We’re almost a year out from the now-former Phi Sigma Sigma president’s racist Snapchat, and the University has once again been shaken by a blatant anti-Black situation.
History professor Jessica Krug, a White woman, admitted in a blog post that she has been falsely claiming a Black identity for years. Her lie is a punch to every student, faculty member and staff whoever looked up to her or took a class with her.
Race relations in the United States are at an all-time high following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black Americans. The racial climate at GW could not be worse, as two racist Snapchats from sorority members have surfaced in the past three years and a racially insensitive comment from our own University president caused an uproar just a few months ago. Krug is adding fuel to a country and school that is already on fire.
In her blog post, Krug wrote that she should be “canceled.” But she adds that she doesn’t even know what being “canceled” means. I have an answer for her – Krug must leave the University and stop teaching altogether.
Krug claimed to be a Black woman while teaching African History, writing a book on African leaders in the 16th century and writing three published papers on the African diaspora and African History. She built her academic reputation on a bunch of lies. She placed herself in stories and contexts that are not her lived experience.
This semester, she’s teaching classes on African and Latin American history. She’s met her students this week. But Krug doesn’t deserve to have a relationship with them when her platform is built off lies. She should hand her classes over to a more reputable and honest professor.
Representation is key in higher education teaching and research. Black professors and academics have more hoops to jump through and have had continuous representation struggles, all of which get exponentially more difficult at a predominantly White institution like GW. Krug has taken a position away from an actual Black academic that could be just as or even more deserving of a position.
Black students at GW deserve better, and the University must do better at choosing who they hire to represent them. Krug must leave.
Hannah Thacker, a junior majoring in political communication, is the opinions editor.
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This article appeared in the September 3, 2020 issue of the Hatchet.