Daily US Times: George Washington University has confirmed that their academic Jessica Krug, who said she lied about being black will not teach classes this semester
The academic is an associate professor whose work focuses on Africa and the African diaspora, admitted in a blog post that she was in fact a “white Jewish” woman from Kansas City.
“I have built my life on a violent anti-black lie,” the Medium post read.
Her colleagues said they were “shocked and appalled” by reading her post.
On Thursday in a Medium post, Ms Krug said she had falsely assumed identities “that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness”.
George Washington University said in a statement that Ms Krug would not teach classes and acknowledged “many students, faculty, staff and alumni are hurting.” It said it was “reviewing” the case.
Ms Krug has not commented and her employment status at the university is unknown.
What has the reaction been?
Her colleagues at GWU’s Department of History released a joint statement calling for her to resign from her post or for the university to remove her tenure.
The statement said: “She has betrayed the trust of countless current and former students, fellow scholars of Africana Studies, colleagues in our department and throughout the historical discipline, as well as community activists in New York City and beyond.”
It added: “The discipline of history is concerned with truth telling about the past.”
”With her conduct, Dr. Krug has raised questions about the veracity of her own research and teaching.”
“It just breaks my heart that these students came in, very bright-eyed and eager, to learn about Latin heritage and the history,” a student at GWU who was due to start Ms Krug’s class on Latin American history on Monday told the Washington Post.
”We all placed a lot of trust in her,” the student added
Ms Krug’s academic work includes the 2018 book “Fugitive Modernities: Kisama and the Politics of Freedom”, focuses on the culture and politics of African and African diaspora societies.
Jessica Krug’s case bears strong parallels to race activist Rachel Dolezal, who was a white woman but claimed to be black. After her parents outed her in 2015, she said she “identified as black”.
Ms Krug described her behaviour as “the very epitome of violence, of thievery and appropriation, of the myriad ways in which non-Black people continue to use and abuse Black identities and cultures.” The associate professor said that she had continued the pretence even in her personal relationships.
She cited trauma and mental health issues she experienced in her early years, although she said this was not an excuse for her actions.
Jessica Krug also used the name Jessica La Bombalera as an activist, according to media reports.