Just when you thought the world couldn’t get any crazier, September started off with a bang.
Jessica Krug pulled a Racheal Dolezal, y’all. And of course, no one is laughing.
So, yesterday (9/3), Jessica Krug was trending all over my Twitter feed. I had no idea who this woman was; so I poked around to find out some intel. I found an article that she wrote where she gives this half-assed apology about perpetrating as several different Black cultures when she really wasn’t.
“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.”– Jessica Krug, The Truth, and the Anti-Black Violence of my Lies
All I could say was….wow. As if the world could get anymore nuts; here comes Dolezal’s play cousin.
She did WHAT?!
Of course, within minutes, people swarmed to Twitter and expressed their utter distaste, disappointment and outright anger. Another White woman has used her privilege to lie and deceive people by claiming to be something she is not. Not only did she do that, but she also allowed others to divulge personal struggles with her, knowing she had no connection with them.
In my personal opinion, and as I read this article, the more upset I became. It appears that she only made this article because she was at risk of being outed by several students at the university she teaches. She has made quite a reputation under this disguise of someone she has no connection with. Because of this and because of her timing in this, several statements in this article ring false and hollow; such as this one:
“I have thought about ending these lies many times over many years, but my cowardice was always more powerful than my ethics. I know right from wrong. I know history. I know power. I am a coward.”– Jessica Krug, The Truth and the Anti-Black Violence of my Lies
Girl, we all know you didn’t want to end this. So in an attempt to get ahead of the backlash, she told on herself. All this means is she was never going to air her dirty laundry. She just wrote an Essence essay last year where she portrayed herself as someone who could identify with the Black culture. There are pictures of her in old bios, where she has clearly falsified her identity. It’s cultural appropriation at its finest.
One question I tend to ask in situations is this: what exactly is there to gain by lying? Why is it that people find that this is acceptable behavior; being Black for show? Jessica’s ability to lie about being black without actually being Black is a direct slap in the face. It is also an example as to why White women have entirely too much privilege.
Women of Color are Tired of This
People of color have more than enough that they are enduring at this current time and have been for decades. There are no words to express the rage that one feels when someone is being manipulated and their trust is being taken advantage of.
The other issue I have with Ms. Krug, is that this article stinks. This whole “I know what I deserve and I’m going to fall on my own sword” narrative is fake and I don’t buy it. No one is offering sympathy because you “decided” to recognize your mistakes and believe that you should be cancelled. If you knew it was fake, you would have and should have never did it in the first place. And if you thought for a minute you would get some form of sympathy from it, you were sadly mistaken.
I went to do a little digging about who exactly Jessica Krug was and what she was about. Here is a small summary of a piece of her bio on the GW website:
“Krug is an associate professor in the history department who specializes in Africa, Latin America, and colonialism and imperialism. She is described as “a historian of politics, ideas, and cultural practices in Africa and the African Diaspora…”
Clearly this woman thought she was invincible if she was going to pull this type of stunt. She was able to get away with fooling not only personal acquaintances and friends; but also professional colleagues. She wrote and published books and other publications; all while blatantly lying about her race and cultural background. I don’t understand how she was able to get this far into her career without anyone knowing. It’s a shame that being manipulative and conniving is possible and people have been hurt by her lies. I blame Jessica for making a choice that would hurt so many people who trusted her. Instead, one could say she preyed on those of her “culture”, possibly to continue to fuel her own agenda.
Our Blackness is Not Your Costume
Shame on you Jessica; for making the terrible choice you made to falsely claim a culture that you have never experienced. Our Blackness is not something you can put on and take off whenever you feel. It is not something you can “play” in. Being Black has so much depth to it, and what you’ve done only further disrespects us and our cultures. Guess what? I am a Black woman, 24/7/365. My skin holds identity, pain and purpose deeper than anyone can imagine.
How dare you play with the culture as if it was ever something to play around with in the first place?