A white woman has been ousted for posing as a Latina woman. Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan — who worked as senior counsel at the Latino Justice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund — spent years claiming she was a New Yorker of Puerto Rican and Colombian descent. However, according to reports from Prism, she is actually a Georgia native whose family is from Ireland, Italy and Russia.
In 2007, Bannan — who has allegedly accepted positions created for Latinas and other people of color — told El Diario that she was “a little bit Spanish, a little bit Colombian and a Sephardic Jew.” A decade later, when speaking to the Voice Latina, she identified as a “cultural mix of Puerto Rican, Colombian, Italian and some other.”
Most recently, in response to the Prism’s recently-released records, Bannan explained why she recognizes herself as a Latina woman.
“I am racially white and have always said that. However, my cultural identity was formed as a result of my family, both chosen and chosen for me, and that has always been Latinx,” the attorney told the publication. “My identity is my most authentic expression of who I am and how I pay honor to the people who have formed me since I was a child.”
Bannan later emailed a 2016 Facebook post to Prism as proof that she’s publicly claimed her white heritage.
“My biological parents were born in the United States, and I was raised with only one of them,” the post read. “Yet, the Colombian family who I grew up with and who were responsible in grand part for raising me, who helped form my character and identity were from many different ethnic identities and backgrounds.”
Unfortunately, Bannan is not the first white person to lie about her race. As REVOLT previously reported, professors CV Vitolo-Haddad and Jessica A. Krug admitted to appropriating Black culture. Satchuel Cole — who worked as a Black Lives Matter activist in Louisiana — also came forward after years of pretending to be a Black woman.