After 3 Hate Crime Hoaxes, WaPo Tells Readers: “It Almost Never Happens”
Leave it to the Washington Post to report on another “racist hate crime” that turned out to be a hoax…only to then spend half the article assuring readers that, no really guys, this almost never happens! And you should really just blindly believe that white supremacy is running wild all over the country because it really, really is, guys! Well sure, THIS one was a black kid trying to get himself out of trouble, and that other one was a Muslim trying to start something, and that other one turned out to be some kind of fake news, but all the rest of them – those were really, truly, REAL, please believe us!
The report in question centered around the Air Force Academy Preparatory School, where there was a whole big thing back in September after someone write racist messages on a whiteboard next to the rooms of some black students. This turned into a national scandal for some reason and led to a major speech by one of the school’s administrators that was lauded by political figures like John McCain and Joe Biden. And that’s all fine and well, but we’re getting a little tired of this atmosphere where we have to have some “national dialogue” every time some fruitcake writes the N-word on a random wall at a random school. People are idiots. They behave idiotically. Do we really need to turn every half-baked incident of racism into an enormous controversy?
In any case, this one, like so many others, turned out to be fake. A black student at the school wrote the messages, according to the local paper, to distract from some other mischief he was apparently in trouble for at the time. We don’t know whether that gambit worked, even temporarily, but it certainly backfired in the end. The paper reported that he was no longer at the school.
And that brings us to the Washington Post story, where they try their damnedest to preach to their readers that even though the racism was a hoax this time (and those other times), it’s usually very, very real and very, very important and very, very, very serious:
“There aren’t many people claiming fake hate crimes, but when they do, they make massive headlines,” Ryan Lenz, senior investigative writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Project, told ProPublica. All it takes is one false report, Lenz said, “to undermine the legitimacy of other hate crimes.”
Despite the string of frauds, experts on hate crimes say that false accounts are still relatively rare.
Brian Levin, director for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino, told Talking Points Memo that hoaxes do appear in hate crime reports, just as they do in reports of other criminal offenses. But these fakes are a “tiny fraction” of the hundreds of hate crimes reported to law enforcement every year.
“These hoaxes have become symbols for some who want to promote the idea that most hate crimes are hoaxes,” Levin said. “That’s important to rectify.”
So here we have two people – a guy from the SPLC and another dude who makes a living studying “hate” – insisting that their work has real merit…because what else are they going to do? Fold it all up and go home? Actually turn their attention to real hate crimes and leave all of this juicy, divisive nonsense on the table? No, no, that won’t do. They are getting rich off making gullible liberals and angry millennials believe that they’re living in one of the most racist, oppressive countries to have ever existed, and they need every piece of inappropriate graffiti they can find to make that claim stick.
The real lesson here is not that all hate crimes are hoaxes, of course. It’s not even that some are hoaxes and some are real and we should be cautious before jumping to conclusions. The real lesson, as we see it, is that it doesn’t really matter one way or the other. No one is actually being harmed by these nonsense pranks, except to the extent that they choose to be harmed. And these pranks are meaningless, except to the extent that the media decides to make a big deal out of them and portray them as a symptom of America in decline. Let’s start giving these incidents the attention they deserve – which is precious little – and we won’t have to worry about which ones are real and which ones are fake anymore.