A white professor at George Washington University admitted Thursday to falsely claiming Black and Afro-Latina identities for her entire career.
In a Medium post, Jessica A. Krug wrote that she is actually white — but that she “built her life on a violent anti-Black lie.”
“I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness,” she wrote.
Krug recognized that her continued thievery and appropriation, of specifically a Black Caribbean identity, is “unethical, immoral, anti-Black [and] colonial.”
“I am not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech.”
Turns out that online AfroLatina activist Jess La Bombera from the Bronx is actually real-life culture vulture & white woman Jessica Krug from Kansas.
All we are is a tan, some hoops, & a shitty accent—we’re nothing but costumes to some of y’all.
Discover your own personhood. pic.twitter.com/CPw4bnTk7e
— AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez (@brwneyedamzn) September 3, 2020
According to George Washington’s website, Krug is a professor in the university’s Department of History — and has taught courses on issues including Caribbean immigration, African history and the African Diaspora.
In response to Krug’s Thursday post, George Washington tweeted, “We are aware of the post by Jessica Krug and are looking into the situation. We cannot comment further on personnel matters.”
Krug has also written several publications over the years under her false identities.
Anger about Krug’s lies has poured into social media — and empathy for the pain she’s caused among students or those who confided in her.
“My heart goes out to any Black person who invited Jessica Krug into their sacred space under the assumption that she was Black too,” Morgan Jerkins, Senior Editor at ZORA Magazine and Medium, wrote on Twitter.
Jessica Krug is a white professor at GW who has lied about being Afrolatina. Her lies have caused so much pain to students, especially the black and poc students who confided in her thinking that she could relate to them . She took several grants and scholarships based off her
— nat (@natisuave) September 3, 2020
She wrote that whole article and included LITERALLY ZERO plans to repair the harm she caused – so what was the purpose of the article? Attention & access – just like her pretending to a Black Woman was.
— Leslie Mac (@LeslieMac) September 3, 2020
“There are no words in any language to express the depth of my remorse,” Krug wrote on her Thursday post, adding that she should “absolutely be cancelled.”
“The wrath of all whom I’ve harmed, individually and collectively, will never erase the harm I’ve done.”
Krug pointed to mental health issues to explain why she assumed a false identity, but recognized that that can never justify her continued appropriation of Black culture.
“Intention never matters more than impact,” she wrote.
Krug says she can’t “fix this,” and “would never ask for nor expect forgiveness.” Others say her post wasn’t enough, and call for her dismissal as a professor.
“[Krug] wrote that whole article and included LITERALLY ZERO plans to repair the harm she caused – so what was the purpose of the article? Attention & access – just like her pretending to a Black Woman was,” wrote organizer Leslie Mac.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White George Washington University professor faked Black identity