- 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)
New COVID-19 Variant Could Become Dominant in the U.S. by March, CDC Warns
- The CDC warned Friday that a new highly transmissible COVID-19 variant could become the predominant variant in the United States by March.
- The strain was first reported in the United Kingdom in December and is now in at least 10 states.
- The CDC used a modeled trajectory to discover how quickly the variant could spread in the U.S. and said that this could threaten the country’s already overwhelmed healthcare system.
CDC Issues Warning
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Friday that the new COVID-19 variant could become the predominant variant in the United States by March.
While it is not known to be more deadly, it does spread at a higher rate, which is troubling considering the condition the U.S. is already in. Cases and deaths are already on the rise in nearly every state and globally, 2 million lives have been lost to the coronavirus.
The variant was first reported in the United Kingdom in mid-December. It is now in 30 countries, including the U.S., where cases have been located in at least ten states. Right now, only 76 cases of this variant have been confirmed in the U.S., but experts believe that number is likely much higher and said it will increase significantly in the coming weeks. It is already a dominant strain in parts of the U.K.
Modeled trajectory shows that growth in the U.S. could be so fast that it dominates U.S. cases just three months into the new year. This could pose a huge threat to our already strained healthcare system.
Mitigating Spread of Variant
“I want to stress that we are deeply concerned that this strain is more transmissible and can accelerate outbreaks in the U.S. in the coming weeks,” said Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC told the New York Times. “We’re sounding the alarm and urging people to realize the pandemic is not over and in no way is it time to throw in the towel.”
The CDC advises that health officials use this time to limit spread and increase vaccination as much as possible in order to mitigate the impact this variant will have. Experts believe that current vaccines will protect against this strain.
“Effective public health measures, including vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential,” the CDC said in their report.
“Strategic testing of persons without symptoms but at higher risk of infection, such as those exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or who have frequent unavoidable contact with the public, provides another opportunity to limit ongoing spread.”
See what others are saying: (Wall Street Journal) (New York Times) (NBC News)
Former Michigan Gov. and 8 Others Charged Over Flint Water Crisis
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. (Al Goldis/AP)
- Ex-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty Wednesday for his role in the Flint water crisis
- By Thursday, eight more former state and city officials were charged with crimes ranging from involuntary manslaughter to extortion.
- Flint residents have long awaited this news. In 2019, prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against 15 officials and said they would start the investigation from scratch, citing concerns about how the special counsel had conducted its probe.
Rick Snyder Charges
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office said Thursday that it had filed 41 charges against nine former state and city officials for their role in the Flint water crisis.
The most high-profile figure to be charged was former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. On Wednesday, he was hit with two counts of willful neglect of duty.
He was the state’s top executive when local officials decided to switch the city’s drinking water source to the Flint River in 2014.
The switch was supposed to be a temporary cost-saving measure while a pipeline was being built to Lake Huron. However, the water wasn’t treated properly for corrosion, so lead-contaminated water was released into the homes of people all over the city. Because of that, 12 people died and at least 90 were sickened with Legionnaires’ disease.
Snyder appeared in court this morning via Zoom, pleading not guilty to the two misdemeanor charges. If convicted he could face up to a year in prison and as much as a $1,000 fine.
His charges alone are significant because they make him the first governor or former governor in the state to ever be charged with a crime for alleged conduct while in office.
8 Others Charged
Along with Snyder, eight others were charged, including a former state health director Nick Lyon. Lyon received nine charges of involuntary manslaughter, among others.
Richard Baird, one of Snyder’s closes advisors was changed for extortion, perjury, and obstructions of justice. Others who were charged include:
- Jarrod Agen, Snyder’s former chief of staff and Vice President Mike Pence’s former communications director.
- Dr. Eden Wells, a former chief medical executive for the state Department of Health and Human Services.
- Darnell Earley, former Flint finance director and state-appointed emergency manager.
- Gerald Ambrose, former state-appointed emergency manager.
- Howard Croft, former Flint Public Works Director.
- Nancy Peeler, the state’s director of maternal, infant and early childhood home visiting for the health department.
Flint residents have waited a long time for justice over the water contamination issue. Prosecutors previously dropped all 15 criminal charges tied to the Flint case in 2019 and said the investigation would begin again from scratch.
At the time, they cited concerns about how the special counsel had conducted its probe.
It also wasn’t until last year that the state reached a $600 million settlement with victims, establishing a fund from which residents can file for compensation.
See what others are saying: (NPR) (The Detroit News) (Detroit Free Press)
Three Lawmakers Test Positive for COVID-19 Following Capitol Attack
- At least three Congressmembers have tested positive for COVID-19 following Wednesday’s pro-Trump attack on the Capitol.
- Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) believe they contracted the virus after locking down in close quarters with numerous Republican lawmakers who refused to wear masks.
- Jayapal and Schneider are calling for those who did not wear a mask to face consequences.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman Tests Positive
At least three members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 after locking down in close quarters with other House members during Wednesday’s pro-Trump attack on the Capitol.
Congress’ attending physician, Brian Monahan, warned that members may have been exposed during the lockdown. He recommended that everyone who was isolated inside should get tested for the virus.
On Monday Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) became the first to announce that she tested positive. Watson Coleman believes she was exposed while in the Capitol lockdown. In her statement, she cited the multiple Republicans who refused to wear masks while inside. Video footage from Punchbowl News shows a Democratic lawmaker handing out masks and a handful of Republicans declining to take one.
Watson Coleman is a 75-year-old lung cancer survivor. While she said she is only experiencing cold-like symptoms, she tweeted that per a doctor’s suggestion, she headed to a local hospital for antibody treatment. She also encouraged those who sheltered in place to get tested.
More Cases Follow
Later on Monday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said she too had tested positive, also blaming a lack of mask-wearing in the Capitol. In a lengthy Twitter thread, she said Republicans created a superspreader event and demanded consequences for their actions.
“Many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic—creating a superspreader event ON TOP of a domestic terrorist attack,” she wrote.
“Any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable,” Jayapal added.
“I’m calling for every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol to be fined and removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms.”
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) echoed her frustrations on Tuesday after releasing a statement saying he has become the third House member to have tested positive following the lockdown.
“Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” he wrote.
Like Jayapal, he is calling for sanctions against those who opted to not wear masks.
Many health officials feared that this lockdown could lead to a surge in cases. They also worry that the mob itself could lead to a superspreader event as most of those who attacked the Capitol were not wearing masks and were crowding together both inside and outside of the building.