- 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)
Conservatives are Mad at “Woke” Xbox for Minor Climate-Related Updates
The fury comes after Xbox announced it was slightly altering existing consoles to better utilize and save energy.
Same War, New Battlefield
Mere days after M&M canceled their “spokescandies” due to backlash from the right, led largely by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, conservatives have found a new front for their ongoing culture war: Xbox.
Carlson spent months complaining that small character redesigns were “woke” because they made the animated anthropomorphized M&M’s — in his own words — “less sexy.” His campaign finally proved successful on Monday when the company announced it would be doing away with the spokescandies and replacing them with actress Maya Rudolph.
Conservatives, now facing a sudden dearth of non-issues to complain about, quickly found a new issue to rage against. Xbox announced in a blog post earlier this month that it is making minor updates to lower its environmental impact as part of an effort to reach Microsoft’s goal of being carbon-negative by 2030.
Now, instead of having an Xbox wake up to update games, apps, and software during random times of the night, it will do that at a time of night when a user’s local energy grid is generating the most power it can from renewable sources.
Xbox also said it would automatically update some older consoles to a power-saving mode that aims to reduce electricity consumption when it is turned off — a feature that is already the default on newer consoles.
According to The Verge, the only difference for users is that an Xbox in power-saving mode takes around 15 seconds to boot up instead of doing so immediately as the console does in “sleep” mode. The change is a small price to pay for what the outlet described as “significant” energy savings.
Xbox Under Fire
To many leading conservative voices, the minimal shifts were just another example of “woke” culture.
While discussing M&M’s spokescandies Tuesday morning, “Fox and Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt brought up Xbox’s new changes with Fox radio host Jimmy Failla.
“So Xbox has also announced that they’re going woke too, you know, because of climate change,” Earhardt said.
“I mean, it’s crazy what they’re doing, but we understand what this is. It’s not that it’s actually going to offset emissions, okay — the level of reduction is infinitesimal,” Failla claimed, without evidence. “But they’re trying to recruit your kids into climate politics at an earlier age; make them climate conscious now.”
“Yeah, I didn’t think of that — you’re right, they’re going after the children,” Earhardt agreed, despite the fact that internal data from Microsoft shows just around 10% of Xbox owners are under the age of 18.
Other prominent conservatives also did their part to bait Americans into anger on social media, including America’s Foundation, which posted a tweet stating that “the woke brigade is after video games.”
The post linked an article from the right-wing website TheBlaze, which asserted that “Xbox will force gamers to power down to fight climate change.” That, however, is false — Xbox has said users can switch back and change the settings any time they want
Still, top lawmakers continued to share the article and spread its false claims, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).
“First gas stoves, then your coffee, now they’re gunning for your Xbox,” he wrote in the post, which was flagged by Twitter and given an “added context” warning.
The same warning, however, was not placed in a very similar post by Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Tx.), who also shared the article.
“They want to take your guns. They want to take your gas stoves. And now they want to take your Xbox. What’s next?” he wrote.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The Daily Beast) (VICE)
Washington State Launches Investigation Into Abuse at Private Special Ed. Schools
Allegations include staff kicking a fourth-grader and dragging a child with autism around by his leg.
Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has launched an investigation into a system of private schools for kids with disabilities after ProPublica and the Seattle Times reported on allegations of abuse.
The series of articles focused on Northwest School of Innovative Learning (NWSOIL). NWSOIL is a set of private schools that serve 500 Washington public school students with serious disabilities. ProPublica and the Seattle Times found years of complaints from parents and school districts against NWSOIL alleging abuse, overuse of isolation rooms, and unqualified aides teaching instead of certified professionals.
One district claimed NWSOIL staff kicked a fourth-grader. Another alleged that a child with autism was dragged around by his thigh.
Many former NWSOIL employees also claim that they were pressured by their parent company to to enroll more students and skimp on basic resources, like staffing.
In a seven-page letter, OSPI reminded NWSOIL of its authority to revoke or suspend a school’s approval, meaning that it could shut NWSOIL down.
“Given the serious nature of the allegations made in the articles, OSPI is examining what, if any, actions need to be taken with respect to Northwest SOIL’s approval to contract with Washington school districts,” Tania May, assistant superintendent for special education at OSPI, wrote in the letter.
OSPI has demanded any records of mistreatment, maltreatment, abuse, or neglect as well as documents pertaining to restraint or isolation of students and calls to the police. They are also seeking information about the student-to-teacher ratio and staff qualifications.
In the letter, OSPI claims that all of this was previously unknown to them as well as to police, Child Protective Services, and local school districts. They are asking NWSOIL for an explanation as to why the allegations were not reported.
NWSOIL defended itself in a public statement.
“Use of restraints and seclusion are always used as a last response when a student is at imminent risk of hurting themselves or others,“ it said. “We strongly deny any allegation that we understaff and/or pressure staff to increase admissions in order to maximize profits.”
Washington state representatives are considering a reform bill that will give them more oversight on the publicly funded system of private special education schools.
In this legislation, OSPI and at least one district that sends students to this program would be required to visit before approving the contract. It would also standardize district agreements with programs like NWSOIL, including financial safeguards to make sure funds are being used appropriately.
See the full series: (ProPublica) (The Seattle Times)
Mass Shootings in Half Moon Bay, Oakland Rock California
Just since Saturday, at least 19 people have been killed and 17 have been injured in mass shootings in California.
California Sees Third Attack in Under a Week
Two California localities experienced separate mass shootings Monday, just days after an attacker killed 11 and injured nine others in a suburb of Los Angeles.
The first of the most recent shootings took place in Half Moon Bay, a small coastal town about 30 miles outside of San Francisco, where a gunman killed seven and critically injured an eighth at two different locations.
According to authorities, police were dispatched to the first location around 2:20 pm and found four people shot to death and a fifth victim also suffering gunshot wounds. Shortly after, three more people were found dead at another site nearby.
About two hours later, police discovered the suspect in his car in the parking lot of a San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office substation with a semiautomatic handgun in the vehicle that officials later confirmed he had purchased legally.
Sheriff Christina Corpus said the man was taken into custody “without incident” and is “fully cooperating.” He has been identified as a 66-year-old Half Moon Bay resident of Asian descent.
Currently, the gunman’s motive is unknown, but the Sheriff told reporters Monday that both of the locations he targeted were nurseries, and it has since been reported that they were mushroom farms.
“All evidence we have points to this being an instance of workplace violence. The Mountain Mushroom Farm, the first location, is where the subject was employed,” Corpus said in a press conference Tuesday, though she added that, so far, the “only known connection between the victims and the suspect is that they may have been coworkers.”
As of writing, it remains unclear why he targeted the second location. A mushroom farm called Concord Farms has told reporters that it was the site of the second shooting — which a law enforcement official confirmed to The Washington Post.
In a statement to the media, a spokesperson said the farm had “no past knowledge” of the alleged gunman or his possible motives. Little has been released about the victims, though Corpus said Tuesday they were all adults and a “mixture of Asian and Hispanic descent,” some of whom were migrants.
Authorities had previously stated that, because people both live and work on the farms, children were among those who witnessed the shooting. However, on Tuesday, one official walked that back and said while children were indeed in the vicinity, police do not have information about specific witnesses.
Just hours after the violence in Half Moon Bay, seven people were injured, and one other was killed during a shooting at a gas station in Oakland. Very little has been reported about the incident, but police have said that the shooting was “between several individuals.”
Renewed Calls for Gun Control
Californians continue to reel from the rapid succession of mass shootings in a state known for its strict gun control laws.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates against gun violence, the state ranks No. 1 in the country for gun law strength. An analysis led by the organization found that California has the sixth-lowest rate of gun ownership and the eighth-lowest gun death rate.
Many of California’s top lawmakers have argued that the state’s relatively low gun violence statistics emphasize the need for more federal regulations.
“The Second Amendment’s becoming a suicide pact,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) told CBS News in an interview.
“We’ll continue to find whatever loopholes we can and continue to lead the national conversation on gun safety reform. And the data bares out. It works. It saves lives,” he continued. “California’s 37% lower than the death rate of the rest of the nation, and yet, with all that evidence, no one on the other side seems to give a damn. I can’t get anything done in Congress.”
Following the Monterey Park shooting, U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Ca.), alongside other Democratic colleagues, introduced two gun control bills in the upper chamber. The first would ban assault weapons, while the second aims to raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons from 18 to 21.
President Joe Biden quickly threw his support behind the measures, urging Congress to pass them.
“The majority of the American people agree with this commonsense action,” he said in a statement Monday. “There can be no greater responsibility than to do all we can to ensure the safety of our children, our communities and our nation.”
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