A U.S. professor who gained international attention after posting a blog post admitting she lied for years because she was a black person has resigned from George Washington University, the school said.
Dr. Jessica Krug, “has resigned from her position with immediate effect. Your courses for this semester will be taught by other faculty members, and students on these courses will receive additional information this week,” GWU said on Twitter on Wednesday.
Krug, a history professor best known for her writings on various black-centered topics, gained notoriety after the online platform Medium published a post on her behalf saying she was actually a white woman from a Kansas City suburb.
Update on Jessica Krug: Dr. Krug has resigned from her position with immediate effect. Your classes for this semester will be taught by other faculty members, and students on these courses will receive additional information this week.
̵1; GW University (@GWtweets) September 9, 2020
Krug claimed she had lived for most of her adult life “under various presumed identities within a blackness I couldn’t claim: first North African black, then US-rooted black, then Caribbean-rooted Bronx black”.
The blog post attributed to Krug expressed deep remorse and called the deception “the epitome of violence, theft and appropriation”.
The writer blamed “unaddressed mental health demons” from childhood and said she had frequently thought of admitting the deception, “but my cowardice has always been more powerful than my ethics.”
Krug’s biography on the GWU website, which was removed, previously led imperialism, colonialism, and African American history to her areas of expertise. Her writings focus heavily on issues of African culture and diaspora.
The post immediately caused a sensation on social media. Black academics, writers, and activists remembered their interactions with Krug.
Hari Ziyad, editor of the online publication RaceBaitr, which published Krug’s writings, wrote on Twitter that Krug had confirmed the details of the blog post to him in a phone call on Thursday morning. He described Krug as “someone I called until this morning when she called me and admitted everything that was written here.”
Jess Krug, a professor at @GWtweets, is someone I called until this morning when she called me and admitted everything that was written here. She didn’t do it out of goodwill. She did it because she was found out. Https://t.co/kSNkVUzbtM
– Hari Ziyad (@HariZiyad) September 3, 2020
Ziyad wrote that Krug claimed to be Afro-Caribbean and from the Bronx. He said he had defended Krug against suspicious colleagues in the past. In retrospect, he recalls references to the deception, including her “clearly inexperienced salsa dance” and “terrible New York accent.”
Krug’s public role comes through a video at a New York City Council hearing on gentrification starting in June. Krug refers to himself as Jess La Bombalera and refers to “my black and brown siblings” in the anti-gentrification movement and criticizes “all these white New Yorkers” who “did not devote their time to the black and brown indigenous New Yorkers”.
Krug’s situation was reminiscent of the case of controversial U.S. activist Rachel Dolezal, who made headlines in 2015 – and stepped down as president of the Spokane, Washington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – after saying so, after being identified as black even though both parents are white.
“I’m more black than white,” said Dolezal at the time.
Al Jazeera and news agencies