On Thursday Sept 3, George Washington University Professor Jessica Krug also known under the alias “Jessica La Bombera” confessed to lying about her racial identity. Krug claimed to be Afro Latina and to have grown up in the Bronx while truly being white, Jewish and from a suburb in Kansas.
Immediately following her article upload to Medium, students from GWU and other spectators flooded social media expressing their disgust. The university spoke out on the issue without much detail.
However, the harm Jessica Krug has caused to her students and the Black community demands proper consequences.
Plenty students of color and Black students took her History of Africa classes not knowing it was an imposter teaching them about their culture. Many circles of Black people welcomed her and her knowledge, trusting in her sisterhood. Though, questions arose about her authenticity and lead to this point of exposure.
A common rebuttal to the backlash of her confession was, “If we can change genders, why can’t we change races?”
To be clear, race is a societal construct like gender but used as a form of oppression to keep Black people from running a fair race socially and socioeconomically. Black people never had the option to pass as anything other than Black.
There were laws set in place since their arrival to Jamestown to place and keep them at the bottom of the barrel as whiteness was painted as the standard. The Three-Fifths compromise was barely enough to provide any validity toward Black citizenship, counting them as only partially a person. Then, there was the informal “one drop” rule, exiling a large part of the Black community, commonly mixed race as a result of the rape of an enslaved woman by a slave master.
Blackness was and still is something the Black community struggles to defend living under a government that wrote them out of America’s blueprint.
Jessica Krug went beyond cultural appropriation and infiltrated a community she desired to be a part of. She can now shed herself of the blackness she tried to claim while the ordinary Black woman cannot. Blackness is not something we get to put on one day and take off the next. Blackness is deeper than the entertainment of music and fashion.
Krug not only disrespected black culture but used it as a mask to cover her own insecurities and took advantage of it for her own benefit. She took the job of teaching African history from a capable and intelligent woman of color or Black woman who could’ve performed with true integrity. Instead, she mindfully played the race game, checking off the “African American” box on her applications and sitting comfortably in her lies.
Now her students are left in anguish over her performance and the Black community grows more tense about who they allow into their space.
Featured Image by Samira Rashid
Permission for use granted