jealousy because I’m light skinned/part white/nonblack POC” to white allies/other POC and it works because of the hierarchy of identities and who is treated as irrational from the jump.

Tells I’ve clocked:

  • Attacking or otherwise being inappropriate towards actual POC (esp Black people): Racefakers especially hate Black women or people perceived/treated as such. A common element even from the racefakers not pretending to be Black is the way they go after Black people (assumed to be) aligned with womanhood to use them, abuse them, or to discredit them.
  • Claiming both expert status & a lack of lived experience because they didn’t grow up in communities… That they’re profiting from (teaching, publishing as OV, sensitivity reads)
  • The handwringing anxiety whenever a racefaker in the same professional or fannish community is revealed and a desire to pre-address claims of racefaking that weren’t ever made publicly (“I’m not a racefaker, here’s a thread about why I call myself ‘slightly brown’ or POC-ish”)
  • Black and white face selfies often hiding part of their face
  • Never showing the backs of their hands when holding things
  • Brown emojis exclusively despite the previous things
  • Constantly tweaking the back story they offer up and adding trauma to explain why stuff doesn’t add up

Often all of the last four points are used simultaneously: See how the author occasionally known as Brooklyn Ray used black and white selfies, hid their face, AND claimed dysphoria to avoid speaking with their agent on video where the con would be clear as Brooklyn Ray isn’t actually the color of the emojis they used.

I’m serious like all of those things happen at one point or another across the racefaker journey and it’s part of a long con that folks miss until it’s almost or actually too late – the person usually slips up after success – and they’ve given access/a platform to some extent.

And the thing is that actual POC can’t or won’t talk about this because we’re assumed to be gatekeeping identity and shouted down/ignored/framed as bullies AND white people can’t talk about this because they’re called white saviors for pointing out patterns, so racefakers thrive.

(Racefakers make fandom/publishing/academia very hard for biracial and/or light skinned POC by the way because then they -actual POC who aren’t faking their race – come up against the anxiety of infiltration caused by the racefakers and struggle to defend themselves/fit in. 🤬)

About Zeenah

Zeenah writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.
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1 Response to Thread Collection: On Racefakers (3/14/2021)

  1. militantlyromantic says:

    So, full disclosure, Jackie Hidalgo, one of the women on this, and I went to high school together in KC, and we discussed Jessica Krug extensively after it happened because Jessica was actually in school with my sister, who’s two years younger than me–KC is just NOT that big a Jewish community. But I LOVE this podcast: because I think it gets at a lot of what you’re talking about here, except with more of a focus on Latinx persons in academia.

    THIS, in specific: If a black person calls them out, they’re like “I’m black too, this is actually colorist and jealousy because I’m light skinned/part white/nonblack POC” to white allies/other POC and it works because of the hierarchy of identities and who is treated as irrational from the jump

    Was something that Jackie, who had met Krug once, years before, through a mutual friend in academia, talked a lot about when meeting her and about how disempowering it was for her as someone who IS light-skinned and often viewed as not-Latinx-enough.


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