investigating Whether

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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CARES Whether

Here’s When We’ll Know Whether CARES Act Provisions—Including A Stimulus Check—Will Be Renewed – Forbes


As Congress is headed for an 11-day crunch to agree on a new rescue package and have it signed by President Trump before a key provision of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act expires—with millions of Americans unemployed and new cases of the coronavirus soaring to alarming levels—here’s what’s at stake in the next round of legislation. 

Speaker Pelosi Speaks To Members Of Press During Weekly Briefing

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 29, … [+] 2020 in Washington, DC.

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Unemployment insurance: The extra $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits authorized by the $2.2 trillion CARES Act will run out at the end of July, and while a new proposal by Senate Democrats would extend the benefits until the labor market recovers, Republicans have argued that the extra boost discourages people from returning to their jobs. 

Back-to-work bonuses: Instead of more unemployment benefits, some Republican lawmakers—like Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio—favor cash bonuses for workers returning to their jobs. 

Payroll tax cut: President Trump has long been a proponent of a payroll tax cut, which he says would bolster the labor market by boosting Americans’ take-home pay, though experts say the policy doesn’t help the unemployed

Stimulus checks: President Trump said this week he supports sending another round of direct payments to Americans, as do many Democrats; Republicans—wary of additional government spending—are divided on the issue

Aid to state and local governments: In urging McConnell to restart stimulus negotiations immediately, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday that state and local governments will struggle to cover essential services like schools—not to mention soaring healthcare costs and major tax revenue losses—without additional federal funding.

Small business relief: Both the House and the Senate agreed this week to extend the Paycheck Protection Program until August 8, buying Congress time to figure out what to do with the $134 billion that hasn’t yet been lent and decide on any further assistance for small businesses. 

Liability protections: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been a fierce advocate for legal protections for businesses that reopen to protect them against coronavirus-related lawsuits, calling them a “red line” for GOP negotiators back in May.  

Tourism tax breaks: The White House has also floated tax cuts on domestic travel to help prop up the leisure and tourism industries, which are among those sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.   

Key background 

Lawmakers have passed four major pieces of rescue legislation since the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States. The first two bills shored up federal funding for testing and small business loans, established provisions for paid sick leave and expanded unemployment insurance. Those bills were followed by the CARES Act, which clocked in as the largest piece of rescue legislation in American history with a price tag of $2.2 trillion. The CARES Act is the law that created the Paycheck Protection Program and authorized the IRS to send out the first round of stimulus checks. It was almost immediately followed by another package worth nearly $500 billion that replenished funding for emergency assistance for small businesses. In May, the Democratic-led House passed the Heroes Act, a sweeping $3 trillion stimulus package that included everything from more stimulus checks to an extension for the expanded unemployment program to more aid for states. The Heroes Act has been largely ignored by the Republican-led Senate and is virtually guaranteed to fail in that chamber in its current form. 

Further reading

GOP Suddenly Expresses Urgency On Stimulus: ‘Congress Needs To Act In July’ (Forbes)

It’s Official: Trump Wants A Second Round Of Stimulus Checks In ‘Larger Numbers’ Than Democrats (Forbes)

With Senate Republicans ‘MIA,’ Pelosi And Schumer Urge McConnell To Restart Stimulus Negotiations Immediately (Forbes)

CARES Act Protections—Including $600 Unemployment Benefits—Expire Next Month. Here’s What Needs To Happen To Avoid More Economic Devastation. (Forbes)

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