- On Thursday, George Washington University professor Jessica A. Krug appeared to admit of her own volition that she had been pretending to be a Black woman for her entire professional career.
- “You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself,” Krug said in an apology post shared through Medium.
- Multiple people later claimed that others had found out about her lie beforehand and were preparing to expose her.
- Besides using fake accents and purveying Black stereotypes, Krug also acted as a gatekeeper to actual Black people, often telling them that they weren’t doing enough for their community.
- Though she does not reference it in her apology, Krug has also since been accused of pretending to be part Latina, using the alias “Jess La Bombalera” to pose as an activist in the Bronx.
White Professor Exposes Her Lie
In a story eerily similar to that of former Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal, George Washington University history professor Jessica A. Krug — who is white and Jewish — admitted to lying about being Black for years, saying she “built her life on a violent anti-Black lie.”
Prior to her admitting her lie in a Medium post on Thursday, Krug claimed she was of North African, African American, and Caribbean descent. According to her bio on GWU’s website, Krug is even an expert in African, Latin American, and African American histories.
Despite this, Krug seemed to espouse Black stereotypes, and she’s now been accused of fabricating a number of stories. Among those, she allegedly claimed to have an abusive childhood, a brother in prison, and an addict mother. At one point, she even publicly claimed that she was “an unrepentant and unreformed child of the hood.” In reality, she grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City.
In her Thursday post, Krug denounced her actions as “the very epitome of violence, of thievery and appropriation,” calling herself a “culture leech” and a “coward.” She’s now even asking the world to cancel her.
“You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself,” Krug said.
“I have lived this lie, fully, completely, with no exit plan or strategy,” she added. “I have built only this life, a life within which I have operated with a radical sense of ethics, of right and wrong, and with rage, rooted in Black power, an ideology which every person should support, but to which I have no possible claim as my own.”
While GWU has confirmed that it is aware of Krug’s post, it is unclear what action the institution will take or if Krug will further try to cancel herself by resigning. In fact, it’s wholly unclear how Krug plans to cancel herself at all, and she even admits after saying she should be canceled, “What does that mean? I don’t know.”
Krug Allegedly Revealed Her Lie Because She Was About to Get Caught
Krug never revealed her reasoning for finally coming clean, and at first, it appeared she may have done so of her own volition.
It turns out that may not actually be the case. In fact, some allege that her lies were already beginning to crumble around her.
Hari Ziyad, a black author and screenwriter who claimed to be a friend of Krug’s until her post, said on Twitter, “She didn’t do it out of benevolence. She did it because she had been found out.”
“For years I defended her work, and her from her own self-loathing,” Ziyad continued. “I did it despite warnings from Black friends, from those who said she wasn’t Black enough even if they could accept that she was Black, and from my own mind and body.”
“I always knew there was something off. It was in her persistent negativity and jealousy, her always needing to prove her authenticity at the expense of everything else. But I attributed it to her trauma, which she made up to manipulate a proximity to me based on what she felt she could use to gain… my trust.”
Ziyad did not elaborate on how Krug had been “found out,” but Yomaira Figueroa, an associate professor at Michigan State University who said she did not personally know Krug, later provided more details of what may have led Krug to make the post.
“The only reason Jessica Krug finally admitted to this lie is bec on Aug 26th one very brave very BLACK Latina junior scholar approached two senior Black Latina scholars & trusted them enough to do the research & back her up,” Figueroa said on Twitter. “Those two scholars made phone calls & reached out to other senior scholars & institutions with proof.”
“Krug got ahead of the story because she was caught & she knew the clock was ticking bec folks started to confront her & ask questions. DO NOT BELIEVE FOR ONE SECOND.”
The White Gatekeeper
Krug reportedly didn’t just fabricate experiences. According to some, she would even accuse actual Black people of not doing enough for their own community — a community she, of course, wasn’t really a part of.
“She deleted her Tinder so I can’t show y’all, and I know none of y’all will believe this actually happened,” Huffington Post reporter Ja’han Jones claimed on Twitter, “but I matched with Jessica Krug — the white woman pretending to be Black — on Tinder a couple years back and she went in on me for not caring about Black people enough.”
Despite her alleged criticisms against Black people for a lack of commitment to their own community, Krug herself has been accused of stealing prestigious spots that were meant for Black scholars. For example, Krug is a finalist for two awards named after legendary Black American figures: the Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass book prizes.
In her book Fugitive Modernities, Krug said she received “substantial financial and institutional support” from several funders, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
In that same book, she thanks her “ancestors, unknown, unnamed, who bled life into a future they had no reason to believe could or should exist.”
“She has taken, everything she has gained,” Figueroa said on Twitter, “all that she stole by creating this identity & shrouding herself with Black & Latinx folks who defended, supported, and lifted her up. What does restitution look like when she won awards, grants, & fellowships for underrepresented folks?”
she has taken, everything she has gained, all that she stole by creating this identity & shrouding herself with Black & Latinx folks who defended, supported, and lifted her up. What does restitution look like when she won awards, grants, & fellowships for underrepresented folks?— Dr. YoFiggy (@DrYoFiggy) September 3, 2020
At Times, Krug Also Pretended To Be Part Latina
In her post, Krug claims, “I have not lived a double life. There is no parallel form of my adulthood connected to white people or a white community or an alternative white identity.”
However, it appears that Krug may have also pretended to part Puerto Rican, at times even going by the name “Jess La Bombalera” to pose as an activist in the Bronx.
In a video that has gained massive traction since her lie was exposed, Krug (posing as “La Bombalera”) speaks to the New York City Council in what can only be described as an ever-evolving accent ridden with stereotypes.
According to Anmol Goraya, a junior at GWU who took one of Krug’s introductory history courses, Krug’s identity sometimes changed. In one lecture, Goraya said Krug claimed that plantains were important to her family in the Dominican Republic.
Speaking to CNN, Goraya also said Krug would contextually use the N-word in class when it appeared in readings.
In her post, Krug does not directly admit that she ever pretended to be Latina. Instead, she said she admits to portraying a “Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness.”
See what others are saying: (Vulture) (New York Post) (The Cut)
Bodycam Footage Shows Adam Toledo Wasn’t Holding Gun When an Officer Shot Him
- Chicago officials released body camera footage Thursday which showed that 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot and killed by police last month, had put his hands up in the air right before the officer opened fire.
- The graphic video showed the officer, who has now been identified as Eric Stillman, yelling at Adam to stop as he chases him through an alley.
- The teenager obeyed and stopped by a fence, where he can be seen holding what appears to be a gun behind his back. Stillman ordered him to drop it, and then shot him a split second after Adam raised his empty hands in the air.
- The footage prompted renewed outrage, protests, and calls for an investigation. A lawyer for the Toledo family called the killing “an assassination,” while Stillman’s lawyer defended the officer, and claimed he acted appropriately.
Officer Bodycam Footage Made Public
Body camera footage released by Chicago officials Thursday showed that Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy killed by police last month, had his hands up when he was fatally shot.
The footage, which was released as part of a report by the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), showed officers chasing Adam, who was Latino, through an alley in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Little Village during the early hours of March 29.
The officer ordered Adam to stop. The teenager complied and halted by the side of a fence, holding what looks like a gun in one of his hands behind his back. The policeman yelled at him to drop it and show his hands.
Adam turned and lifted his empty hands, and the officer fired his weapon, striking the teenager once in the chest. The policeman is then seen administering CPR and asking him, “You alright? Where you shot?” while blood poured out of his mouth.
The COPA report published Thursday also identified the officer who shot Adam as 34-year-old Eric Stillman, who is white, and whose lawyer said he had been put on administrative duties for 30 days.
Stillman’s lawyer also argued that the shooting was justified, as did John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
“He was 100% right,” Catanzara said. “The offender still turned with a gun in his hand. This occurred in eight-tenths of a second.”
Renewed Backlash and Protests
Adeena Weiss Ortiz, an attorney obtained by Adam’s family, said they are looking into taking legal action against Stillman.
“If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his arms in the air, it’s an assassination,” she said at a news conference Thursday.
Ortiz acknowledged the bodycam footage did appear to show Adam holding something that “could be a gun,” but argued the video must be independently analyzed to confirm.
“It’s not relevant because he tossed the gun,” she said. “If he had a gun, he tossed it.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois also echoed Ortiz’s demands on Thursday, calling for a “complete and transparent” investigation.
“The video released today shows that police shot Adam Toledo even though his hands were raised in the air,” said Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois.
“The people of Chicago deserve answers about the events surrounding this tragic interaction. The anger and frustration expressed by many in viewing the video is understandable and cannot be ignored.”
Hours before the video was released, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pleaded for calm in the city, where anti-police protests have taken place in the weeks following the shooting.
“We must proceed with deep empathy and calm and importantly, peace,” she said. “No family should ever have a video broadcast widely of their child’s last moments, much less be placed in the terrible situation of losing their child in the first place.”
Some businesses in downtown Chicago boarded prepared for violence ahead of the video’s publication by boarding up their windows. City vehicles stood by to block traffic.
However, the demonstrations that took place Thursday were small, peaceful, and spread out over several parts of the city. Organizers said they plan to hold more protests Friday.
See what others are saying: (The Chicago Sun-Times) (The New York Times) (The Chicago Tribune)
Eight Dead in Indianapolis Shooting
- Eight people were killed and several more were injured after a gunman opened fire at a FedEx Ground Facility in Indianapolis late Thursday.
- The gunman took his life after opening fire. Authorities have not identified his motive yet.
- According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2021, there have been 147 U.S. mass shootings, defined as verified incidents with four or more gunshot victims.
- President Joe Biden released a statement calling gun violence “an epidemic in America,” adding, “We should not accept it. We must act.”
Eight Killed in Shooting
Eight people were killed and several others have been wounded after a gunman opened fire at a FedEx Ground Facility in Indianapolis late Thursday.
The gunman killed four people in the parking lot then four people inside before taking his own life, according to local officials. Authorities have identified the gunman and are searching his home, but have not disclosed any potential motives.
“There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said during a press conference. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”
Several witnesses told local outlets they initially thought the gunshots were engines backfiring or another type of mechanical noise until they saw the gunman. Some said they heard him shouting indistinctly before opening fire. The investigation is still in very early stages and victims have not yet been identified.
The facility employs 4,500 team members. It is unclear how many were working at the time of the shooting. FedEx released a statement expressing its condolences to the victims and their families.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis,” the statement read. “Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities.”
Gun Violence in the U.S.
This tragedy follows a recent string of mass shootings in the U.S., including in Atlanta, Colorado, Southern California, and Texas. According to the Associated Press, this is at least the third in Indianapolis this year.
The Gun Violence Archive has logged a total of 147 mass shootings in the U.S. so far in 2021. The organization defines mass shootings as reported and verified incidents with at least four gunshot victims.
Several politicians have released statements about the shooting, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who said this pattern “must end.”
“Yet again we have families in our country that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence,” she said. “There is no question that this violence must end, and we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones.”
President Joe Biden also released a statement saying that, “Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation.”
“Gun violence is an epidemic in America,” Biden added. “But we should not accept it. We must act.”
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett echoed those remarks in a news conference.
“The scourge of gun violence that has killed far too many in our community and in our country,” he said.
“Our prayers are with the families of those whose lives were cut short,” he added on Twitter.
Hogsett is among 150 U.S. mayors who recently signed a letter asking the Senate to take up gun legislation, including expanding background checks.
Editor’s Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders or suspected mass murderers who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.
Soldier Charged With Assault After Shoving Black Man in Viral Video
- Authorities charged Army soldier Jonathan Pentland with third-degree assault and battery on Wednesday after a viral video showed him shoving a Black man while yelling at him to leave a South Carolina neighborhood.
- Many people, including dozens who protested outside Pentland’s home this week, condemned the confrontation as another instance of someone being attacked for “walking while Black.”
- Pentland and others claimed the unidentified man was picking a fight with neighbors, which the man denied, but police said nothing that may have happened earlier justified Pentland’s actions.
- If convicted, Pentland faces a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
A U.S. soldier was charged with assault on Wednesday after a video that circulated online showed him yelling at and shoving a Black man in a South Carolina neighborhood.
Footage of the April 8 incident was posted to social media Monday. It shows the Army soldier, Jonathan Pentland, confronting the unidentified man and telling him to leave the neighborhood.
The other man explains that he’s just walking through the area and doing nothing wrong, but Pentland becomes increasingly aggressive. “You better walk away,” he shouts at the man after shoving him.
“You either walk away, or I’m gonna carry your ass out of here,” he continues before adding, “You’re in the wrong neighborhood motherf*ker. Get out!”
The man then tries to tell Pentland that he lives in the neighborhood, and Pentland then asks for his address, which he does not give.
The confrontation continues with Pentland cursing and getting in the man’s face. As he does so, the man says that Pentland smells drunk.
It’s unclear what exactly led up to the confrontation, but in the video, a woman off-camera says the man “picked a fight with some random young lady that’s one of our neighbors.”
“I don’t even know who she is. Nobody picked a fight when someone ran up on me,” the man replies. Another woman off-screen then encourages the man to leave with her, saying, “What’s your name? Come on. You don’t want no trouble.”
Video Triggers Protests Outside Pentland’s Home
After this video spread online, many social media users condemned it as another instance of someone being attacked for “walking while Black.”
In fact, protesters even began demonstrating outside of Penland’s home. Those protests started off peaceful, but deputies were then called after 8 p.m. because unknown individuals vandalized the house. That forced police to shut down access to the area and remove Pentland’s family to another location.
As far as the viral video, deputies were told that the man approached “several neighbors in a threatening manner” and that someone had asked Pentland to “intervene.”
Police did confirm that there are two reports of alleged assault against the unnamed man Pentland shoved that are being investigated. However, they also added that the man has “an underlying medical condition that may explain the behavior exhibited in the alleged incidents.”
Either way, police said whatever happened earlier did not justify Pentland’s actions. He was ultimately arrested Wednesday morning and was charged with third-degree assault and battery. He faces a $500 fine and 30 days in jail if convicted.
“We’re not going to let people be bullies in our community,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said at a news conference Wednesday. “And if you are, you’re going to answer for it, and that’s what we’ve done in this case.”
On top of that, the Justice Department reportedly was investigating. Pentland’s Commanding General even issued a statement condemning his behavior, adding that Pentland “brought disrespect to @fortjackson our Army and the trust with the public we serve.”