UW-Madison teaching assistant resigns after lying about being black

Another race-faker unmasked: Teacher admits lying about being black and resigns from University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • CV Vitolo-Haddad, who identifies as non-binary, admitted to pretending to be black or Latino when they are actually Southern Italian and Sicilian  
  • The grad student confessed to the deceptions in two Medium blog posts 
  • Vitolo-Haddad ‘entered Black organizing spaces’ and when others asked about being black, did not say no on three separate occasions
  • The teacher apologized for ‘every ounce of heartbreak and betrayal’ caused 
  • Vitolo-Haddad resigned from the teaching assistant job at the university as well as the role of co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA)  
  • Jessica Krug, a white professor at George Washington University, resigned last week after confessing she had been faking being black for years

A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student has resigned from a teaching role after admitting to lying about being black.  

CV Vitolo-Haddad, who identifies as non-binary and goes by ‘they’ or ‘them’ pronouns, pretended on multiple occasions to be black or Latino although the teacher is actually Southern Italian and Sicilian.  

Vitolo-Haddad failed to correct peoples’ assumptions about racial identity, ‘entered Black organizing spaces’ and  on three occasions didn’t say no when others asked about being black.  

Vitolo-Haddad confessed to the deception in two Medium blog posts and apologized for ‘every ounce of heartbreak and betrayal’ caused by the false claims. 

The grad left a teaching assistant job at the university as well as the role as co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA).

The revelation comes weeks after white George Washington University associate professor Jessica Krug was publicly shamed after she admitted she had been pretending to be black her entire career.

CV Vitolo-Haddad (pictured), a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student, has resigned from a teaching role after admitting to lying about being black

Vitolo-Haddad published a blog on Medium on September 6 apologizing for taking some ‘very wrong turns’ and deceiving people over racial identity.

‘In trying to sort through parts of who I am, I’ve taken some very wrong turns. I never really owned up to them as they became apparent, nor recognized the trail of damage behind me,’ Vitolo-Haddad wrote. 

The grad student said other people mad assumptions on ancestry and were not corrected. 

‘I have let guesses about my ancestry become answers I wanted but couldn’t prove. I have let people make assumptions when I should have corrected them,’ Vitolo-Haddad wrote. 

Vitolo-Haddad vowed to make ‘amends for every ounce of heartbreak and betrayal’ caused by the false claims. 

In a second follow-up Medium post on September 8, the graduate student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication gave specific examples where Vitolo-Haddad had deceived others about their racial identity and went into detail about confusion over identity.  

Vitolo-Haddad is Southern Italian/Sicilian but ‘went along with however people saw me’.  


CV Vitolo-Haddad, who identifies as non-binary, admitted to pretending on multiple occasions to be black or Latino despite being Southern Italian and Sicilian

 Vitolo-Haddad failed to correct peoples’ assumptions about racial identity, ‘entered Black organizing spaces’ and on three occasions didn’t say no when others asked about being black.

Vitolo-Haddad apologized for the deception in two blog posts and quit roles as a teaching assistant at University of Wisconsin-Madison (pictured) and co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA)

Vitolo-Haddad recounted three separate instances where others asked about being black and did not say no. 

‘When asked if I identify as Black, my answer should have always been ‘No.’ There were three separate instances I said otherwise,’ Vitolo-Haddad wrote. 

‘I should not have adopted any identity outside of what I know.’ 

Vitolo-Haddad stopped short of confessing to lying but admitted to the need to have ‘clarified my identity’ on these occasions. 

Vitolo-Haddad admitted to being in ‘Black organizing spaces I didn’t belong in’ on multiple occasions.

‘That deception was parasitic and harmful. I want to identify those moments and state what I should have done differently,’ Vitolo-Haddad wrote. 

In the second post, Vitolo-Haddad parents were blamed for ‘conflicting stories’ about the family’s heritage.

Vitolo-Haddad published one blog on Medium on September 6 and the second on September 8

‘I want to apologize for ever taking lies about Cuban roots at face value, and for subsequently attaching myself to people’s perceptions of me as though it would provide answers where there are none,’ Vitolo-Haddad wrote.

Vitolo-Haddad admitted to latching onto ‘unreliable and unproven family history’ and did not question it as false.    

‘What I know now is that perception is not reality. Race is not flat, it is a social construct rife with contradictions,’ Vitolo-Haddad wrote.

‘Fighting racism never required dissociating myself from whiteness. In fact, it derailed the cause by centering my experience.’ 

Vitolo-Haddad resigned from the university job and the role at the union saying ‘education is build on a foundation of trust and accountability, and until I repair that I should not be teaching’. 

Vitolo-Haddad insisted on never having identified as non-white on paper or attempted to benefit from education scholarships or awards for people of color. 

UW-Madison representative Meredith McGlone confirmed to the Daily Cardinal that Vitolo-Haddad had resigned from the teaching assistant position at the university. 

‘UW-Madison expects that people represent themselves authentically and accurately in all aspects of their academic work,’ McGlone said in a statement.  

Jessica Krug, 38, (pictured) a white professor of African American studies confessed in a Medium post earlier this month that she had been faking being black for years

This isn’t the first incident of ‘race faking’ at educational institutions in recent weeks.  

Jessica Krug, 38, a white professor of African American studies confessed in a Medium post earlier this month that she had been faking being black for years.  

The professor at George Washington University admitted she had deceived colleagues and students for years.

Krug grew up as a white Jewish child in Kansas City but assumed a series of different black identities throughout her career, she confessed in a Medium blog post on September 3. 

Krug resigned from her role at the university last week following a backlash over the deception.  

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