An Indiana Black Lives Matter activist took to Facebook on Wednesday to let everyone that she is, in fact, white.
Jennifer Lynn Benton, who had been using the name Satchuel Cole said in a Facebook post: “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,” the post read. “I have asked for support and energy as a Black person.”
Cole’s post came after Indy Black Live reported on Cole’s whiteness, outing her as a race faker who has been posing as a light-skinned Black woman for about ten years.
Cole was a prominent community leader in Indianapolis, advocating for racial justice and for the LGBTQ community. She worked with such organizations as Indy10 Black Lives Matter. Indy SURJ and the now-defunct Don’t Sleep.
She founded a food pantry called No Questions Asked and advocated on behalf of families affected by police brutality. In 2017, she was the spokesperson for the family of Aaron Bailey, who was shot and killed by police following a traffic stop.
Cole claimed to have a Black father, appearing in a story on the Freedom Indiana website about her reconnecting with her father, in which she said she only learned about him later in life.
Legally she changed her name to Satchuel Paigelyn Cole in 2010, a play on Negro League and MLB baseball player Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige.
“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,” she acknowledged in her post. “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,” the post continued. “I will do what I can to show that I want to be a better person.”
The comments on the post were mixed, with some showing support, and other understandably upset.
“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,” Crystal Turner commented in reply to Cole’s Facebook apology.
“Satch love white black whatever I love you to the moon and back, and you are a beautiful soul don’t ever forget that,” Jennifer Lanclos commented in support of Cole. “You fought harder than many, and you damn sure looked out for me so know U will always be my friend and I got you!”