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GWU Investigating Whether White Professor Invented Her Black Identity – NPR

George Washington University is “looking into the situation” of history professor Jessica A. Krug, after a blog post written under that name said that she had invented her Black Caribbean identity, despite actually being white.

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George Washington University is “looking into the situation” of history professor Jessica A. Krug, after a blog post written under that name said that she had invented her Black Caribbean identity, despite actually being white.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

George Washington University says it is investigating after a blog post purportedly written by history professor Jessica A. Krug said she fabricated various Black identities.

In a post published Thursday on the website Medium, a person under the name Jessica A. Krug writes that she is white and grew up in the Midwest, but lied to others in presenting herself as having a Black Caribbean identity.

“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,” the post says. “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.”

“I am not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech,” the post continues. Predicting the sharp criticism she now faces, the author writes: “You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself.”

The author attributes her donning of a false identity to mental health issues: “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.” The author says she experienced severe trauma as a child.

Jessica A. Krug is the name of an associate professor in the history department at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Krug did not immediately reply to an NPR request for confirmation that she wrote the post.

Krug’s faculty page identifies her as a historian of politics and cultural practices in Africa and the African Diaspora, with a particular interest in West Central Africa and Black transnational cultural studies. Last year, her book Fugitive Modernities, published by Duke University Press, was a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize.

In a statement, GW spokesperson Crystal Nosal says: “We are aware of the post and are looking into the situation. We cannot comment further on personnel matters.”

In a July 2019 article for Essence magazine, Krug wrote:

“I am boricua, just so you know. Boricua, not Puerto Rican, to reflect the name by which the indigenous people knew the island before Columbus invaded.

And just so you know—you, fellow boricua, you, fellow colonized people of all nations, from the South Bronx to San Juan, from Ponce to Palestine:

Another world is possible.”

At the end of the article, her bio says: “Jessica A. Krug is an unrepentant and unreformed child of the hood. … Much of her time, energy, and all of her heart are consumed in the struggle for her community in El Barrio and worldwide, whether against the violence of the state as manifest by police, the encroaching colonialism of gentrification, or around issues of community health and environmental justice.”

RaceBaitr, a website that publishes articles on race, said Thursday that it had removed Krug’s work from its site.

“Her charade has taken her into many Black sacred spaces, including this one. We apologize for platforming her work, and not taking seriously enough some of your warnings. Keeping black spaces safe is our highest priority and we failed this time, but we will do better,” the site said in a tweet.

The editor-in-chief of RaceBaitr, Hari Ziyad, wrote on Twitter that Krug had called him on Thursday and “admitted to everything” that was written in the Medium post. “She didn’t do it out of benevolence. She did it because she had been found out,” Ziyad said.

The situation recalls that of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who identified as Black. She was the head of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash., until her parents came forward and said she had no Black roots.

Making Sense Of Rachel Dolezal, The Alleged White Woman Who Passed As Black

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House investigating

US House investigating Carnival Cruises for its coronavirus pandemic response : Coronavirus Live Updates – NPR

The Carnival Corp. Miracle and Panorama cruise ships anchored in Long Beach, Calif. on April 13, 2020.

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The Carnival Corp. Miracle and Panorama cruise ships anchored in Long Beach, Calif. on April 13, 2020.

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress is investigating Carnival Cruise Line for its response to the coronavirus pandemic. A House committee wants to know why Carnival didn’t act sooner to protect the health of passengers and staff.

The chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio, sent a letter to Carnival CEO Arnold Donald asking for all documents relating to the cruise line’s response to the pandemic. DeFazio (D-Oregon) cites concerns raised by the outbreak on the Diamond Princess in March, in which more than 800 people were infected and 10 people died.

Outbreaks of norovirus aboard cruise ships led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue warnings to the industry long before emergence of the coronavirus. “Based on the Carnival Corporation’s response to the current coronavirus crisis,” DeFazio wrote, “it appears that sort of advice was not heeded.” Citing a Bloomberg report, he notes at least nine of Carnival’s ships had coronavirus outbreaks with at least 39 deaths and more than 1,500 confirmed infections.

Even With COVID-19 Cases, Suing Cruise Lines Is 'Extraordinarily Difficult'

Cruise Ships With Sick People Dock In Florida

Currently, the cruise industry is on hold. The CDC has issued a no-sail order banning cruises until at least July 24. When travel restrictions eventually are lifted, DeFazio said Congress and the public needs assurances that Carnival and the cruise line industry “are instituting necessary measures to ensure that the safety of the traveling public and crew members.”

The House committee is asking for Carnival’s Outbreak Prevention and Response Plans, plus all correspondence related to the pandemic. Carnival said it will cooperate with the investigation. In a statement, the company said, “Our goal is the same as the committee’s goal: to protect the health, safety and well-being of our guests and crew, along with compliance and environmental protection.”

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