A white professor of African history at George Washington University has admitted to pretending to be Black throughout her adult life.
Jessica Krug, an associate professor at the Washington, D.C., university, outed herself in a Medium blog post on Thursday, said that “every move” she’s made in her adult life “has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.”
“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,” Krug wrote in the Medium post.
“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.”
George Washington University spokesperson Crystal Nosal tells PEOPLE in a statement that they are “looking into the situation.”
“We are aware of the Medium post and are looking into the situation. We cannot comment further on personnel matters,” Nosal’s statement said.
In her Medium post, Krug said that she has been “battling some unaddressed mental health demons for my entire life.”
“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,” Krug wrote.
“That I claimed belonging with living people and ancestors to whom and for whom my being is always a threat at best and a death sentence at worst,” continued Krug, whose areas of expertise include Africa, Latin America, African American history, the early modern world and imperialism and colonialism, according to her bio on GWU’s website.
“I am not a culture vulture,” she said. “I am a culture leech.”
Calling herself a “coward” for continuing her charade for so long, Krug wrote, “You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself.”