Black or latino woman

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Jessica Krug maintained her masquerade by appealing to the worst Hollywood stereotypes about people of color. L ast week the historian Jessica Krug confessed that she had spent years engaged in a racial masquerade, taking on a North African, Black American, and later a Black Caribbean identity when she was in fact a white Jewish woman from Kansas City. The week before she published her admission, we, as part of a small group of Black Latina scholars, had begun working to uncover her lies and started asking questions to her close friends and editors.

Over the course of her life Krug built an identity based on the worst stereotypes, beliefs and supposed dysfunctions of Black and Latinx people. In her world, Black Latinx people were typecast and held static in a tangled pathology of trauma, violence and poverty. She openly bullied, mocked, gaslit and antagonized Black and Latina women she encountered in academic and activist circles as a way to further authenticate and validate her imaginary struggle and holier-than-thou politics.

Perhaps one of the most disgusting things she publicly did was to attempt to justify the brutal murder of year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, who died in a machete attack at the hands of gang members in a case of mistaken identity, by claiming that had he lived he would have ended up being a cop. Much like the Blackface minstrel performers of the 19th century, Krug calculatingly used the most exaggerated, hackneyed and simply racist stereotypes of Latinx and Black people and made a mockery of their political stances.

These exaggerated traits made it so that whites would not doubt her, since she exhibited all the characteristics associated with Latinos in film and television. This was her clever mechanism of deception: against whites she deployed trite Hollywood stereotypes all too familiar to the white imagination, and against minorities she leveled accusations of respectability politics. She terrorized Black and Latina women, panned their work and politics, and made many of her colleagues take on additional labor under the pretense of having to deal with her imaginary family saga.

Krug was particularly cruel to US-born Puerto Rican scholars, who she often accused of lacking the insider knowledge and cultural fluency that she reveled in. Because Krug is light-skinned, her outlandish behavior was deemed passable and presentable because anti-Black logics mean that white people are often more comfortable with minorities who are white and mestizo. By taking on a fake and exaggerated Afro-Puerto Rican identity, Krug not only engaged in a form of violent minstrelsy but elbowed her way into the very few spaces afforded to underrepresented scholars and activists.

By usurping access to Black and Latinx spaces, she silenced and extracted from those whose very existence and identities she was parodying. Along the way she racked up rare scholarships, fellowships and resources earmarked for Black and Latinx scholars, such as the prestigious McNair Scholars Program. Krug is a well-respected historian whose work would have stood in its own right. She could have been a white ally and worked alongside the communities she allegedly cared for.

But she chose to colonize our identities and even steal our names, at one point going by the alias of Jess Cruz. What is more, she specifically stole the lived experiences, culture and struggles of Puerto Ricans: colonial subjects who continually fight against their lack of sovereignty and non-consensual second-class citizenship.

By performatively punishing herself, she has attempted to set the terms of her own retribution — thereby stealing from us once again. It is unclear what the future holds for Krug. Her self-cancellation did not, apparently, include a letter of reation.

Her university colleagues have called for her tenure to be revoked. Many wonder if she will continue to profit from her minstrelsy by writing a tell-all book, as did Rachel Dolezal. We hold no illusions that Krug actually subscribes to the social justice traditions that she made a mockery of.

If she does, however, she would cease her performances and colonialist theft, stop waxing on the impossibility of forgiveness or punishment, and focus on the question of reparations instead. Opinion Race. This article is more than 1 year old. Photograph: Medium. Wed 9 Sep Jessica Krug: university cancels classes by white academic who posed as Black.

. Topics Race Opinion Rachel Dolezal comment. Reuse this content.

Black or latino woman

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