- 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)
Lincoln College to Close for Good After COVID and Ransomware Attack Ruin Finances
Last year, 1,043 schools in the U.S. were the victim of ransomware attacks, including 26 colleges or universities, according to an analysis by Emsisoft.
One of the Only Historically Black Colleges in the Midwest Goes Down
After 157 years of educating mostly Black students in Illinois, Lincoln College will close its doors for good on Friday.
The college made the announcement last month, citing financial troubles caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a ransomware attack in December.
Enrollment dropped during the pandemic and the administration had to make costly investments in technology and campus safety measures, according to a statement from the school.
A shrinking endowment put additional pressure on the college’s budget.
The ransomware attack, which the college has said originated from Iran, thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data. Systems for recruitment, retention, and fundraising were completely inoperable at a time when the administration needed them most.
In March, the college paid the ransom, which it has said amounted to less than $100,000. But according to Lincoln’s statement, subsequent projections showed enrollment shortfalls so significant the college would need a transformational donation or partnership to make it beyond the present semester.
The college put out a request for $50 million in a last-ditch effort to save itself, but no one came forward to provide it.
A GoFundMe aiming to raise $20 million for the college only collected $2,452 as of Tuesday.
Students and Employees Give a Bittersweet Goodbye
“The loss of history, careers, and a community of students and alumni is immense,” David Gerlach, the college’s president, said in a statement.
Lincoln counts nearly 1,000 enrolled students, and those who did not graduate this spring will leave the institution without degrees.
Gerlach has said that 22 colleges have worked with Lincoln to accept the remaining students, including their credits, tuition prices, and residency requirements.
“I was shocked and saddened by that news because of me being a freshman, so now I have to find someplace for me to go,” one student told WMBD News after the closure was announced.
When a group of students confronted Gerlach at his office about the closure, he responded with an emotional speech.
“I have been fighting hard to save this place,” he said. “But resources are resources. We’ve done everything we possibly could.”
On April 30, alumni were invited back to the campus to revisit the highlights of their college years before the institution closed.
On Saturday, the college held its final graduation ceremony, where over 200 students accepted their diplomas and Quentin Brackenridge performed the Lincoln Alma Mater.
Last year, 1,043 schools in the U.S. were the victim of ransomware attacks, including 26 colleges or universities, according to an analysis by Emsisoft.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Herald Review) (CNN)
U.S. Tops One Million Coronavirus Deaths, WHO Estimates 15 Million Worldwide
India’s real COVID death toll stands at about 4.7 million, ten times higher than official data, the WHO estimated.
One Million Dead
The United States officially surpassed one million coronavirus deaths Wednesday, 26 months after the first death was reported in late February of 2020.
Experts believe that figure is likely an undercount, since there are around 200,000 excess deaths, though some of those may not be COVID-related.
The figure is the equivalent of the population of San Jose, the tenth-largest city in the U.S., vanishing in just over two years. To put the magnitude in visual perspective, NECN published a graphic illustrating what one million deaths looks like.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the White House predicted between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans would die from the coronavirus in a best-case scenario.
By February 2021, over half a million Americans had died of COVID.
The coronavirus has become the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease and cancer.
The pandemic’s effects go beyond its death toll. Around a quarter of a million children have lost a caregiver to the virus, including about 200,000 who lost one or both parents. Every COVID-related death leaves an estimated nine people grieving.
The virus has hit certain industries harder than others, with food and agriculture, warehouse operations and manufacturing, and transportation and construction seeing especially high death rates.
People’s mental health has also been affected, with a study in January of five Western countries including the U.S. finding that 13% of people reported symptoms of PTSD attributable to actual or potential contact with the virus.
Fifteen Million Dead
On Thursday, the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 15 million people have died from the pandemic worldwide, a dramatic revision from the 5.4 million previously reported in official statistics.
Between January 2020 and the end of last year, the WHO estimated that between 13.3 million and 16.6 million people died either due to the coronavirus directly or because of factors somehow attributed to the pandemic’s impact on health systems, such as cancer patients who were unable to seek treatment when hospitals were full of COVID patients.
Based on that range, scientists arrived at an approximate total of 14.9 million.
The new estimate shows a 13% increase in deaths than is usually expected for a two-year period.
“This may seem like just a bean-counting exercise, but having these WHO numbers is so critical to understanding how we should combat future pandemics and continue to respond to this one,” Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious diseases specialist at the Yale School of Public Health who was not linked to the WHO research, told the Associated Press.
Most of the deaths occurred in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
According to the WHO, India counts the most deaths by far with 4.7 million, ten times its official number.
See what others are saying: (NBC) (U.S. News and World Report) (Scientific American)
Official Says Missing Alabama Convict and Corrections Officer Had a “Special Relationship”
Authorities have also said they now believe the officer willfully helped the inmate escape.
New Information on Missing Inmate & Officer
Authorities in Alabama revealed Tuesday that Assistant Director of Corrections for Lauderdale County Vicky White, who is accused of helping a murder suspect Casey Cole White escape from jail, had a “special relationship” with the inmate.
“Investigators received information from inmates at the Lauderdale County Detention Center over the weekend that there was a special relationship between Director White and inmate Casey White,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said in a statement. “That relationship has now been confirmed through our investigation by independent sources and means.”
Officials have previously said that the two are not related, despite their shared surname.
Singleton elaborated on the nature of the relationship while speaking to CNN later on Tuesday. He said it took place “outside of her normal work hours” and added that although it did not include “physical contact,” he still characterized it as “a relationship of a different nature.”
“We were told Casey White got special privileges and was treated differently while in the facility than the other inmates,” Singleton said.
Also on Tuesday, the Marshals Service issued a statement confirming that authorities believe Officer White had helped Mr. White escape. The authorities described her as a “wanted fugitive” and offered a $5,000 reward for any information on her whereabouts. Earlier this week, the Marshals Service also offered a $10,000 reward for any information that could lead to Mr. White’s capture.
Singleton echoed the belief that Officer White’s actions were intentional while speaking to Good Morning America Wednesday.
“I think all of our employees and myself included were really hoping that she did not participate in this willingly. But all indications are that she absolutely did,” he said. “We’re very disappointed in that because we had the utmost trust in her as an employee and as an assistant director of corrections.”
Vicky White and Casey White were last seen leaving the Lauderdale County jail just after 9:30 a.m. Friday. The officer told other employees that she was taking the inmate to a mental health evaluation at a courthouse just down the road, and that she would be going to a medical appointment after because she was not feeling well.
Officials later said her actions violated an official policy that required two sworn deputies to transport people with murder charges. In 2020, Mr. White was charged with two counts of capital murder in connection to a fatal stabbing he confessed to and was awaiting his trial in Lauderdale County.
Mr. White was also serving time for what officials said was a “crime spree” in 2015 which included home invasion, carjacking, and a police chase. He had also previously tried to escape from jail, police said.
It wasn’t until 3:30 p.m. on Friday that a jail employee reported to higher-ups that he was not able to reach Officer White on her phone and that Mr. White had never been returned to his cell.
During a press conference that same night, Singleton told reporters that there had never even been a scheduled mental health evaluation. At another briefing Monday, he announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for Vicky on a charge of “permitting or facilitating an escape in the first degree.”
At the time, Singleton said it was unclear “whether she did that willingly or was coerced or threatened” but added, “we know for sure she did participate.”