A white diversity consultant who cozied up to prominent Democrats while pretending to be an Arab Muslim is out of a job after it was revealed that she was "white as the driven snow."
Raquel Evita Saraswati resigned from her position as chief equity, inclusion, and culture officer at the American Friends Service Committee on Monday after her mother revealed in February that she was born Rachel Elizabeth Seidel. The committee, a Quaker group that works for a "just, peaceful, and sustainable world free of violence, inequality, and oppression," confirmed that Seidel had made the "difficult" and "deeply personal" decision to resign from the group in a statement.
"Raquel Saraswati, who is facing public allegations that she misrepresented her background and past associations, has informed us of her intention to separate from the organization," AFSC spokesman Layne Mullett told USA Today.
The transracial grifter, who since 2004 claimed to be of Latin, South Asian, and Arab descent, is a prominent activist in the Philadelphia area and has rubbed shoulders with Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), and attended an event at the Obama White House in July 2016, according to photos from her deleted Flickr album.
Before she tendered her resignation, Seidel faced a revolt from her former colleagues at the committee, who penned an anonymous open letter on Feb. 10 accusing her of lying about her racial heritage and serving as a mole for right-wing interests. The letter prompted the human resources professional who hired Seidel in 2021 to say he felt "conned" and "deceived" for believing she was a queer woman of color who happened to be a Muslim.
Seidel’s mother, Carol Perone, confirmed her daughter is white in an interview with the Intercept in February.
"I call her Rachel. I don’t know why she’s doing what she’s doing," Perone said. "I’m as white as the driven snow and so is she. … I’m German and British, and her father was Calabrese Italian. She’s chosen to live a lie, and I find that very, very sad."
Seidel said she was not fired from the committee and maintained that she was honest with the group during her hiring process in a statement to Fox News.
"I was … honest and completely transparent in securing my role, which I have found extremely fulfilling," Seidel said. "Regarding details of my personal life: I am currently taking the time I need both with loved ones as well as with professional counsel to ensure my concerns and interests are addressed comprehensively while maintaining discretion and care for the personal lives of others."
Seidel, who promoted herself as a "vegan, Muslim, queer feminist," has drawn comparisons to Rachel Dolezal, a former NAACP chapter president who resigned in disgrace after it was revealed that she was white and had been pretending to be African American. In Sept. 2022, TMZ reported that Dolezal had started an OnlyFans page.
Published under: Diversity , Ilhan Omar , Philadelphia , Rachel Dolezal , Rashida Tlaib