An activist in New York City who has been described as “Afro-Latina” revealed that she is actually a white, Jewish woman who’s been pretending to be Black all along. It was a stunning admission that harkened back to Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who also faked being Black as the leader of an NAACP chapter in Washington State.
The person now-formerly known as Jess La Bombera on Thursday published an open letter of sorts on Medium under her real name — Jessica A. Krug — and admitted “the truth, and the anti-Blackness of my lies,” as her post is titled. Krug wrote about her “experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim” and said she feigned “North African Blackness” before pretending to be a Black American and then finally settling on a “Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness” identity.
“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,” Krug wrote in part.
It was unclear what prompted her confession and why she pretended to be anything but the Jewish woman who she is.
Krug testified before the New York City Council in June under her Jess La Bombera alter ego and on multiple occasions referenced “Black and brown” people in reference to topics such as gentrification and racial inequality. Watch her testimonial below in which she uses graphic language.
Krug even called for herself to be “cancelled” and said she would “absolutely cancel myself.”
One tweet further identified Krug as an associate professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with areas of expertise including Africa, Latin America and African American history.
Another tweet linked to an op-ed about Puerto Rico that she apparently recently penned for ESSENCE under her real name and described herself in part as imagining “the radical possibilities for Black freedom.” It appeared the ESSENCE article had been deactivated when this writer clicked on it Thursday afternoon.
While the situation was not entirely apples-to-apples when comparing her to Rachel Dolezal, both instances were cleary white women pretending to have a different racial heritage than the ones they were born with.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.