The Spazz Age

The history of the twenty-first century American university will be told by the lummox children of billionaires.

‘Jessica Krug was taking advantage of the rules set up by an identitarian economy that exists both inside, and now increasingly outside, the university: an economy that bestows status and access to financial benefits and prestige … based solely on the color of your skin.’

Terry L. Newman, Medium.

It is now accepted as fact in many academic fields that you cannot teach issues about specific groups if you are not a member of those groups. In my first article for Quillette, I wrote about a professor in my Master program who proclaimed to our seminar that white sociology professors were incapable of teaching courses on race. Of course this is not true. You do not have to be non-white to teach the subject of race respectfully and knowledgably. The same understanding has permeated qualitative research methods in the social sciences, the idea that only a member of an insider group can understand and research that group…

Campuses constantly hold talks about white supremacy and white privilege, as if lurking behind every corner. Speakers are brought in on pedagogical days to sensitize staff in already overwhelmingly progressive faculties in the humanities. Guilt has become something associated not with one’s actions, but one’s demographic. Is it any wonder why someone might choose to abandon the burden of their whiteness, and embrace, instead, the pristine, blameless identity of the marginalized?[W]e should recoil at the thought of our individual worlds becoming so small and so narrow that the only research we can participate in is research about ourselves. This is the insider doctrine…

[U]ntil we overcome the divisive insider doctrine which plagues us both inside and outside the academy, the idea that only members of groups can understand one another, [we will have more Jessica Krugs.]

“[A]dministrators are making surprise inspections in class to make sure courses are actually taking place.”

Remember the fallout from the massive 2013 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill fake courses scandal? When it finally became known that for decades tons of administrators and more than one professor had colluded to provide hundreds of bogus courses to generations of athletes (football and basketball players are far too important to bother educating), all professors at the school had to endure spot checks to make sure they actually met their classes. To make sure their classes actually existed.

UD thought of that sordid humiliating history (history? for all I know, UNC still does it) when she watched this little film featuring responses of some George Washington University history students to the revelation that one of their professors has been faking blackness.

One of them said this:

We’re all gonna have to be tested now on whether we’re telling the truth [about ourselves] … I’m gonna have to take some DNA test to prove I’m half Jamaican…

Ya see how trust makes the academic world go ’round? And when you take advantage of that trust by creating a vast kingdom of fake courses, or by creating a bogus black identity for yourself, you destroy the whole trust infrastructure, right? So now people have to surprise you while teaching — minders have to roam the halls checking on whether you actually have the basic morality to bother meeting your students. And people may need to administer DNA tests to make sure you’re the minority you claim you are…

Of course, it’s not only about trust. Department chairs, deans, provosts, hell – BOTs! – colleagues who read your work with care and get to know you, scholars from the larger disciplinary community who sit on panels and committees with you, student evaluations (if anyone at GW had bothered to lower herself so far as to check Krug’s Rate My Professors page, the university might have avoided this disaster – the students were madly signaling that this woman was full of shit) — all of these and more are supposed to verify that you have scholarly and personal integrity.

So this is in part an unfair question:

Why the clever teachers and students at GWU didn’t twig that this was all a bit forced, all a bit am-dram, is something worth interrogating.

Krug’s RMP page makes her fraudulence quite clear; and UD feels confident that many internal GW student evaluations amplified the RMP verdict. We’ll never know for sure, cuz I figure GW is busy shredding them. It’s faculty that didn’t twig, though it was all right there in front of them.

I mean, it’s not as if Krug hid her killing kids is a revolutionary act remarks – she made them at a scholarly conference at Columbia University, mes petites.

The Jessica Krug fiasco was made possible by a toxic mix of total indifference (why bothering reading the work of your colleague? and RMP is bogus, everyone knows that…) and raging political correctness. Someone up or down the line of people who were supposed to act responsibly in regard to tenuring for life a new colleague knew exactly what they were doing: Krug was a comrade, woke to the need to kill enemies of the people and to abuse black and brown people for not being radical enough.

Understand? Someone knew all of this about Krug and, precisely because of what she was, wanted to tenure her!

Knowing there are rancid ideologues like this in your department/administration, why the hell would you pass on this sort of decision? Do you not understand that you are a gate-keeper?

In a Psychogenic Mood

Sing it.

In a psychogenic fugue
I became a star of academe
I was known as Jessie Krug
But I really wasn't what I seemed

On the wings of ev'ry kiss
Drifts mendacity so strange and sweet
In this psychogenic bliss
I make my paradise complete

Air castles seem to fall
It's all like a dream I've left behind
My heart's a sadder thing
Since you outed me and I resigned

In a psychogenic fugue
I'm within a world so heavenly
But for now Miss Jessie Krug
Goes back to being yicky me



“The first time she lied to me was in an email exchange in 2017. I had asked her how to pronounce her name. She answered, ‘Thanks for asking about my last name. It’s actually ‘Cruz’ and is pronounced as such.'”

Jessica Krug’s book editor is also pissed.

“Dr. Krug has resigned her position, effective immediately.”

The latest from GW’s provost. This blog will continue to follow the story.

Why does UD argue that the George Washington University History Department Needs to Be Put into Receivership?

It’s exactly as Joe Biden said of Donald Trump: “[They have] failed in [their] most basic duty… [They have] failed to protect us.”

By us I primarily mean GW’s students. The GW history department hired and promoted to lifetime employment an openly vicious personality – an anti-white racist notorious for her cruelty to people, and for her encouragement of revolutionary murder, in South Africa and in America.

Perhaps one of the most disgusting things she publicly did was to attempt to justify the brutal murder of 15-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.

Associate Professor Jessica Krug proves George Orwell wrong. In Politics and the English Language, he writes that because no one can say outright “I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so,” we get obfuscation and euphemism and all the other rhetorical tricks Orwell famously describes. But Krug is perfectly willing to say outright that it’s good to kill her opponents. Just watch her.

Note that I have not even gotten to Krug’s hoax identity and Duke University Press-sponsored lies. I don’t need to get there. I only need to show that the history department was so ethically inept as to have given lifetime employment to a teacher for whom the classic tenure by-laws phrase moral turpitude barely scratches the surface. GWU has sicced on its students an insidious degenerate, forced them to play along in her sick, destructive games in exchange for a grade, presented her to them as an authority and a role model.

Of course the history department has also made GW a global laughingstock, and forced the institution into expensive, degrading proceedings in order to try (they might not be able to) to dismiss a tenured faculty member. That’s but a trifle here. Nothing compared to putting innocent eighteen year olds in a room with a monster.

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[H]ere we are, three days into an absolutely disastrous and damaging crisis in the historical profession – disastrous for the reputation of the profession, damaging to Black and Latinx scholars who were marginalized and misrepresented and caricatured by a white woman who took opportunities and resources meant to encourage and foster more diverse voices and viewpoints in our scholarly community… [This is] outrageous, malign behavior… [H]er work is not necessary. To anybody. She should never be cited again.

“Seven history professors declined to comment and 29 professors did not return requests for comment.”

In exchange for fifty seven thousand dollars in annual tuition, George Washington University students receive the following:

  1. An anti-white racist who is also a much-dispraised teacher and someone who tells lies in her scholarly work. This professor pretends to be black in order to get financial and other benefits designed for actual minorities.
  2. Not even one professor from her field at GW who will tell you why Jessica Krug’s colleagues tenured her.
  3. A department desperately seeking someone to teach her hastily-vacated courses.

And again UD asks: Where is Andrew Zimmerman? A high-profile professor/activist in Krug’s department, and someone who sat on panels with Krug and cited her work (and was cited in turn by Krug), Zimmerman is currently the loudest and most powerful dissident voice at GW. Why is he silent? Doesn’t he think students have a right to know the process whereby his department not only hired Krug and, despite reams of alarming reports, kept her in the classroom, but also – incredibly – tenured her?

Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You…

… or… okay… UD explains it all for you.

A reader writes wondering about Jessica Krug and intentionality. Could this have been a double hoax? As the reader puts it:

Jessica [at some point] reveals that “I did it on purpose.”

Indeed it’s worth posing the question of motive in deeper terms than merely careerist in cases like Krug, although pretending to be a black woman in a work/financial support/emotional support setting designed to advantage minorities was obviously a large part of her intent. I’m sure H. G. Carrillo, once her colleague at GW, and a fellow hoaxer (Meta-hoaxer! He was already black. He added Cuban.), had exactly the same advantages in mind. And there are abundant similar examples, including the curious transformation of Mike Hudson into Yi-Fen Chou.

The particular case of Krug, however, suggests instructive truths about certain dangerous personality traits. Instructive – as in listen up! and your university might be able to see the next Jessica Krug coming before the super-rad bullies at your school muscle her tenure through, and getting rid of her costs you a ton of money.

There’s a very ugly way in which the personal is the political. Something toxic happens when angry narcissists with massive diffuse grievance as a preexisting condition meet ideas about the public world which allow them to organize, exteriorize, and be rewarded/celebrated for that personal rage. We know from several sources that Krug was, from about the age of thirteen, a highly irritable, self-righteous, arrogant, fight-picker. Nothing about her privileged (private schools, loving family) upbringing suggests mistreatment; rather, if you follow her behavior through to the present — where people in her New York apartment building report sudden motiveless insult, hostility, and threat from her; and former friends report a self-loathing so intense it regularly broke out in attacks on other people around her as being even more loathsome than she — what emerges is a violently nihilistic hatred of the world seeking outlets. “Krug is way worse than Rachel Dolezal. Krug not only pretended to be Black, but purposefully caused tension between Blacks and whites—trying to get Black people to hate white people as much as she did, when she really just hated herself.” A friend describes her “persistent negativity and jealousy.” A GW student describes her showing the class a photo of “the white woman who won an award over her.”

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I’ve encountered a few people in my life whose sudden outbursts of verbal cruelty shocked me right down to the ground. And you know, your UD ain’t a shrinking violet, so we’re talking really vile and explosive and hurtful statements.

Plus out of context. Nothing in the immediate social setting/conversation seemed to have prompted the statements’ content and ferocity; rather, what emerged seemed to come from a deep, mysterious, long-tended ground of excruciating rancor against moi. (Plus against other people, who were also, UD came to know, targets of these shock-and-awe explosions.) I’m talking about a person who, minutes ago, seemed a pretty unproblematic friend.

So vile and unprovoked were these attacks that UD had nothing to do with the attackers post-attack — except for one of them. Her aunt could not be rejected. Because… well… her aunt. The others seemed to UD to have revealed an essential untrustworthiness, a basic ill-will in regard to other people, themselves, and the entire world of human existence which would be absolute nuts to hang around. So she didn’t.

But let’s say UD were a really politically correct person – and/or really politically committed person. Let’s say she felt almost unbearable guilt about the history of white racism and the ongoing immediacy of her own white privilege. Faced with an angry, insulting Jessica Krug who had told UD tearful tales about the suffering of her black ancestors and her own suffering, UD would interpret Krug’s vileness not as simply the manifestation of a shitty personality (some people get charming ones; some people get shitty ones), but as an understandable personal /political/historical manifestation of resentment, frustration, and sorrow. UD might even be grateful to be made to feel the guilt that was before more of an abstraction. “No, Lizzy, let me once in my life feel how much I have been to blame,” says Mr Bennet as the Lydia/Wickham fiasco unfolds in Pride and Prejudice. We want to feel things, and relentless emotional confrontationalists like Krug oblige.

A person like Krug spends many years observing the gratifying effect of her personal nastiness; people seem to appreciate the wokeness-boost it gives them. And because she’s competitive and insecure and narcissistic, the nastiness will tend to be about chastising other people for being less aggrieved and militant about grievance than Krug is. Sadistically, she explores how far she can go in inflicting politically masochistic wounds, and over time the intensity of her attacks grows. Her fundamental motives are world-destroying nihilism, and the obscure, and less and less serviceable, gratification she derives from exteriorizing her bottomless maddening sense of the grinding nothingness of existence.

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.

****************

Clearly Krug’s own being is nothingness; she would not have been able to jettison it utterly and permanently for an assumed being if that were not the case. Like Alfred Jarry, she embraces her vile nihilistic Ubu. Her own family is nothingness; with little to no discernible emotional cost to her, she has been able to abandon them totally for two decades, not even showing up for her mother’s funeral. Over time, her thin, histrionic, theatrical identity thins more and more, and she must carnivalize it with greater and greater desperation. “She always dressed/acted inappropriately—she’d show up to a 10am scholars’ seminar dressed for a salsa club etc—but was so over the top strident and ‘woker-than-thou’ that I felt like I was trafficking in respectability politics when I cringed at her MINSTREL SHOW,” writes a friend and colleague. And if Jarry’s fate is anything to go by, Krug’s fate doesn’t look too good – he too lay his Ubu on more and more thickly, while what was left of his actual self slept the days away in an alcoholic stupor. Not a recipe for a long life, and he didn’t have one.

So – to return to the original question – is there any way to think of Jessica Krug’s life – up to and including her post-tenure explosion – as purposive? Has she all this time been holding aloft to the world some socially important message about race… or intellectuality… or …?

Don’t bet on it. She passively embodies the same message Emil Cioran actively and explicitly wrote out in books like The Trouble with Being Born, the very same message David Benatar wrote out in Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. A nihilist without the courage of her lack of convictions, Krug has a rough road ahead.

**************

And look. I know you don’t need reminding about the other side; but… if you do.

Franchement: How Could This Be?

Reading the joint statement about Jessica Krug from GW’s history department, and considering everything else UD has read by and about Krug, UD finds herself thinking that this dept should be put into receivership. Something is terribly wrong. A globally embarrassing, deeply destructive thing happened on its watch. This department hired Krug; and though it’s clear from what students have said (see post below this one) that she was insanely irresponsible, they retained her. Then they tenured her.

The department begins by talking about how shocked and appalled they are by this incredible revelation about her, yet really – really – how can it be that these people had no idea?

With her conduct, Dr. Krug has raised questions about the veracity of her own research and teaching.

Well, you not long ago tenured her. Did you read her work? Did you read her student reviews? Did you visit her classroom? Did you try answering those questions?

The discipline of history is concerned with truth telling about the past.

Mes petites. I know most of you don’t believe that hidebound shit about the graspability of truth. I mean, you don’t lie, like Jessica; but you certainly don’t think history truth-tells. History is about perspective and point of view and which power regimes happen to control discourse; and truth is a mobile army of metaphors…

Until you’re cornered; and then big bad Truth with a capital T comes lumbering back into the picture to paddle Krug on her black, brown, Algerian, Tuaregian, Ashkenazi behind and leave you looking on, in the innocent light of moral astonishment.

I don’t think you should be allowed to rest in that posture. I think you should get together, pronto, and begin a punishingly honest reckoning with what you have done – to your students and to the school.

Jessica Krug, from The Cut.

A fellow academic who knew [Jessica] Krug back at the University of Wisconsin–Madison recalls how she used to identify as half Algerian, saying that her father was a white man of German ancestry who had raped her mother.

*****************

In addition to the position and resources Krug stole from academics of color, she also stole from the many students who viewed her as a trusted authority to help them make sense of the world and their own identities within it. The Cut spoke to four of Krug’s former students about reckoning with her deception in the wake of her Medium essay, and how they are coming to terms with her betrayal:

“For her to have built her entire persona on a lie is just so deeply hurtful, but also it’s coming to the point where it’s just like, Oh yes, of course a white woman will go and try to trick all these Black and brown students. … [T]he way I looked up to her, the way I wanted to impress her, [combined] with the power dynamics [and the fact that] the relationship was built on a lie is more important than the subject matter of what she taught.”

*****************

“[She] lied with such poise and ease … She ridiculed any students that were still in the learning process that didn’t understand things… It’s a very weird thing now looking back and just realizing that the whole class was kind of a mirage.”

******************

“We thought that we were being taught African history by a Black woman. And now it’s just like, What else was a lie?

*******************

“I thought I was reading a suicide note [when I read her confession]… [S]he was very adamant that she was from the Bronx — she had a very heavy accent throughout the whole class. She would come in with huge hoops and a nose ring and a crop top and tight, tight cheetah pants. She has a big tattoo on her arm of the socialist symbol [the hammer and sickle]… There was a good number of classes she didn’t show up to, that she canceled like 30 minutes before the class. It seems like she was a bit scattered or a bit out of place in what she was doing in her life. She wasn’t committed to showing up to this lecture.”

Akissi Britton, a Rutgers Professor, Recalls Jessica Krug.

Excerpts.

[T]old us her father was Tuareg from N. Africa. My ex, who’d lived and traveled extensively through Africa began asking questions that we never got satisfactory answers for.

[Now] the story of a Puerto Rican grandfather began to come out.

As she started claiming more and more that she was Black I didn’t quite buy it but I honestly didn’t know what to do with it.

[S]he dyed her hair dark. Before it was a dusty blonde.

So many times she accused me of not being Black enough in terms of politics. She was hardcore and woker-than-thou with it.

I’d always talk to my ex about how her Black identity felt weird to me. Like I couldn’t get a grasp on her story. But I’d never come across someone who lied so extensively about her background. Lesson learned.

Latest from UD’s George Washington University:

The provost has sent a rather blah email to the community, acknowledging the “pain” many are feeling, and listing groups on campus that can help one deal with that pain. He confirms that La Bombawhatever will not be teaching this semester. The university is “reviewing the situation,” which almost certainly means they’re crouched down with Krug and her lawyer and trying to hammer out a… er… mutually beneficial severance package.

UD can’t help feeling a smidgeon of superiority here, since she was on the GW English department committee that refused to tenure the last fraud at the school…

No, we didn’t know Carrillo was a fraud, but we all felt something was not right in him and in his work, and we made the case to our colleagues that he would be a problem for us and for our students.

I’m gonna go way out on a limb and speculate that a woman as blatantly whacked as Jessica Krug was enabled all the way to tenure in the history department by only one or two powerful and way-assertive people… That others in the department were appalled and tried to vote her down but couldn’t go up against the combination of her respectable publication record, their belief that she was a black woman and therefore added much-needed diversity to the department, and the politically correct assholes in the department who were more than ready to bruit it about that anyone voting against her was a racist.

I’m gonna guess there’s a whole lot of finger-pointing going on among relevant faculty, some of whom – I swear to God! – fail to see what the problem is. Like, she identifies as black and race is a social construct and so what the fuck…? Others of her enablers have probably dug in to their Foggy Bottom dwellings, grinding the French roast at home and waiting til the coast is clear. For yet others, this really feels like the last infuriating politically correct fiasco they can bear – but what can you do. DC is quite the place to live, and tenure’s a beautiful thing.

And so it goes.

We’re already hearing from her students.

In my “Afro Latinx History” class, Jessica Krug discussed dynamics of white scholars engaging in black studies. She really had the audacity pull up an image of the white woman who won an award over her, illustrating how black scholars are often overlooked in the academy. LOL.

She repeatedly discouraged her students from supporting “American Dirt” due to Jeanine Cummins’ whiteness. [Cummins only has one Puerto Rican grandmother and so doesn’t make the Person Who Can Write about Migration cut.] All the while she was taking scholarships, fellowships, etc. away from the very people they were designed for.

What can I say? GW’s history dept really knows how to pick ’em. Prepare to hear from her colleagues about campus life with Jessica.

Ah hell. I’m not gonna excerpt stuff from this. Just read it.

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