Tags: national organization for women | now | asian american | race | women of color

NOW Member Updates Race From White to Asian American, Runs for Board

woman tapes a NOW sign on a dark gray minivan
A participant tapes a National Organization for Women sign on a vehicle during a Strike for Black Lives caravan event on July 20, 2020, in Orlando, Florida. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 13 August 2020 08:56 AM

A candidate who has historically identified as white is running for a position on the board of the National Organization for Women as an Asian American.

The Daily Beast reported that BJ Star, who was born Barbara Bencsik, is calling herself an Asian American in her bio on the website of candidates for the board position. The website said that Star has never called herself Asian American in the past, including during other campaigns.

What's more, voter registration forms going back to 1984 indicate that she selected white as her race.

It's unclear whether Star actually has Asian heritage. But if she loses the election, she could still land a seat on the board by identifying as a woman of color.

"You can't wear race like lipstick — one day you want to be red, one day you want to be black, one day you want to be brown," Triana Arnold-James, a Black woman and NOW member, told The Daily Beast. Arnold-James is running for a seat on the board as well.

"I don't appreciate her trying to use that to really keep true women of color out of leadership roles."

Another NOW member, Mariquita Anderson, said, "To me, it's an election ploy. She's run for this seat before and never has mentioned being Asian American, and all of a sudden, now? That's too coincidental."

NOW is also enveloped in a scandal involving its president and claims of racism and discrimination, The Daily Beast reported in June.

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A candidate who has historically identified as white is running for a position on the board of the National Organization for Women as an Asian American. The Daily Beast reported that BJ...
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2020-56-13
Thursday, 13 August 2020 08:56 AM
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