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Added: Jannae Southard - Date: 21.12.2021 06:09 - Views: 49758 - Clicks: 9769

Identities are tricky. They can be ased to us — and sometimes we assert them. Or ask her students and colleagues in the history department at George Washington University. Krug set the internet ablaze last week when she seemingly confessed that she had "assumed identities within a Blackness I had no right to claim.

Yet, how can we for the media frenzy swirling around it?

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What is it about a white woman desiring access to an imagined Black experience — and then being exposed for the lie — that continues to fascinate? And I think this apology is BS. The self-flagellation is absurd and a performance. I believe in apologies and redemption.

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Is it a new twist on the now familiar, tearful display of a white person compelled to confront their own racism? This is the power of privilege: The power to opt in and out of identities, to dramatically defend or chastise yourself before the viewing public, the power to redirect virtually every media outlet to your farfetched story.

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Like Dolezal, Krug altered her appearance — darkening her blonde hairaccording to a family friend — and seemed to take on accented speech to perform her version of Puerto Rican Blackness as Jess La Bombalera, a grittier activist version of her academic self. Also like Dolezal, she was drawn to Africana studies in college, eventually earning her doctorate in African history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before earning tenure at GWU. I also earned my doctorate at UW-Madison, and her graduate adviser served on my dissertation committee.

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Also like Krug, I was drawn into academia after completing the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program as an undergraduate. Both of these academic programs are deed to increase the presence of historically underrepresented groups in higher education, including students from marginalized communities who are low-income or the first in their family to attend college.

But unlike Jessica Krug, I am Black. I have never met Krug, but I have encountered characters like her on college campuses, including my own. They share some uneasiness with their whiteness and seek refuge in their fantasies of Blackness and the rich culture, history and especially the radical politics they associate with it. When I read the Medium post, it struck me as less a confession and more of a shield.

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The author insists it is neither. She did it because she had been found out. Krug seems to have effectively asserted herself as a fraud rather than being ased the label. By all s, her scholarship is impressive.

Her recent book about the circulation of revolutionary ideas among enslaved people during the transatlantic slave trade was a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and Harriet Tubman Prize, presented by Yale University and the New York Public Library, respectively.

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What does lying about who you are mean for an academic, let alone an activist? We all mislead and withhold certain aspects of ourselves to win friends and influence others, if not out of basic politeness. As with Rachel Dolezal, assumed identities can cause harm.

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Krug references her disassociation from the identities she was ased at birth: white, Jewish, Midwesterner. Comfortable in her role as professor, she manages what information is presented in which order and how it should be contextualized through discourses around trauma and abuse, mental health, anti-Black violence, restorative justice and cancel culture. Even if we accept this teacher-pupil construction, every good student pushes back. And as we push back against this neatly prescribed narrative, we might also consider what it is about white femininity that keeps producing this phenomenon.

Rather than confronting those expectations directly, to masquerade as the oppressed is to seek out greater rewards beyond those of whiteness itself: more social media followers, more credibility, more access to spaces and initiatives reserved for people who have been historically marginalized, including college admissions.

Before we shrug and move on to the next spectacle, we might take a moment to consider what about our society, our institutions, produces and craves such imposters while simultaneously ignoring and erasing other, more complex portrayals of Blackness. IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Share this —. Follow think. March Rachel Dolezal says she identifies as trans-Black March 28, Please submit a letter to the editor. Robyn Autry.

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