Last week, Legal Insurrection published an explosive report on the racism hoax at Oberlin College earlier this year. According to a new piece by David Freddoso at Conservative Intelligence Briefing, these incidents are sadly common.
A recent history of hate-crime hoaxes
Racism and hate are real. Hate crimes do happen — some violent, some just threatening.
But unfortunately, there is no shortage of wannabe heroes — who in most cases have never suffered discrimination — actively undermining the cause by committing fake hate crimes, often with the idea of drawing attention to an issue.
The Daily Caller had a piece this week on a recent and especially pernicious hoax at Oberlin College, perpetrated by an overzealous, outspokenly liberal Obama campaigner and his friend. The two young men terrorized their campus with racist graffiti, flyers, and emails sent from a fake address using the name of the university’s president, at one point placing a flag with a swastika in a campus building. The incidents received national news coverage.
Fake hate crimes seem especially common on college campuses, where a reaction is almost guaranteed and where the perps are naive enough about the ways of the world to think they can get away with it.
Here’s a brief and partial recent history of hate-crime hoaxes, culled from various online sources including trendsinhate.com (which contains accounts of several real hate crimes as well) and fakehatecrimes.org:
2013: Award-winning liberal blogger and 28-year-old University of Wyoming student Meg Lanker Simons goes on trial in October for allegedly anonymously threatening herself with rape on Facebook, then lying to police about it.
2012: Olivia McRae and Tanasia Linton, two students at Montclair State University in New Jersey, reported that racist graffiti had been scrawled on their door. Days later, they were charged with making a false report, accused of writing the message themselves.
2012: Alexandra Pennell, a student at Central Connecticut State University, claimed to have received threatening anti-gay messages. When it was discovered she’d sent them to herself, she was expelled and barred from all state universities for five years.
2011: UNC-Chapel Hill freshman Quinn Matney claimed to have been branded with a hot object by someone who called him an anti-gay slur. In fact, the wound was self-inflicted. When friends noticed it, he made up the story out of embarrassment to explain the injury. A friend, believing he’d actually been attacked, urged him to report it to police, and he did.
2008: Elmhurst College student Safia Jilani claimed to have been attacked in a bathroom by a masked gunman and to have had her locker marked with a swastika, both because of her Islamic faith. At the time, her report caused a campus lockdown. She was later indicted for making a false report.
2007: Colorado University student Alta Rae Merkling claimed to have been attacked by a group of men who cut an “X” into her face, shouting, “X marks the faggot!” She was later charged with filing a false report.
There’s more at the link below.
A recent history of hate-crime hoaxes (Conservative Intelligence Briefing)