Things That Matter

White Professor Pretended To Be Black And Taught African-American And Latino Studies

As the debate around racial justice and inequality continues to rage throughout the U.S, a white woman has reignited the debate on cultural appropriation and ‘black fishing.’

The woman – a professor at George Washington University – has confessed to faking her identity as a Black woman and using that identity for financial gain with book deals and to teach African American history. She’s also accused of claiming a fabricated Latina heritage by former students.

The story is eerily similar to that of Rachel Dolezal who made similar headlines in 2015 when – as president of a local NAACP chapter – was outed as a white woman pretending to be Black.

A white woman has admitted to faking a Black identity for her entire professional career.

Social media is reacting to the news that a white professor who teaches African, Caribbean, and Latin history pretended to be a Black woman for years. The story has reignited a debate on race and identity and cultural appropriation.

Jessica Krug, who teaches at George Washington University in Washington, DC admitted in a blog post on Medium that for the better part of her adult life, “every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.”

She added, “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.”

In many New York activist circles, Krug was known by the name Jessica La Bombalera and was often seen speaking at New York public hearings on police brutality. Those who knew Krug as La Bombalera have taken to social media today to announce their upset.

“I’m dazed and still processing my emotions, but mostly, I feel betrayed, foolish and, in many ways, gaslit,” said the author Robert Jones Jr on Twitter.

She’s also accused of appropriating Latin culture in her speech and discussions.

According to students at GWU, Krug would use a lot of Spanish in her speech. For example, rather than “plantains” she would always say “plátanos.” But the exact place she was from always changed.

She once spoke about how plantains were important to her family in the Dominican Republic, but told another student she was from Puerto Rico, according to students. Still, she never would have guessed Krug was lying.

Krug admits that she financially benefited from faking a Black identity.

When writing her book Fugitive Modernities, Krug accepted financial support from Black cultural institutions such as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. But according to her own Medium post, her career was rooted in a “toxic soil of lies.”

In her book, which was published before her recent confession, she goes on to say, “My ancestors, unknown, unnamed, who bled life into a future they had no reason to believe could or should exist. My brother, the fastest, the smartest, the most charming of us all. Those whose names I cannot say for their own safety, whether in my barrio, in Angola, or in Brazil.”

Although she points to mental health issues as affecting her, she doesn’t see them as an excuse for her actions.

In the same Medium post, Krug points out that she suffered from a traumatic childhood and has faced several mental health issues. However, she acknowledges that these are not excuses for her behavior.

“To say that I clearly have been battling some unaddressed mental health demons for my entire life, as both an adult and child, is obvious. Mental health issues likely explain why I assumed a false identity initially, as a youth, and why I continued and developed it for so long.”

“But mental health issues can never, will never, neither explain nor justify, neither condone nor excuse, that, in spite of knowing and regularly critiquing any and every non-Black person who appropriates from Black people, my false identity was crafted entirely from the fabric of Black lives,” she wrote.

The story is eerily similar to that of Rachel Dolezal – who also faked being Black for professional gain.

Credit: Tyler Tjomsland / Getty Images

Krug’s confession about her identity is similar to the case of Rachel Dolezal – a white woman from Spokane, Washington – who made headlines in 2015 when she was outed for similar lies.

When Dolezal was outed as a white woman impersonating a Black woman, she was president of the Spokane branch of the NAACP, a civil rights organization, and a a part-time African studies teacher at a local university.

Dolezal, who said she started identifying as Black around the age of five, was a graduate from Howard University, an historically Black college, which she sued in 2002 for discrimination against white people and for favouring African American students.

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ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

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ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

Gregory Bull / Getty Images

By mid-October, there could be professionally trained armies of ordinary citizens patrolling the streets looking to arrest immigrants. And they’d be doing the dirty work of ICE – which has launched a program in Chicago specifically to help train and equip the public on the skills and knowledge needed to do it effectively.

According to ICE, the program is little more than a chance to educate and enlighten the public on the challenges the agency faces on a daily basis. They claim that their work is grossly misunderstood. Yet the description of the six-week-long program literally describes familiarizing recruits with firearms and how to make targeted arrests.

Chicago’s ICE office announced a “citizen’s academy” to teach the public on how to arrest immigrants.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is launching a class for private citizens in Chicago on how to arrest undocumented immigrants.

The course, which begins on September 15 and will run one class a week for six weeks, will train non-agents in firearms, defensive training and how to make ‘targeted arrests.’ ICE plan to roll out the program to cities across the country.

The Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy is a six-week program modeled after similar trainings held by other law enforcement agencies. ICE will select 10 to 12 participants for the training, which is set to start in September.

Many Chicagoans have received letters inviting them to apply. During the program, according to the letter, “participants will gain insight into the many facets and responsibilities of ICE/ERO operations, and hopefully an awareness and appreciation of the issues our officers face every day in the performance of their duties.”

But immigration activists aren’t buying the story ICE wants to tell.

Several of Chicago’s elected officials have come out strongly against the program, saying there is no room for this academy in the city of Chicago.

“I think it’s outrageous that they are trying to do this in Chicago. This is a sanctuary city that we’ve fought so hard for,” said Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez, in an interview with Fox 11.

Rodriguez read the letter and said she was concerned about the language in the letter, which reads, in part, “attendees will participate in scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.”

“What it sounds like to me is a vigilante academy,” Rodriguez said. “We need to be educating the community so that they don’t sign up for it. I think the city needs to speak out against this programming. This isn’t welcomed in Chicago.”

Congressman Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, wonders if the course is part of ICE’s plan to have neighbors spy on others to see if they’re undocumented and report back to the agency.

Although the program is outrageous, it’s been taking place in Los Angeles for years.

The program was just announced in Chicago last week but it has been in operation for several years in other cities across the country. In fact, Los Angeles – another sanctuary city – has had a similar academy in place since 2016. However, unlike Chicago’s program which will be run by the ERO, LA’s program is managed by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division.

Regardless of who is running the program, many are rightfully worried about its implications. Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, said in a statement, “ICE is recruiting an army of ‘citizens’ to fuel its propaganda machine and forge hatred in our communities. The outcome of this program will be more terror unleashed upon immigrant communities and people of color.”

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A Woman Left Racist Notes On People’s Front Doors Telling Them America Is A ‘Nation Of White People’

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A Woman Left Racist Notes On People’s Front Doors Telling Them America Is A ‘Nation Of White People’

@_dalenaaa / Twitter

Racism never stops in America – no need to look any further than the news headlines from the past 48 hours. From Central Park Karen to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police officers, people of color continue to experience outrageous acts of racism.

During the global Coronavirus pandemic, racism and white supremacy have been used to ignite attacks against communities of color and especially at immigrants. Although the U.S. has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world, many Americans ignorantly continue to blame foreigners and immigrants for bringing the virus to the U.S.

A SF Bay Area woman left racist notes containing white supremacist views on doors of homes belonging to immigrants.

A white woman in the Oakland suburb of Dublin has been arrested by police for allegedly leaving handwritten racist messages at several homes, targeting immigrants.

The white supremacist notes suggested that those not native to the United States should leave the country immediately so a ‘white, brave, American’ could live there instead.

“If you are a woman or man and was born in other country, return, go back to your land immediately, fast, with urgency,” the note said. It ended with “One American, white, brave, that serves the Nation or USA is going to live here.”

According to police department news release, the messages were directed towards women and children as well. Officers from the department had investigated a similar incident after a “related note” ordering Asian people to “leave immediately” was found on an information board on a popular hiking trail. Police said they believe the same woman was responsible for that note as well as the others, “messages that instilled fear and intimidation upon those residents.”

Residents targeted by the notes posted the incident to their social media, which helped lead to the woman’s arrest.

One resident gave the officers images captured on his doorbell security camera of a woman taping the note, and the officers soon found her in the area, police said in a statement.

The photo of the note shows text referring to the U.S. Constitution and God, demanding that anyone “born in other country” go back immediately. The note includes white supremacist language. Another note posted to Twitter used similar language, claiming that “in this place no Asian allowed,” and mentioning a May 23 deadline.

The surveillance images shared on social media quickly led police to identify and arrest a suspect, Nancy Arechiga, 52, authorities said. She was “soon located near the community while officers were still in the area,” police said, adding that she was carrying a backpack containing “handwritten notes of the same nature.”

Reports of racist acts directed against Asian people have surged amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Credit: Steven Senne / Getty

According to Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that’s been tracking self-reported incidents, more than 1,100 physical and verbal attacks against Asian Americans have been documented since late March. 

The high number of reports, which have been submitted over just two weeks, is especially striking since people across the country have predominantly been sheltering in place. The incidents — logged through the Stop AAPI Hate website, which launched on March 19 — are wide-ranging. 

In one, an Asian American child was pushed off her bike by a bystander at a park. In another, a family at a grocery store was spat on and accused of being responsible for the coronavirus. For some, including one Japanese restaurant owner, the harassment has come in the form of vandalism.

In a VOX interview, Manjusha Kulkarni says, “So many of us have experienced it, sometimes for the first time in our lives. It makes it much harder to go to the grocery store, to take a walk, to be outside our homes.”

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