White 'Transracial' Individual Who Says He Is Filipino Incites Intense Debate On Cultural Appropriation

(Photo: WTSP-TV, CBS 10 Local News Tampa Bay Sarasota)

White 'Transracial' Individual Who Says He Is Filipino Incites Intense Debate On Cultural Appropriation

Adam, now going by Ja Du, is being called the new Rachel Dolezal.

Published November 14, 2017

A white man in Florida, who is stirred up national controversy after revealing he identifies as Filipino, has many people calling him out for cultural appropriation. 

Adam, who now goes by Ja Du, says he identifies as “transracial,” a term once made famous by Rachel Dolezal.

Instead of driving the latest model car around Tampa, Ja Du drives a Tuk Tuk, a motorized, three-wheeled rickshaw traditionally used for public transportation in Thailand and other Asian countries.

Ja Du sat down with Florida local news station WTSP and detailed the extent of his “transracial” identity. 

  1. “Whenever I’m around the music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin,” Ja Du told WTSP's Garin Flowers. 

    “I’d watch the history channel sometimes for hours, you know, whenever it came to that and, you know, nothing else intrigued me more but things about Filipino culture.”

    Ja Du, who told his family he identifies as transsexual and is considering changing genders, has not yet revealed his “transracial” lifestyle. Ja Du said he fears his family would laugh at his lifestyle. 

    Dr. Stacey Scheckner, a licensed psychologist with a B.A. from Washington University, played devil's advocate and implied the concept of transraciality, as long as it's harmless, can have positive affects. 

    “If someone feels that they feel at home with a certain religion, a certain race, a certain culture, I think that if that’s who they really feel inside life is about finding out who you are. The more knowledge you have of yourself, the happier you can be,” she told WTSP.

    “And as long as it’s not hurting yourself or anyone else, I don’t see a problem with that.”

  2. However, when Ja Du's story went public, many called it cultural appropriation at its finest
  3. Others claimed there are inconsistencies with Ja Du's examples of Filipino culture
  4. It didn't take long for Ja Du to be compared to Rachel Dolezal
  5. However, we can think of one other person who can speak on transracial identity

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: WTSP-TV, CBS 10 Local News Tampa Bay Sarasota)


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NOVEMBER 3, 2020