- 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)
Donald Trump and Eldest Three Children Hit With Fraud Lawsuit From New York AG
AG Letitia James says that the former president “falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself.”
Lawsuit Filed Against Trump
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Wednesday that she filed a civil lawsuit against former president Donald Trump and his three eldest children over allegations that they fraudulently inflated asset valuations within the Trump Organization.
Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump are all listed alongside their father in the lawsuit. Executives Jeffrey McConney and Allen Weisselberg, the latter of whom recently pled guilty to tax crimes, are also listed alongside other Trump businesses.
“Donald Trump, with the help of his children…and senior executives at the Trump Organization, falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available to the company, to satisfy continuing loan covenants, to induce insurers to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums, and to gain tax benefits, among other things,” a press release announcing the lawsuit claimed.
The Attorney General’s office claims that between 2011 and 2021, Trump and the Trump Organization made 200 false and misleading claims about asset values on annual financial statements.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in a State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
“The complaint demonstrates that Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us,” James said while announcing the complaint.
Her office is seeking to permanently ban Trump and his children from serving as an officer or director in any New York corporation and to bar Trump and his organization from entering into any New York real estate acquisitions for five years. The office is also seeking to recover $250 million in penalty payments, among other forms of relief.
The Office of the Attorney General has also referred the matter to the federal attorneys in New York and to the IRS for criminal investigation.
“There aren’t two sets of laws for people in this nation: former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday Americans,” James added in a statement on social media.
“Trump’s crimes are not victimless,” she continued. “When the well-connected and powerful break the law to get more money than they are entitled to, it reduces resources available to working people, small businesses, and taxpayers.”
Trump Allegedly Inflated Key Assets
According to James’ release, Trump “made known through Mr. Weisselberg that he wanted his net worth on his statements to increase every year.”
“And the statements were the vehicle by which his net worth was fraudulently inflated by billions of dollars year after year,” the release continued.
Among the assets Trump and his organization allegedly inflated was the Trump Tower Triplex, an apartment Trump allegedly claimed was 30,000 square feet when it is just around 11,000 square feet. Because of its ballooned size, the property was valued at $327 million in 2015, roughly three times as much as the sole apartment in New York City to ever sell for over $100 million at the time.
For further comparison, the highest sale for a listing in Trump Tower at the time was only $16 million.
Trump also allegedly claimed Mar-a-Lago was valued as high as $739 million based on the “false premise” that the property could be developed and sold for residential use. The lawsuit claims that Trump actually signed deeds donating those rights, limiting the property’s use to a social club. James and her office claim its value would fall closer to $75 million.
Inflated Clauations Cannot Be “Excused”
“The inflated asset valuations in the Statements cannot be brushed aside or excused as merely the result of exaggeration or good faith estimation about which reasonable real estate professionals may differ,” the lawsuit states, adding that instead, they are the result of improper methodology intentionally meant to falsely boost Trump’s net worth.
The investigation into Trump’s alleged fraud began nearly three years ago, and the former president has repeatedly called it a politically motivated witch hunt. His attorney, Alina Habba, doubled down on that rhetoric in a statement Wednesday.
“Today’s filing is neither focused on the facts nor the law – rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda,” Habba said. “We are confident that our judicial system will not stand for this unchecked abuse of authority, and we look forward to defending our client against each and every one of the Attorney General’s meritless claims.”
For his part, Trump has blasted the lawsuit on Truth Social, calling James a “fraud” and a “crime-fighting disaster.”
Trump previously tried to impede the probe but was ultimately ordered by a judge to sit for a deposition and turn over subpoenaed documents. Reports say he pled the fifth hundreds of times during his deposition.
See what others are saying: (Bloomberg) (The Washington Post) (Reuters)
Hurricane Fiona Causes “Catastrophic” Damage in Puerto Rico, Leaving Many Without Power
While power has been restored to some, more than a million remain without it as continued rainfall, flooding, and landslides are expected to cause further damage across the island.
Hurricane Fiona Wreaks Havoc
Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico Sunday, bringing heavy rains, flooding, and landslides, while also knocking out power for the entire island and killing at least one person.
Photos and videos posted on social media show floodwaters consuming major streets and engulfing cars. Some pictures show an entire bridge flooded, making it impassible. Other footage shows a different bridge entirely uprooted and a metal barrier ripped away from the road and floating down a river of floodwater.
Officials have said conditions are still too dangerous to fully evaluate the extent of the crisis. In remarks to the public, Puerto Rico’s governor, Pedro Pierluisi, described the damage as “catastrophic.”
He asserted that the storm has been one of the most significant since Hurricane Maria — which hit the island almost exactly 5 years ago to the day — killing more than 3,000 people, leaving many without power for months, and causing destruction that the island is still recovering from.
Pierluisi noted that Puerto Rico has received over 30 inches of rain and that some areas have even gotten more rain than during Hurricane Maria. As of Monday afternoon, the National Gaurd has led 30 rescue operations so far, saving more than 1,000 stranded residents in 25 municipalities, according to the governor.
Pierluisi also added that more than 2,000 people were in the island’s 128 shelters, with officials further saying there is plenty of shelter space for those who need it. On Sunday, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, which will allow federal agencies to coordinate disaster relief.
Continued Issues As Storm Rages On
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s water authority has confirmed that just over 70% of the island is still without water. According to poweroutage.us, more than 1.3 million customers were still without power as of Monday morning.
The power company LUMA also stated that electricity had been restored to around 100,000 customers over the course of Sunday night, though it previously warned that the full restoration of power could take several days as the storm has created “incredibly challenging” conditions.
While Hurricane Fiona has passed through Puerto Rico, having now made landfall in the Dominican Republic, officials and experts say that heavy rains and further flooding are still to be expected for the next few days.
The National Weather Service has warned that “life-threatening and catastrophic flooding” as well as mudslides and landslides are expected to continue across the island. As a result, Pierluisi has urged Puerto Ricans Monday to remain home and in shelters so that officials can continue to respond to others in need.
He also noted that the areas most impacted by the hurricane include the southern part of the island, the southwest, and the mountains.
After moving through the Dominican Republic, Hurricane Fiona is expected to head towards Turks and Caicos Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center has said that the storm will continue to grow and by Wednesday, it is set to become a major hurricane — which means a Category 3 or higher.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (The Washington Post) (CNN)
Government Aid Cut Child Poverty in Half During Pandemic, Data Shows
The reduction occurred similarly across geography, race, family type, and citizenship status.
Largest Drop in Half a Century
The United States’s child poverty rate sank to the lowest level on record last year, primarily thanks to pandemic relief measures and other government programs, according to an analysis of census data released Tuesday.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s supplementary poverty measure, which accounts for safety net programs and tax credits as well as regional differences in the cost of living.
From around 11% in 2019, the percentage of kids living below the poverty line fell to 9.7% in 2020 and 5.2% the year after that.
In just two years, nearly 5.5 million kids were lifted from poverty, marking an almost 60% drop in the child poverty rate.
The Center’s researchers gave most credit to the federal government’s numerous interventions in the economy, from stimulus payments and the expanded child tax credit to eviction moratoriums and expanded unemployment insurance.
Without government intervention, poverty in 2020 would have experienced its second-largest recorded increase, the Center claimed, but instead, it underwent the largest single-year decline in over half a century.
Especially impactful was the expanded child tax credit, which sent up to $300 per child to households with children every month between July and December 2021.
According to the analysis, this policy alone pulled nearly three million kids out of poverty.
But the tax credit’s expansion expired at the end of the year despite Democrats’ efforts to prolong it with Biden’s signature Build Back Better bill, which was blocked by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who reportedly told colleagues he was concerned that families might use the payments to buy drugs.
Poverty Before COVID
Child poverty has fallen by 59% since 1993, when it sat at around 28%, according to another analysis published Sunday by The New York Times and the nonpartisan group Child Trends.
They found that the decline occurred across all 50 states and D.C., as well as in different levels of poverty.
It similarly affected nearly all subgroups of children, — white, Black, Asian and Hispanic, single-parent and two-parent, immigrant and non-immigrant.
The causes driving the pre-pandemic decline included general economic improvement — low unemployment, a higher labor force participation rate among single mothers, and growing state minimum wages — but the researchers pinned government welfare programs as the dominant factor.
They specifically mentioned the earned income tax credit, social security, unemployment insurance, and nutrition and housing assistance.
Despite the positive trend, more than eight million children still live below the poverty line, and that number excludes those who live just above it but still struggle to meet basic needs.
The current poverty line sits around $29,000 for a family of four in a location with typical living costs.
Moreover, disparities still persist, with Black and Latino children about three times as likely as their white peers to be poor.