In a new piece posted on Medium, Jessica Krug, an associate professor of African and Latin American studies at George Washington University admits she’s been faking being black her entire career.
According to the BBC, George Washington University said it was investigating the blog post but would not comment further.
She writes “To an escalating degree over my adult life, I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness. I have not only claimed these identities as my own when I had absolutely no right to do so — when doing so is 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 — but I have formed intimate relationships with loving, compassionate people who have trusted and cared for me when I have deserved neither trust nor caring.”
She continues “People have fought together with me and have fought for me, and my continued appropriation of a Black Caribbean identity is not only, in the starkest terms, wrong — unethical, immoral, anti-Black, colonial — but it means that every step I’ve taken has gaslighted those whom I love.”
Later in the piece, Krug calls herself “a culture leech” and writes “I am a coward” multiple times.
Krug goes further by suggesting what should be done to her, saying “I should absolutely be cancelled. No. I don’t write in passive voice, ever, because I believe we must name power. So. You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself. What does that mean? I don’t know.”
“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. I have lived this lie, fully, completely, with no exit plan or strategy. 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.” Krug concludes.
Writer Hari Ziyad, who says he was a friend of Krug claims she only confessed after getting caught.
In a series of tweet, Ziyad eviscerates Krug.
Ziyad tweeted “Jess Krug, professor at @GWtweets, is someone I called a friend up until this morning when she gave me a call admitting to everything written here. She didn’t do it out of benevolence. She did it because she had been found out.”
In subsequent tweets, he added:
For years I defended her work, and her from her own self-loathing. 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 Tim’s and my trust (an abusive childhood, a brother in prison, a mother who was an addict and who died from cancer).
I kept her at arm’s length, but still close enough that she could harm Black people around me. I owe so many people apologies. I apologize to all the Black people I allowed her to say and do wild shit to because they weren’t from New York or from “the hood” as she claimed to be.
I apologize to the friends who I gaslighted by insisting she wasn’t who they knew she was. And I apologize to all who gate-keep Blackness. I’ve always said gate-keeping is okay and valid. I was wrong. Gate-keeping is good and necessary.
It’s not enough to tolerate those who center Blackness around the Blackest of us. It’s important that we center Blackness there too. I will remember that next time.
I will remember that jealousy is not a radical politic. Hating oneself is not a radical politic. I will remember that loving Black people will always show up in how loved the Black people around you feel, not in how well you write about it. I won’t be back here again.
Not interested in discussing this or any other Black trauma with white reporters. Do not contact me. Thank you.
Jess Krug, professor at @GWtweets, is someone I called a friend up until this morning when she gave me a call admitting to everything written here. She didn't do it out of benevolence. She did it because she had been found out.https://t.co/kSNkVUzbtM
— Hari Ziyad (@HariZiyad) September 3, 2020