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Hate Crime Hoaxes are More Common than You Think

This week Chicago police charged television star Jussie Smollett for disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. Smollett claimed to be the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on January 29, but in the days before the arrest it became clear that police believed Smollett had hired two men to attack him. Other reports implied he was also a suspect in a federal investigation of threatening letters mailed to Smollett the week before the attack. This was all baffling to many people unfamiliar with hate crime hoaxes. The author Roxane Gay tweeted that she “genuinely thought no one, and especially no one that famous, could make something like that up.”

But people make all sorts of things up, even things like that. More baffling to us than a hate crime hoax is that people would find such hoaxes baffling. Lying is hardly uncommon in our species, and false claims of victimhood, like other lies, become more common when they provide some advantage to the liar and when they’re likely to be believed. That hate crime hoaxes seem strange or the motives unclear might simply be due to a lack of familiarity with them and with their social context. If you want to understand them better, here are three things to know.

First of all, hate crime hoaxes aren’t new or unusual. In our book The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars, we discuss a number of cases of people falsely reporting or even staging hate crimes. In 1997 two black students at Duke University hung a black baby doll from a tree near the spot where the Black Student Alliance was planning a protest. In 1998 a St. Cloud State University student slashed her own face and claimed that two men had assaulted her and yelled anti-gay slurs. In 2004 a visiting professor at Claremont McKenna College slashed the tires of her own car and painted ethnic slurs and a swastika on it. In 2011 a University of Virginia law student published a letter in the law school’s newspaper in which he falsely claimed to have been mistreated by two white police officers.

More recently, after Donald Trump was elected president, major newspapers published a number of stories about what were apparently Trump-inspired hate crimes, but many of these also turned out to be hoaxes. A black student at Bowling Green State University falsely claimed three white men wearing Trump paraphernalia attacked her. A bisexual student at North Park University claimed to have gotten notes with homophobic slurs from Trump supporters, but the university president later announced the student had written the notes herself. A Muslim woman in New York falsely claimed that men yelling “Donald Trump” and anti-Muslim insults attacked her and tried to remove her hijab. Similarly, a Muslim student at the University of Michigan falsely claimed that a man told her he’d light her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab.

Why aren’t such cases more widely known? We’re not the only ones who’ve written about them. Conservative publications like National Review have been writing about hate crime hoaxes for decades. Coverage has been spottier, though, in mainstream publications. The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on hate crime hoaxes in 1999, as did the Los Angeles Times in 2004. But if you’ve missed the few mainstream stories, and if you don’t follow conservative media, you may not have a sense of how often stories of hate crimes turn out to be false or a sense of what the false cases tend to look like.

Even fairly incompetent hoaxes might therefore succeed, which brings us to our second point: Hate crime hoaxes aren’t hard to pull off. Whatever the truth of the Jussie Smollett case turns out to be, it seems clear that Smollett was not some criminal mastermind. The idea that two violent, racist, homophobic Trump supporters wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats happened upon Jussie Smollett late one night in Chicago, knew who he was, and then pulled out a noose and some bleach they conveniently had with them—and that all this happened one week after someone else mailed threatening letters to Smollett—seemed fishy to us from the start. Strange, implausible details don’t mean an attack didn’t occur, but they’re enough to raise questions. Yet many celebrities and Democratic presidential candidates immediately accepted the story at face value and offered their support for Smollett, sometimes placing the blame for the attack on Republicans. If Smollett was in fact behind the hoax, this was probably the kind of reaction he was hoping for.

Real hate crimes happen, of course. We’re not arguing that all or even most alleged hate crimes are hoaxes. But the ones dominating the headlines in recent years have often been false or misleading, possibly because fake cases are better designed to push the buttons of drama and partisanship. Real hate crimes don’t necessarily have offenders who conveniently announce themselves to be members of your political outgroup, or display a stylized iconography of evil, like nooses and swastikas. The hoaxes, by contrast, often read like political-struggle fan fiction, with the hoaxers making themselves Mary Sues and their adversaries stock villains. At St. Olaf College, a racist note later revealed to be a hoax read in part, “You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up.” Or consider a case at the University of Wyoming, where a student posted anonymous comments about herself on the “UW Crushes” Facebook page. Intended to look like it came from a Republican man, the post expressed sexual desire for the hoaxer and referred to her as “that chick that runs her liberal mouth all the time.”

That the hoaxes act as simple morality tales illustrating an outgroup’s evil, or that they flatter the hoaxers, are part of what makes them attractive to the hoaxer’s audience. Whether hoaxers have personal motives—such as seeking fame, sympathy, or support—or political motives—such as mobilizing allies to fight a common enemy or injustice—they succeed among those sharing their moral and political commitments, not despite their sloppiness but because of it. Political polarization means that hoaxes that tap into one side’s fears and biases are likely to be believed.

Long term cultural trends matter, too, and the third thing to know is that hate crime hoaxes thrive in a culture of victimhood. We use the term victimhood culture to refer to a new moral framework that differs from the older cultures of honor and dignity. Honor culture refers to a morality that revolves around physical bravery. In honor cultures one’s reputation is important, and it might be necessary to engage in violence to protect it. In the dignity cultures that replaced honor cultures, morality more often revolves around the idea that people have equal moral worth. Insults and slights don’t lower one’s status as they do in honor cultures, and people can ignore many minor offenses and go to the police and courts for more serious ones. Victimhood culture, which is in its most extreme form among campus activists, is different from both honor and dignity cultures. Its morality revolves around a narrative of oppression and victimhood, with victimhood acting as new kind of moral status, much like honor was a kind of moral status in many traditional societies.

Something like a hate crime hoax would make no sense in an honor culture. You might falsely accuse someone of insulting you so that you have a chance to display your honor, but you’d be trying to get them to engage in a duel or some other kind of fight. You’d be trying to demonstrate strength, to show you can handle your conflicts on your own. The last thing you’d want to do is claim to be a victim in need of help. Hate crime hoaxes make a little more sense in a dignity culture. Hate crimes are offenses against dignity, and perhaps you’d have something to gain by falsely claiming victimhood. But in a moral world less focused on praising victims and demonizing the privileged, the benefits are lesser and skepticism is greater.

It is in a victimhood culture that hate crime hoaxes are most attractive. Hate crime hoaxes are false tales of oppression, and those who understand human interaction in these terms are quick to believe such tales and offer support to those they see as the victims. And to the extent that the hoaxer already belongs to a group seen as a victim group—ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, etc.—adherents of the new culture tend to see them as especially credible. They might even promote the idea that it’s our moral duty to believe victims. In that context waiting for evidence or giving due process to the accused is itself a form of injustice, a way of further victimizing the oppressed and aiding their oppressors. In a victimhood culture, even when hate crime hoaxes are exposed, they are excused as an attempt to raise awareness of a real problem or as the understandable reaction of someone suffering from so much unrecognized oppression.

Victimhood culture gives rise to hate crime hoaxes, then, because it makes them easier to pull off for the same reasons it makes them more lucrative. However, while others might balk at scrutinizing evidence, the police do so as a matter of routine. Claims that get a friendly hearing from campus administrators, Twitter mobs, and even journalists, can quickly collapse when they come to the attention of the police, and hoaxers who were initially very successful in mobilizing support might then face serious punishment. Right now the police don’t automatically “believe the victim” in such cases, but that could change if victimhood culture continues to spread.

 

Bradley Campbell (Twitter @CampbellSocProf) is an associate professor of sociology at California State University, Los Angeles, and Jason Manning (Twitter @SocialGeometer) is an associate professor of sociology at West Virginia University. They are the authors of The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars.

157 Comments

    • D.B. Cooper says

      I swear, you’re like an interactive wikipedia. Where do you come across this stuff? It’s impressive, but I bet you’re hell on your internet service provider.

      • ga gamba says

        It’s dreadful, ain’t it? Geocities sites from long ago looked batter.

    • Mark Budwig says

      “Hoaxes are not tracked formally, but the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said that of an estimated 21,000 hate crime cases between 2016 and 2018, fewer than 50 reports were found to be false. The center believes that less than 1 percent of all reported hate crimes are false.”
      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/22/us/fake-hate-crimes.html

      • Lucas R says

        In other predictable news, feminists say false accusations are very rare and police departments rarely file charges against their own.

      • Ellen Evans says

        Interesting that there are no details, nor links to studies or data which indicate what the Center bases their “belief” on.

      • scott allen says

        “Hoaxes are not tracked formally, but the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said that of an estimated 21,000 hate crime cases between 2016 and 2018″……”Mr. Hooper said his group received 2,000 to 3,000 bias reports annually before verification”
        Hooper is the works in the Calstate center that tracks these reports. But a quick check of his math in which he claims an ESTIMATED 21,000 hate crimes but then turns around as said his group only gets 2,000-3,000 reports, but some of those aren’t even verified. So either he is bad at math or math has changed since I went to school. Why not estimate 1 million hate crimes, liberals are funny.

      • RRD RRD says

        Has it occurred to you (or, for that matter, the center or the NYT) that the false reports are removed from the record of reported hate crimes? Get serious.

        The fifty reports they acknowledge is pretty suspect number when you consider this; ” Doing research for a book, Hate Crime Hoax, I was able to easily put together a data set of 409 confirmed hate hoaxes. An overlapping but substantially different list of 348 hoaxes exists at fakehatecrimes.org, and researcher Laird Wilcox put together another list of at least 300 in his still-contemporary book Crying Wolf. To put these numbers in context, a little over 7,000 hate crimes were reported by the FBI in 2017 and perhaps 8-10% of these are widely reported enough to catch the eye of a national researcher.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/02/22/jussie-smollett-empire-attack-fired-cut-video-chicago-fox-column/2950146002/

        Let’s go a couple of steps further. Most crimes are never closed in this country. Property crimes – which are included in the FBI hate crimes reports – are only closed at about a 19% rate. Without closure, no one knows how many of these crimes are really hate crimes – people of any given minority often use common slurs when angry with their peers.

        You can dress it up with official sounding names and attach it to a university but a the truth of the matter is that a report like this is incredibly non-scientific. The definition of hate crimes is often nebulous, the reporting is incomplete, and – given the limited number of cases closed – we do not even know if they really were hate crimes. To make a claim that less than 1% are false is utterly baseless and would be rejected in any other field.

    • Womba Son of Witless says

      The demand for white racists has far exceeded the supply. Therefore, just create some phony ones: There’s no accountability!

  1. Hog Farmers For Justice says

    In my hometown of Richmond, Indiana, a Black female physican’s truck was set afire, and her home defaced with racist graffiti. The culprit turned out to be her Black husband.

    • ga gamba says

      That’s internalised racism caused by white supremacy.

      The dogma has all the angles covered.

      • Lightning Rose says

        As of the Smollett affair, I think “raaaa-cisssss!” as a meaningful political construct has now jumped the shark. BTW, this happened in Chicago, where the numbers of black-on-black murder victims annually could fill a high school gym. But no, that’s never mentioned as a problem of “hate,” is it?

        To any “people of color” hereabouts, I say: When you’re in the voting booth next time, whom will you prefer? A leadership that’s created conditions for you to get a solid job and financial security, which brings with it a considerable sense of accomplishment and human dignity (yes, you DID build that!) -or- someone who panders to an institutionalized default status quo of assumed inadequacy, perpetual victimhood, trained helplessness and government dependency, therefore infantilizing you?

        • GrumpyBear says

          Or put another way: do you want the opportunity to work your way out of your problems? Or go you want reparations and universal basic income?

          • The latter is proposed as a means to the former, and it sounds reasonable to me. Or we could just raise the minimum wage to something like $55K AFTER taxes. Or we could do neither and increase the likelihood of another bloody socialist utopian nightmare.

          • Steve Walser says

            Wait, minimum WAGE??? Doesn’t that mean one must work for it? That in itself is just more oppression by the patriarchy. No, it must be freely given with built in escalators tied to the increase in income of the wealthiest 1%. That’s the only fair way.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @ga gamba

        Yup. I keep forgetting the term: something-trap … what is it again? Like recovered memory, where denial that you were abused by the Satanic cult is the very proof that you were abused by the Satanic cult. Thus faking your victimhood is exactly the proof of you victimhood — you are externalizing your Oppression. Even as kids who really have been abused will play act it. So poor Jussie, having been Oppressed and nearly lynched every other day of his life can be excused for acting that out, can’t he? We’ve got to change the law: Presumption of innocence has to go. It is better that ten innocent are destroyed than that one Victimizer goes free. That the cops are still skeptical is Violence. Black lives matter and gay black lives matter even more. Free Jussie! Kill a cop today.

        • Lightning Rose says

          Morning headline says that Elizabeth Warren has proclaimed solid support for “reparations to be paid to all black people who suffered the effects of slavery.” Which ought to be a pretty short list, since anyone who could possibly have been involved in slavery was dead by 1930! What clowns these people are . . . no details given, of COURSE!

          • Steve Walser says

            Let us not forget payments to the original native inhabitants of N and S America. Might as well take care of the whole gang at once!

    • Stephanie says

      At a Muslim-heavy university in Montreal, fliers saying Muslims weren’t welcome and complaining that they washed their feet in the sink were put up close to the Muslim Student Society club room. The media took it as yet another example of how inherently racist and Islamophobic Quebec society is. Turned out to have been put up by a Muslim post-doc. As if that wasn’t immediately obvious!

      What made it hilarious was the complete ignorance of the problem people have with Islam. Anyone willing to go so far as to out up posters wouldn’t be complaining about something as trivial as people washing their feet in the sink!

  2. What were southern white women who made false claims about sexual assault at the hands of black men considered? That’s a whole different kind of hate crime hoax. The hoax was a hate crime.

    This Smollett fellow is a top notch asshole. I’ll take even money on him having little to no legal consequences for this and no professional consequences whatsoever.

    Any takers?

    • Song For the Deaf says

      “The hoax was a hate crime.“

      Well, yeah. Hate crime hoaxes should be prosecuted as hate crimes, which, after all, they are. A hoax designed to stir racial hostility towards another group is a hate crime.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Song For the Deaf

        Except twice as bad. Violence is deplorable, but inciting violence is worse. Hatecrime is deplorable, but deliberately stirring up racial tension for personal advancement is like a sort of social arson. Court of Quillette, what is your verdict? I say five years hard labor and Jussie pays back the Chicago cops for every penny this investigation cost. Times four.

        “And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” Luke 19:8

      • Joe A says

        Bingo! Hate crime laws need to have a double edge to them. Those who make the accusation need to be held accountable to the same magnitude of punishment if it can be proven that the accusation was false. Skin in the game.

    • This is a developing story, but last I heard, he was back on the set of Empire. Will be interesting to see if they keep him.

      • Nicholas Decker says

        They will keep him if his continued presence on the show (in their judgement) generates revenue in excess of the revenue generated if they were to replace him. When regarding the behavior of corporations, that is the only rubric to be applied.

    • Space Viking says

      @ Ike From the ones I know of, they fit in the honor culture framework pretty well. The typical scenario I know of involved a girl or woman having some sort of sexual fling with a male of low status and she got in a situation such as she suspects she’s pregnant.or is seriously missed a curfew. Her honor is wrapped around her chastity so she cries rape to have her status restored. Blacks in this situation make the perfect fake assailant(s) as they are least likely to get full out investigation/due process benefits (if any) where your story could fall apart.

    • Peter Schaeffer says

      Ike, Of course, I really don’t know the answer. However, the rumor mill (from back then) suggests that white women who (falsely) claimed “rape” where (in many cases) covering up voluntary relationships with black men. They weren’t trying to stir up racial hatred. They were lying to protect themselves.

      By contrast, Susan Smith probably was trying to stir up racial hatred (and protect herself) with her (false) claim that her children were killed by black men.

      Interestingly enough, the police didn’t buy her story from the outset Police skepticism can be a virtue.

      • Joe A says

        Well, regardless of the intent of the white woman’s lie, the black male would have ended up with the same consequences as if he did the rape should the lie not be caught. I think the law needs to regain a symmetry that it lost. You falsely accuse someone of something, and it can be proven, you receive the same punishment as if you committed the act yourself. The current lack of symmetry in punishment for false accusation is what allows for opportunism and hacking of our judicial systems. Skin in the game helps cut through the BS. If the white woman faced such a possible outcome, she probably would have come clean in the beginning. And those who press charges with this symmetry in place are right off the bat, more credible. They are truly looking for justice.

      • Steve Conway says

        to correct the above which is false in a lot of ways…
        susan Smith claimed her kids were KIDNAPPED by a black man (not men plural, and not killed.)
        Also, the black man she described was a local vagrant. She didn’t blame blacks in general, just one particular black man.
        Last- she wasn’t trying to stir up anything racial. She wasn’t that smart. She was just trying to get the spotlight off of her and point it to the town vagrant.
        (The last 2 from my memory- and it was 20 years ago.)

        It was a very sad and terrible case. Evil even. But it wasn’t racial.

  3. Per your title, I was expecting some actual statistics. While the culture theory is interesting and insightful, citing a handful of cases and linking to an article written in 1999 doesn’t exactly live up to proving the notion that “Hate Crime Hoaxes are More Common than You Think.”

    • Song For the Deaf says

      @ryan

      Agreed. Not sure if the fbi keeps stats on hoaxes but in an age when crime has been politicized via hate crime legislation, it behooves them to do so.

        • Song For the Deaf says

          The concept of hate crime is deeply corrupt and we see it in the way police departments keep stats on it. Every year in this country, according to the FBI’s own stats, black people commit violent crimes against white people at 25x the rate that whites do against blacks. The absolute number of black-on-white violent crime is five times that of white-on-black crime.

          Yet police departments characterize more white-on-black assaults as hate crimes than black-on-white. It defies logic. Hate crime laws are inherently anti-white – as intended.

          • OwntownDart Scene says

            Not familiar with these statistics, but the larger point stands. “Hate crime” laws subvert a crucial foundation of Liberal society by effectively making the same criminal act more pardonable if perpetrated against someone lacking “protected” status. Not exactly equality under the law. Of course the argument is that the laws are concerned with “hate” being the motivation of the crime, but that way a world of quackery lies. It’s not hard to picture how some measure of “hate” could be divined as an additional burden against a defendant whenever deemed convenient. “Show me the man, and I will show you the hate” indeed.

            Prosecute the act, not the supposed state of the soul.

          • Philosophosaur says

            The article cited by K Dershem (https://www.colorlines.com/articles/3-stats-department-justice-disprove-racist-talking-points-crime) contains statistics that have been cherry-picked to fit an agenda or fundamentally misunderstood by the writer of the article (or, most likely, both). They fail to acknowledge the fact that the overwhelming majority of the US population consists of white people whilst presenting data that is contingent upon this fact, which makes a significant difference (unsurprisingly).

            The fact that only 57% of crimes perpetrated against white people are committed by other white people when white people make up 72% of the population indicates that interracial crime against whites occurs at a greater rate than the expected value (if crime rates were racially independent), and intraracial at a lesser rate. One would, for example, expect 72% of all crime against white people to be committed by white people if rates were uniform. Indeed, one would expect to see that 72% of all crime in the US were committed by whites – in fact, white crime only accounts for 43.8% of all crime in the US. This means that white people are, per unit population, underrepresented amongst criminals.

            The second statistic in the article uses a misleading metric: it gives rates of white-on-white and black-on-white crime per 1000 white people, which results in a missing factor of ~6 that results from the difference in proportion of the two races within the US. When adjusted for this, the rates of black-on-white are greater than their expected rates, and white-on-white lower than their expected rates. These statistics are taken from the original Bureau of Justice Statistics study. However, their original context was about rates of victimisation, whereas the article cites them as rates of offense ( a context in which they make no sense without adjusting for population sizes).

            Finally, the third statistic fails in the same fashion. 50% of crime against black strangers is committed by 72% of the population. Consequently, the remaining 28% of the population commit the remaining 50% of the crime. Indeed, 63.2% of crime against black people is committed by black people.

            Conclusion: Sameer Rao’s article is fundamentally misleading, the statistics do not support its thesis, and the data actually suggest the opposite. Always keep your bullshit-radar in good working order!

            The original source for the statistics: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rhovo1215.pdf

          • ga gamba says

            There are few problems. Firstly, that study excludes homicide. This is what it includes: “rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.”

            Why? Because it used the victims’ perceptions, and dead men tell no tales. Calculating homicide is tricky because many remain unsolved. Typically, there are more than 14,000 homicides annually. Where the single offender of a single victim is known, blacks killed about 16% of white homicide victims in 2015. This excludes a lot, such as multiple perpetrators and murders with more than one victim. In total, about 61 percent of the 15,696 homicides committed in 2015 were excluded by the FBI’s report.

            Secondly, see chart 1. White victim / black offender is 14.7%, or 540,873. The black population is 12.7% of the country (source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ethnicity_in_the_United_States). This 2 percentage point difference is 15.75% disproportionate; blacks are over represented.

            But this does not include a few other things. Move over to the right side. There are the single offenders of two or more races, the multiple offenders of various races, and unknown race or number of offenders. Together they perpetrated 18.8% of the non-homicide violent crimes on whites, or 681,729 violent crime victims.

            How shall we analyse this?

            We could say the two-or-more race offenders are not white, but that may be (mis)construed by some as racist. After all, there may be some multiracial offenders who self define as white, and we wouldn’t want to miscatergorise them. The other two categories are groups of criminals, so let’s assume they like to hobnob with each other diversely and inclusively when attacking people.

            The safest, most conservative way to do so is split this entire group of 691,729 by national demographic representation. Using the same source, whites are 61.3%, blacks 12.7%, hispanics 17.8%, and Asian/Pacific Islander 5%. This is 97.8% of the population. We’ll omit the remaining 2.2%. 86579 is 12.7%. The tally is 627,452, or 17.1% of white victims, an increase of 2.4 percentage points. This changes the disproportion to 34.6%. I would not be surprised to find I’ve understated the over representation, likely because this over represents Asians victimising whites, which doesn’t happen much because Asians are disproportionately law abiding, but that’s life.

        • Doug F says

          I question the very concept of hate crimes. Someone injures or steals or kills someone else. These are all crimes. They should have punishments. They should not be more or less punishable due to the victimhood of the recipient.

          As things stand now, social justice warriors have established that white men cannot ever be a victim of sexism or racism, and that implies they cannot be the victim of a hate crime. So what we are saying is that crimes against people of color are inherently worse crimes than the exact same deed against whites. Hardly equal protection under the law.

          • Ashley says

            I have to agree with Doug F here. The concept of a hate crime is contingent on factors that make a mockery of the idea of equality before the law. I would actually expect that such a thing could be seriously if not successfully challenged as it could and should be considered unconstitutional.

      • The rationale behind hate crime legislation isn’t that punishments should be harsher depending on the identity of the victim. The idea is that if the intent of a crime is to terrorize an entire community then this should be considered in sentencing. Intent is considered in sentencing in other crimes as well — for instance, whether a murder was spur-of-the-moment or premeditated.

        And yes, hate crime laws have been invoked in cases where the victim was singled out for being white.

        • Doug F says

          Please. Every twitter maga flame would be a form of a hate crime if we were to rate them the same. The reaction to the Covington boys fits a hate crime in every sense, and yet I have not heard that term used.

          Do you really pretend that hate crime violations are meted out with no measurement of victimhood status?

          • I’m saying that, as written in the U.S. hate crime laws come into play in the sentencing phase, they do not create new crimes out of whole cloth. And it has more to do with the motive of the perpetrator than the identity of the victim. Shooting people in a shopping mall will be charged as murder, shooting people in a place of worship and leaving a manifesto for the authorities to find will probably be charged as a murder and a hate crime, because the intent of the shooter wasn’t simply murder but intimidation of a larger community.

            Think of it as a form of terrorism — if the motive for the crime was political, the legal system treats it with the highest level of severity.

            As to your example, in the U.S. it is not illegal to say mean things on the internet, so the target of a twitter flame doesn’t matter as far as the law is concerned.

    • Kestrel Sparhawk says

      True. I was counting the examples cited, and it was one hoax (reported) every five years or so. That was LESS common than I think. And to everyone writing here, be aware there is a difference between statutes for hate crimes and statutes for rape. Lies about rape are quite uncommon compared to the number of rapes which take place. If you add rape to the other hate crimes (I certainly would in most cases) there are very few indeed. The police do this thing called investigation? And cases which seem doubtful are left off the roster? I do wonder what world all these guys (note the number of men writing here compared to women) actually think the real world of crime is like. As someone who’s worked with police, prosecutors, and prison administrators on domestic violence and sexual assault policy, there are sometimes errors but mostly careful investigation. The problem is that rape convictions are so low because of the male myth that all the women are lying…

  4. Denker says

    Trump is perhaps the most successful purpetrator of hate crime hoaxes and purveyor of victimhood identity politics and the least accountable.

    • Nicholas Decker says

      Dear Denker,
      That’s a good start. Now follow up with evidence! You cannot provide a claim and then expect us to supply your reasoning for it. Give us examples of those hate crime hoaxes and identity politics! Cite sources! And then, the hardest part, and perhaps one that cannot be done, show how it eclipses in importance the points in the article, and why focussing on the left side is unimportant.

      Sincerely,
      Nicholas

    • DeplorableDude says

      @Denker Please provide some shred of evidence to support your statement.

  5. Jakob J Akin says

    It’s sad that people perpetrate these crimes (falsely reporting or staging these thing)…because it makes it that much harder for those who are victims of hate crimes. I would say that these false incidents are fairly rare compared to the actual hate crimes being committed (over 7100 in 2017 alone). Prejudice and racism is the worst I’ve ever seen it in my lifetime (48 years)…and it seems more acceptable than ever in the mainstream. The fact that the media picks up on these stories should come as no surprise. It sells papers and brings in viewers on both sides, so of course they are going to jump on it. That’s why it’s up to us, as an informed person to reserve judgment until the facts are in and do our best to actually research these issues before weighing in on them with fervor and emotion. What ever happened to thoughtful, compassionate, critical thinking? I’m tired of the zealots on both sides…but I’m truly getting tired of the short sided ignorance that runs rampant on social media.

    • E. Olson says

      “7100 (hate crimes) in 2017 alone” – in a country with 300+ million people that works out to a rate of .00237% hate victim rate. If you want to assume that hate crime victims can only be minorities (about 30% of the population), then the hate crime rate is .00789%. In comparison, the death rate from accidental causes is .049% or 6.35 higher than the minority hate crime rate (and the vast majority of hate crimes don’t involve death). Thus it is very clear that the the problem for social justice activists is that there just aren’t enough actual hate crimes to justify their cause. If those damn Trump supporters would just live up to all the hatred that the Left assumes they have and start bashing/slashing/hanging/killing blacks, gays, transgenders, Muslims, Hispanics, etc. like they are supposed to do, the Lefties wouldn’t have to make so many hate crimes up.

    • Ted Talks says

      “actual hate crimes being committed (over 7100 in 2017 alone)”

      That stat does not measusre crimes committed, it measures crims *reported*.

      Reporting crimes does not mean they actually happened. I.e. Jussie Smollett.

    • Universal crime report fbi hate crime statistics…

      https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2017/topic-pages/victims

      Some interesting stuff here.

      African Americans account for almost half of the hate crimes that are based on ethnicity.

      Jewish people account for the majority of religious based hate crimes. (A smaller number of these crimes occur overall)

      The majority of person to person (rather than property crimes) hate crimes are cited as intimidation rather than physical.

      What are the parameters on intimidation as a crime? I honestly don’t know.

    • It may very well be that you’re just seeing more of it, between comments sections and XBox Live and media fixations for example, and it’s in fact diminishing overall. (That’s kind of what’s happening with violent crime – it’s dropped considerably but media reporting on it has skyrocketed. So public perception is skewed.) But if it IS increasing, this vehement anti-white-male narrative is definitely not helping.

    • Saw file says

      @JJ Akin
      “Prejudice and racism is the worst I’ve ever seen it in my lifetime (48 years)…and it seems more acceptable than ever in the mainstream.”
      If you’re talking about prejudice and racism towards’white’ people, I’d have to agree.
      The glaring problem with the number you quote is that it is reporting of “hate crime” (alleged) incidents.
      What is now considered to be a hate crime has become so diluted that, what just a few years ago would never have been considered as such is now routinely called that. Add intersectionality to the mix, and virtually everything not to some ‘victim’s liking can now be defined as a hate crime.

    • Peter Schaeffer says

      Akin, in real life”prejudice and racism” are at all time lows. For all practical purposes they don’t exist (save for soaring anti-white, anti-male prejudice). This is a provable point. Pollsters have been surveying racial attitudes for many decades. Racism is at historic lows. However, other proofs exist as well. Let me quote from “The Hate-Hoax Bonfire” by Jonah Goldberg.

      “Here’s something you might not know: In Nazi Germany, very few Jews staged bogus hate crimes against themselves.

      Here’s some more trivia: Very few blacks in the Jim Crow South went to great lengths to pretend that they were harassed or attacked by racists.

      You know why? Because that would be incredibly stupid. What, exactly, would the German Jew who staged an assault on himself gain from it? Where would he or she go to ask for sympathy or recompense? Conjure any horror story you like, the Nazi official you brought it to would say, “Yeah, and . . . ?” The black sharecropper who took the time to make his own cross and burn it on his own property would benefit . . . how?

      First, people who live under real oppression have no need to fabulate oppression. To paraphrase Madge from the old Palmolive ads: They’re already soaking in it.

      Second, when you live in an oppressive country, there’s no one you can take your grievances to because that is what it means to live in an oppressive country! For God’s sake, people, you’re making me use exclamation points and italics here. If you’re an inmate in the Shawshank prison, you can’t go to the guards to complain. When you live in North Korea, you can’t go to the local police and gripe about your working conditions or the sawdust in your bread.”

      Another person (not me) wrote “why do we have hate crime hoaxes… because the demand for hate crimes exceeds the supply”.

      If “prejudice and racism” were material, they supply would be more than ample enough.

  6. Jezza says

    Have you heard about the Christian who was handing out leaflets on Christianity in the street. He gave one to Muslim. The magistrate gave him three months gaol for causing offense. And no, I can’t give an exact citation. I write from memory. I don’t keep detailed records. It happened in England.

    • Dazza says

      I’m guessing from your spelling of ‘jail’ that you’re Australian and you read that one on the interwebby. Useful.

    • Brian says

      Did you hear about the Christian, when told we aren’t going to make laws based on beliefs without evidence, claimed to be a victim of secular oppression?

      • The Supreme Court routinely makes or interprets law by taking judicial notice of either self-evident truths or by resorting to natural law arguments.

  7. D.B. Cooper says

    It’s a matter of incentives; so on some base level, hate crime hoaxes are a perfectly rational behavior; or expected behavior, given the current climate of victimhood. People follow rewards. It’s part of the human condition. Of course, it doesn’t hurt, when those rewards coincide with deeply held convictions; such as, I don’t know, believing that one’s station in life is the result of being put upon by the white man, and not – I repeat, not – the result of anything you’ve ever done or not done. In short, remove the incentives and you’ll remove the behavior.

  8. Why shine on the national review and no love for the r/the_Donald?

    The Pedes and the Ruskis called it the day after it happend.

    They were the only ones who have evodence that they “were suspicious from the start”. The rest are play catchup.

    Seriously next week’s news, available today on r/the_Donald.

    BEEP BEEP
    Boris and Ivan

    • Harland says

      This post is so thick with insider language I can’t tell what it’s supposed to be saying.

  9. E. Olson says

    What I particularly love is how the Leftist media (but I repeat myself) jumps on every white against “insert victim group here” supposed hate crime with accusations that somehow Trump caused it, or how the US is such a racist nation, etc. Yet every time when the “crime” turns out to be hoax (which is usually obvious from day 1 to anyone with half a brain), we still get subjected to editorials about how the hoaxer was performing a public service by generating a national discussion about the plague of hate crimes and racism that permeate the very fiber of the nation due to the exhortations of racist Trump and his deplorable followers.

    What needs to be done is to give the same sentence to the hoaxer as would have been received by an actual hate crime perpetrator. In other words, Smollett should get just as much jail time as the supposed MAGA hat wearing, bleach pouring, noose tying “perpetrator” would have received if the crime had actually occurred as described to the police. Perhaps a few class action defamation lawsuits might also be filed against the media and celebrities who eagerly impugn entire swaths of the population for supposedly supporting a culture of hate that is somehow resulting in an upsurge in actual fake hate crimes.

    • Closed Range says

      In thinking about things a lot, I also came to the same idea of applying the same penalty to the accuser in cases of gross and deliberate false accusations. It would indeed be a step in the right direction towards equality in front of the law. The stakes are too high when the justice system can destroy innocent people’s lives to allow false accusations go unpunished.

      • E. Olson says

        That is the big problem – these hoaxers almost never get punished, and in fact get their 15 minutes of fame. Smollett was clearly hoping to parlay his hoax into a pay raise, and I won’t be surprised if he get a book deal out of this to better explain his victimhood. Just imagine if people with more than half a brain starts to get involved in creating more believable hoaxes, and their hoaxes start putting real innocent people in jail.

        • Optional says

          He makes $150,000 per episode. He didn’t want the money.
          He wanted to start a race war.
          He wanted to hate others, and call them bigots.
          And the Media couldn’t wait to oblige him.

          I hope the Covington Kid gets double damages in his lawsuit.
          This has has to stop, yesterday.

          • Stephanie says

            Optional, you think $150k/episode is sufficient for someone to never aspire to a higher salary? His motivations could easily have been financial as well as racial.

  10. Obaro Evuarherhe says

    “Right now the police don’t automatically “believe the victim” in such cases, but that could change if victimhood culture continues to spread.”

    For gender related crimes, I’m afraid this horse has bolted. Just look at Christine Blasey Ford and the UVA rape hoax.

    • Ah, but look at the 2 women who accused Lt gov Fairfax, black Democrat. Or the 3 women who accused Al Gore, fat Democrat. Or the woman who accused Keith Ellison, Muslim Democrat. Or the teen who accused Rep Tony Cardenas, Hispanic Democrat. So clearly ‘Believe the victim’ is situational.

  11. northernobserver says

    The demand for white supremacists and violent homo-phobes far far outstrips the supply.
    What is a committed progressive activist to do in such a situation?
    Hence the Hate Hoax phenomena. The Culture is just getting started and they will not all be as clumsy and transparently false as Jesse Smollett. Mattress Girl got away with it. The Kavanaugh accusers got away with it.

  12. There is indeed nothing new about this, christians have been doing much the same thing for 2000 years.

    All that stuff about christians being thrown to the lions etc, there is little or no evidence for any of it. Almost everything we “know” about early christian “persecution” comes from christian propaganda written in the 4th century (after christianity had taken over) and after.

    (Yes, there is some stuff in the late 3rd/early 4th century “great persecution” that seems to be genuine).

    (Its slightly different of course, I’m not saying christians hired lions to attack them and then blamed non-christians).

    • D-Rex says

      @TJR, do you actually believe the tripe that you just wrote?

  13. Just among people I know: A teenaged boy misbehaving accused an adult who intervened of propositioning him. An angry daughter who would not do her chores called ‘911’ on her father. A ex-girlfriend broke into her ex’s house and staged a “vicious assault” and then started a campaign against him.

    These are not quite genuine hoaxes but close: A secretary who hated her supervisor accused him of racism when he used the accounting term, “In the black.” A co-worker raised a stink because she thought that a male co-worker looked–yes, looked–at her breasts.A supervisor started an investigation against a male worker because of perceived harassment even though the so-called victim did not complain and objected to the investigation.

  14. Farris says

    “In a victimhood culture, even when hate crime hoaxes are exposed, they are excused as an attempt to raise awareness of a real problem or as the understandable reaction of someone suffering from so much unrecognized oppression.”

    Somewhat of an understatement. If a man instigated a riot against white interlopers where eight people were killed and then later perpetuated a hate crime hoax, surely he would be in jail or would he be a regular visitor to the Obama White House? If people like Al Sharpton can engage in such conduct only to garner fame and fortune, why wouldn’t others attempt the same?

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Brian

      There is a difference tho. A Christian martyr had to have taken some sort of stand. Merely having been dragged off to the arena was not enough. Not all victims are martyrs, a martyr pointedly has been given a chance to save her skin but refused the offer. Our modern equivalent, the Victim, need not have done any work at all, passive Victimhood is sufficient for sainthood.

    • I don’t agree with that at all. Christianity does have an ethic of enduring suffering in the material world for some kind of immaterial/spiritual purpose and they certainly emphasize that in the iconography of the crucifixion and various martyrs, but they definitely didn’t invent that. It was common in much older eastern religions whose traditions probably helped shape the development of Christianity.

  15. Brian says

    Do you guys think there are more hate crime hoaxes or more police falsifications of evidence? If a cop shoots someone or beats them up and claims they were attacked first, should you have more, or less suspicion that they are lying than if a person claims to be the victim of a hate crime?

    • Doug F says

      What are you trying to say? That it is the police that turn real hate crimes into hoaxes? Or are you trying to say that because police sometimes do bad acts (and should be punished) that hate crime hoaxes should not be punished?

    • Doug F says

      Brian, you don’t really like responding to questions that you don’t like, do you. I asked you a very straight forward question. I could have understood if you left the conv. But you ignored it because you did not have an answer, I assume, and kept talking.

      If you want to be on a site that tries to promote intellectual discussion, then don’t play the game “I don’t hear you!”.

      You say something, someone responds, then it is your turn. Ignoring the comment or calling me names is not discourse.

  16. Brian says

    I’d bet if a Trump supporter falsely claimed an attack from AntiFa, each side would be saying the exact opposite things.

    • E. Olson says

      Trump supporters don’t need to make up stories about being attacked by Leftists, because they actually are. Perhaps you saw something about the Covington boys who were literally and figuratively attacked by Phillips and the Black Hebrew Israelites and the pile on media? See the links for a couple more examples including one from today.

      https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/02/leftist-hate-projection.php

      https://www.dailywire.com/news/32654/watch-teen-assaulted-grown-man-wearing-maga-hat-amanda-prestigiacomo

    • Doug F says

      So what you are saying is, that because IF Trump supporters falsely claimed things, then that means that what was done is OK????

    • It sounds like you’re suggesting that there’s a symmetry between claims of attacks on liberals made by groups on the right and claims of attacks on members of groups on the right made by liberals. I don’t think that is true at all. I think there’s an asymmetry which fuels the problem.

      If someone who wears a MAGA hat is accused of starting a confrontation, then the media tries to fit them into a nationwide narrative which assumes that person is guilty and assumes that they’re motivated by hatred of minority groups. When it’s the other way around, the story may circulate on right-wing media, but mainstream media outlets treat them as local crime stories, and they don’t make national news.

      So, Jussie Smollets’ story about being assaulted by two Trump supporters went national and was widely assumed to be true until proven to be a hoax. At roughly the same time a man was threatened with a gun for wearing a MAGA hat, but that was just local news – despite the fact that the incident happened in front of witnesses and the man with the gun is now in jail.

  17. R Henry says

    Two points:

    1) Virtually all these “hoaxes” are perpetrated by radical leftists or sympathizers. This clearly indicates a deep flaw in that philosophy and world view–a willful blindness reality and desire to falsely influence others.

    2) The “hate crime” designation is driving this. I have long held that “hate crime” designations are ridiculous. That a person beat you up because you are black isn’t worse than being beat up because you are rich…yet one qualifies as a hate crime, and the other doesn’t. This, at core, illustrates that a “hate crime” designation is simply political, which betrays the Rule of Law.

  18. scribblerg says

    The ignorance about the strategy at work by the Left in this article and the comment thread is astonishing. Listen up, folks, your life and liberty depend on it.

    1. Hoaxes of this sort started in the ’50s as the Left intentionally overtook the civil rights movement. This was explicitly orchestrated by the Communist International and the USSR. One of the famous “cross burnings” supposed “civil rights activists” encountered wasn’t started by the KKK, it was done by one of those same hard core leftist activists. Fyi, the KKK started to repel white Republicans who came down south to help with black voter registration and voting. It was only later that it turned on black southerners themselves. The ignorance on display about all this recent history is truly astonishing.

    2. The Left has been lying to us about race and identity for 100 years. They will take any angle that gives them political advantage.

    3. The Soviet technique here is actually a form of soviet “disinformation” and agitation propaganda. Both terms that originated from the Soviets. This is nothing new and has been happening forever. Don’t believe me? Read up on how Jimmy Durante covered for the Soviets during its slaughter and starvation or millions of their own people in the ’30s. And he did it in cahoots with the Soviets and the Communist International. He did it to preserve communism/socialism (one in the same).

    4. It’s so open and common now because the Left has won in many ways. Their dominance and control of so many institutions that shape our public discourse and politics is so complete now that they are simply dropping the mask. They no longer need to pretend that they are supportive of classical liberalism. They no longer have to pretend they don’t hate us and that they want to overthrow our way of governing. Period.

    Look at Smollett. Even as he’s caught redhanded, he’s still playing every card available. And the media is still sympathetic for the most part.

    Why? Cuz all the Left wants is to acquire political and social power over the rest of us. Anything they do that advances that end is acceptable to them.

    Wake up, folks. It’s way past the time for pearl clutching and gasping. If you are surprised by any of this, you are a fool who’s been asleep for decades. Time to wake up and realize just how deep down the rabbit hole we have fallen, folks.

      • Victoria says

        The poster clearly meant Walter Duranty, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from the USSR, while helping to hide mass murder and policy-induced mass famine, by Stalin. The smugness of your response suggests you knew to what they were referring, but unable to come up with a substantive rebuttal, you chose to mock what may simply be a typo.

      • Dazza says

        A masterful humorous response to a condescending rant, good work John.

    • Scribblerg is correct with respect to the malign influence and (objective) intentions of the Hard Left. His history is completely wrong — mistaking Jimmy Durante for Walter Durante is a funny, if trivial, error, but indicative of the quality of his understanding of the actual history of the Left, and of the Civil Rights movement in the South. I’m sorry to say this about someone who is on the side of the angels but truth is truth, and, we actually aid the enemies of liberty when we are not truthful — even if we think we are being truthful.

      I am a white Southerner who grew up in the South in the 1950s, and was deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement there for several years.

      Racial oppression, including murder, by the KKK and non-affiliated white racists was real, and had been happening for decades. It is true that various Leftist groups were active in the Civil Rights movement, but this had always been the case — it didn’t start in 1950. It was pretty much only the Communist Party who actively and aggressively championed Black rights in the 30s… including, most prominently, the ‘Scotsboro boys’, the victims of false accusations of rape by white prostitutes … for reasons mentioned in the discussion above.

      It’s a tragedy of historic proportions that large numbers of well-meaning people were duped into supporting Joseph Stalin … people are gullible, and well-meaning liberals are perhaps more gullible where politics is concerned than others — they have the vices of their virtues. (And, yes, you could write a library of books about gullibility on the Right, in many fields, but that’s another story.)

      I was active in voter registration in the South during Freedom Summer, 1964. I don’t recall meeting one single Republican or conservative. Political views among us began with left-liberalism and went on out to Trotskyism. Stirring up trouble, even for a good cause, is not what conservatives do. William Buckley, of National Review, even originally supported the whites re. segregation, until wiser conservatives on the magazine — many of them ex-Marxists, by the way — talked some sense into him.

      The Hard Left are a very destructive force — they are enemies of both liberalism and conservatism. They need to be vigorously opposed. BUT … we shouldn’t assume they do not take advantage of genuine grievances, and we must remain strictly truthful in our political engagement with them.

  19. It stands to reason that if a single individual can – with the usage of a shoddily designed hoax – influence the mode of thinking of an entire nation, that a political party or a corporation or a government can – with the resources it has at its disposal that an individual doesn’t – mobilize an entire population to do its bidding.

    It also stands to reason then that each individual has the ability to nudge the world at least slightly in any given direction. Your mind is now the field of war.

    • scribblerg says

      Nothing you said “stands to reason”, UJN. What on earth are you on about?

      • Is a hoaxed hate crime not mostly the equivalent of a false flag operation?

  20. Smollett: I’d like to report a hate crime.
    Police: Do you have evidence of said crime?
    Smollett: Yes. It is all here recorded on my phone.
    Police: Can we have a look at your phone?
    Smollet: No.
    Police: k.

  21. I’m sure that my comments here would have me dismissed as a “right wing apologist” by certain circles, but I do not care. I know that my politics are to the Left of the identitarian people, and I’m not intimidated by them any more.

    Jussie Smollett and his celebrity supporters (Kamala Harris and others) have done serious damage to people who are actually victims of these types of crimes and to the chances of defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 election. They effectively delivered ammunition into the palms of the Right. Fox News anchors and commentators will invariably eat this up.

    This incident exposes serious holes in the approach of believing that an allegation means that a crime has occurred. Senator Harris tweeted that this was a “modern day lynching” before the investigation concluded. She later stated that “we should not rush to judgment ” until the investigation concluded and then publicly voiced her “frustration.” This reveals absolute hypocrisy on her part.

    Entire rallies were organized and think pieces were written to “support Jussie Smollett” before a thorough investigation was conducted. Not to mention, he went on ABC with Robin Roberts and stoked racial animus by stating that his attackers were white. They were not white, and they were not attackers. So many news outlets were fooled by this deception.

    This is not to deny that crimes motivated by racial/homophobic/gender-based animus occur. They absolutely do. And this is also not to suggest that we should “disbelieve the victim.” But we ought to take a tactic of discernment. After all, how can we know that someone is a victim or that a crime has taken place until an investigation has concluded?

    An allegation or accusation does not automatically mean that a crime has occurred. But it appears that much of the public has adopted the approach that an allegation means that a crime has occurred. Some people will excuse this and say that it is better to automatically “believe the victim” because it is difficult to come forward about an incident. While coming forward might be difficult, I do not agree with this approach. It is wrong-headed and reactionary.

    Across the political spectrum, people in the United States have become obsessed with punishment and have adopted a mob mentality when it comes to incidents like these. And we are often more inclined to punish those we perceive to be on the opposite side of the divide. It’s gotten absolutely ridiculous.

    And maybe it’s time to re-examine the efficacy of designating certain crimes as “hate crimes.” After all, murder and assault are still murder and assault no matter what the motivation is behind them. And I think we can all agree that murder and assault are most likely driven by “hatred” of some degree. They are not committed from a positive head space.

    There is also a celebrity factor driving this. The sordid spectacle of a celebrity accusation absolutely captivates the 24/7 news cycle and social media platforms.

    This piece from Maximilian C. Forte encapsulates the role that social media plays in this tendency incredibly well: https://zeroanthropology.net/2018/02/22/deactivism-the-pleasures-of-life-without-social-media/

      • My thoughts as well. This is an excellent website. We should all get together and start a new political party.

        • Yarara says

          Sounds good, except Quillette’s readership hails from so many different countries… some of which are probably not even democracies….

  22. Skallagrimsen says

    Here’s a question that interests me: how will Jussie Smollett be written out of Empire? As I understand it, neither Roseanne Barr nor Kevin Spacey ever appeared again on their shows after their career-ending scandals; according to the internet, they died offstage of drug overdoses (I didn’t watch The Connors or House of Cards–or Empire, for that matter). But Smollett was reputedly right back on the set after making bail, so hopefully Empire will be crafting a more aesthetically satisfying exit. My suggestion: Smollett’s character is lynched at 2 a.m. in a dark Chicago alley during a polar vortex by two racist, homophobic straight white male Trump supporters
    wearing MAGA hats and ski masks.

  23. “Some people will excuse this and say that it is better to automatically “believe the victim” because it is difficult to come forward about an incident. While coming forward might be difficult, I do not agree with this approach. It is wrong-headed and reactionary.”

    There are only a few ways to way to get rid of a teacher in our public system. One works for white teachers only. the white teacher is accused of racism by a black student. By. A. Student. Think about that. Of course the white teacher is on Admin leave with pay and an investigation that goes up the chain. Often, the family contacts the media and that brings the pile on. Thought leaders speak up to virtue signal and it’s the mob in control of the outcome.

    Think of the power that gives students. They know it. And they run the place. I am convinced that if teachers had portable pensions, most would be gone but they are stuck once they have put in 15+ years.

  24. markbul says

    Christine Blasey Ford, hoaxer. Her whole story stuck like dead fish. Typically, she ‘remembered’ after talking to a therapist. And her testimony was perfectly timed politically. Every word a lie.

  25. Jezza says

    Every light has its shadow. What is the incidence of love crime?

  26. Actually people on the right are quite aware hate crimes are faked all the time. As a matter of fact most hate crimes are hoaxes or non violent and unproven meaning we don’t know who did them they may be hoaxes. The idea that violent hate crimes are common is ludicrous that’s all that would be on the news 24/7 if that was the case look at all the coverage smolett got before his story fell apart. The media love themselves a gay bashing or lynching.

  27. david of Kirkland says

    The reason we have due process is because we know people lie all the time, and even when telling the truth, nothing can be done without supporting evidence.
    Believe the X is just faith nonsense. It’s fine that you want to believe in X, but please don’t pretend those awaiting evidence are bad actors.
    Don’t forget the Duke lacrosse team rape lies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_lacrosse_case
    Or that George Washington cut down a cherry tree and then told the truth about it.
    Or that we fought a revolution due to taxation.
    Or that there were WMD in Iraq; or that Vietnam was a threat to our national security; or most anything Trump says.
    Or that “too big to fail” financial institutions know what they were doing, hence the housing collapse based on lies, and that the bail out saved the economy rather than propped up criminals who took on massive, illegal risk and then left others to pay for their fraud.
    Or Manifest Destiny.
    ….

    • “Or that we fought a revolution due to taxation [without representation].”

      That is a true statement and does not belong on your list. The American colonists were correctly concerned that Parliament was preparing to treat them as Parliament had begun treating Ireland and the parts of India controlled by the East India Company.

  28. Asenath Waite says

    If a crime motivated by hatred of a group of people is considered to be worse than a similar crime with a motivation relating only to the specifically targeted individual because the hate-motivated crime causes peripheral psychological harm to the entire group that was targeted, then wouldn’t it follow that a successfully hoaxed hate crime would have the exact same peripheral impact on the ostensibly targeted community and therefore would be exactly as serious of a crime as a true hate crime (minus the existence of a direct victim)? Hoaxing a crime like that also has the additional impact of slandering the group of people to which the alleged perpetrators belonged (in this case white conservatives).

  29. Asenath Waite says

    When this news first hit it seemed unbelievable to me, because it was so cartoonish and didn’t seem like something that would actually happen in the real world, but I didn’t actually allow myself to believe it was a hoax at first because I had this naive assumption of honesty from people and I thought it seemed like a conspiracy theory. A day or two afterwards, though, I read an article in National Review that raised the suggestion that it might be a hoax, and I guess upon hearing that someone else thought that might be the case it clicked in my mind and it became clear that that was probably really what was going on. It became more and more obvious as I followed the case in the subsequent weeks. It’s really fascinating to me and I think it’s somewhat changed my opinion of human nature. I’ll probably be significantly less credulous in the future.

    • I had the exact same reaction. I was also fooled, at first, by the Covington business. But I grew up in the 50s and 60s, when you could more or less trust the national media (on domestic issues, not international ones). Don’t they realize what they’re doing to themselves?

  30. Sydney says

    Go check out the Instagram feeds of American black conservative Larry Elder; American black comedians Hodge Twins (genuine twins); and Australian-Iranian Iman Tawhidi (genuine imam) since the Smollett story broke. They’ve all had a comedic field day with the whole thing.

    Either you laugh or cry. They had me in stitches (not loops or nooses, mind you…).

  31. Num num says

    Nathan Phillips, the drummer who accosted the Covington student, committed hoaxes on both Honor and Victim cultures… he tried to steal valor (military honor) and victimhood status.

    A literal multicultural con man.

  32. The real reasons hate crime hoaxes can be successful is that if the perpetrator is never identified, there is little that anyone has to gain by claiming it is a hoax. If one claims it is a hoax and is wrong, then one has slandered a specific person. If you claim it is legitimate, but it turns out to be a hoax, then you haven’t really harmed anyone.

  33. Chris Milburn says

    The whole idea of “hate crimes” is a travesty.

    There is usually a lot of hate going on in someone’s brain when they murder someone, or commit a violent crime. Setting up differential punishments for offenders based on what we think they might be thinking at the time of the crime is a frightening overreach of our justice system. Plus, it somehow denigrates victims of an identical crime who, because they are not part of a currently recognized victim group, see their attacker get a lesser sentence than in other identical crimes.

    The basis of our justice system is that every victim, and every criminal, must be treated equally.

  34. S Snell says

    Interesting.

    As in “May you live in ‘interesting’ times.”

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  39. Brent Meeker says

    How deliciously ironic that while hand-wringing over the fake victimhood of Smollet, the Editor’s Letter whines about being the victim of ideologues who want to suppress discussion. I think it depends on whose ox is gored. Are those ideologues the ones who march with torches and chant that they won’t be replace by Jews. Or are the the guys with anti-Trump signs that he encourages supports to “rough’em up”.

    • Most actual terrorist violence in the US over the last few decades has come from the far Right, not the Left. And the neo-Nazis are, of course, dedicated enemies of liberty. I have no idea what is inside Trump’s head — probably very little, in terms of worked out politcal ideology, much less political principles — but whatever is swirling around in there is no doubt unpleasant.

      So why pay more attention to the hard Left anti-democrats than to the far Right anti-democrats?

      Because the far Right is almost universally despised and isolated. People on the Left don’t like to acknowledge this, but … most people on the Right (not the ‘far Right’, but most people who consider themselves conservatives) despise the Klan and Nazis and want nothing to do with them.

      Turn up at a conservative gathering wearing a swastika and you’ll be driven away. (For one thing, conservatives are strongly Zionist.) Even the ‘Proud Boys’ will repel Klan supporters who try to join them. You might think this is just opportunism, but whatever the motive, it’s a fact. People like Steve Bannon would like to change this, but so far they have not succeeded. (I don’t deny that the US could be host to a powerful near-fascist movement among whites in the future — there are certainly objective conditions which would support this. But it hasn’t happened yet.)

      However, the ‘cultural Marxist’ Left (for want of a better term) now wields great power, from a strong base in academia, and increasingly in the media. It’s not that their ideas are wrong — they hardly have any ideas. It’s that they want to demonize their political opponents and shut down discussion. Quite literally shut it down where they can.

      You don’t have to be a conservative to see that this is a very bad trend. In fact, standing up for free expression is more in the liberal tradition than the conservative — you could write a lot about the very feeble (to put it charitably) defense of free expression mounted by conservatives during the McCarthyite period, when the shoe was on the other foot.

      And there is a great difference between the McCarthyite hysteria and the current hysteria: then, the US was on the ascendant. Its economy was growing, it dominated the world, there was essential political consensus at home. Now it’s on the decline, both rotting internally, in terms of its morals, and declining economically and militarily, as it watches the rise of China.

      The next few decades will be very dangerous, for the whole world. We will need to be as sober and objective and cool-headed as we can be, to negotiate the terms of our decline in the most favorable manner. A country gripped by a cold civil war will have a hard time doing this.

  40. jimhaz says

    As far as I am concerned Trump himself is conducting a hoax hate crime in relation to the MSM and the non-existent deep state.

  41. Dominic Allaway says

    Yet another Quillette article that resonates with my personal experience.

    I work for an employment rights charity in the English West Midlands. I advise and sometimes represent workers who need help with legal claims to employment tribunals (rather than criminal courts as with so-called ‘hate crimes’). One possible claim is discrimination.

    Having done this job for almost 4 years I can now say with confidence that most of the allegations of discrimination we encounter are complete BS.

    One fairly reliable indicator of the presence of this BS is timing: the person alleging discrimination will only ‘realise’ that their employer was racist etc after their employer has sacked them or not promoted them. Prior to those occurrences there is commonly zero history of concerns or disputes about the bigotry in question or, if there is, it’s petty crap. What is more the person concerned will have been employed without a problem for several years before their supposedly racist etc dismissal or non-promotion.

    Discrimination law is being misused as a tool to exact revenge and I’m disgusted by it.

    Discrimination law as it is is also infantilising grown men and women. However, that’s another story.

    Possible solutions:

    – narrow some aspects of English discrimination law (for example the legal definition of ‘disability’ and ‘harassment’ are too wide);

    – repeal all hate crime laws – which I’m proud to say the UK Liberal Party is doing although persuading the powers that be to put that successful resolution on the website is a battle.

    End.

  42. Van Vise says

    In response to your title “Hate Crime Hoaxes are More Common than You Think” here’s another one – The Far Left Is Much Dumber Than You’d Expect!

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  45. David Morley says

    One of the other big giveaways is that the hoaxer puts into the mouth of their (fictional) opponent words they think they would say, or wish they would say – but which in fact they never would. In effect they can’t resist making their fictional opponent a mouth piece for their own world view.

    It’s this, for example, that makes “the protocols of the learned elders of Zion” such an obvious hoax. The hoaxers can’t resist making the “elders” the mouthpiece for their own conspiracy theory – in a completely laboured and ridiculous way.

  46. Steve says

    Why are these called fake hate crimes? Aren’t they in point of fact simply hate crimes? If someone paints a swastika on a Jewish building that is considered a hate crime. The motivation behind it seems irrelevant. I suggest that we prosecute all hate crimes the same. Otherwise you might get individuals who were caught committing a hate crime just claim the hoax defense. Further, it would discourage people from faking hate crimes if they knew they’d be charged with more serious offenses.

    I think this highlights the absurdity of the very concept of hate crimes.

  47. Francisco d'Anconio says

    Bear with me. Remember on Seinfeld when Kramer boards the bus and a gunman boards at the same time? The bus driver passes out, Kramer wrestles the driver out of the seat, and pilots the bus while fighting the gunman. The punchline was that Kramer continued to make all the bus stops because people were ringing for their stops! I tell you that story because everyone forgets that poor Jussie, out walking back from Subway in the Chicago polar vortex at 2 a.m. is assaulted by screaming racists, trades punches with them, staggers back to his building still wearing the noose around his neck and covered in unknown liquid, AND HE STILL HAS THE SANDWICH!! God, that’s one tough hombre!.

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  49. The progressives are pushing this ideology called Intersectionality. Disguised as equality in social justice, the ideology postulates that the world is divided into many sections based on race, gender identity, disability, sexual-orientation, weight, nationality and so on. Within each section there are Oppressors and victims, for example, men oppress women victims, straight people oppress gay victims and fit people oppress overweight victims. The sections keep growing. I hear Veganism is chic now and carnivores are the oppressors of vegans in that section.

    In this ideology, the oppressor is not allowed to suggest ideas or otherwise talk down to the victims. Victims are to be heard and hold the higher virtue within each section.

    When you look at this intersection of sections, it appears that virtue points is additive based on how many sectional victimhood you are being oppressed with. Hence there is a hierarchy of virtue-points based on this victimhood calculus. Also, privilege is currency for the oppressors, being a male means you are part of the patriarchy privilege class and have been oppressing women all your life.

    Smollett was pretty high on this hierarchy of intersectional virtue, hence a straight man like Obama would have to listen to Smollet due to his sexual orientation victimhood points being higher than Obama’s straight man points.

    If you are a woke straight white male, you’re pretty low on this hierarchy of virtues.

    Presumably one of the highest echelons in the hierarchy can be achieved as an overweight anorexic non-photogenic muslim vegan black gay woman with one eye, one leg and one arm who sees [insert-gender-neutral-pronoun] as a 6th yet to be identified gender. Because everybody has to listen to him/her/[insert 6th gender-neutral-pronoun] and said person gets a lot of virtue points by being a victim in more sections than just about anyone else on this planet.

    So Smollett was probably just trying to get more virtue points in this new Intersectional world. He may also get a double credit from showing Trump supporters to be beastly racists, but I truly believe that is secondary to his own quest for more virtue-credit to rise in that hierarchy.

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  52. Phil S says

    Of course they are. But black-on-white and heterophobic hate crimes aren’t counted.

  53. Jyll Nocel says

    ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!

    Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

    The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

    Everybody says the ultimate solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

    What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

    How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the ultimate solution to the BLACK problem?

    And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  54. Brad and Jason offer only black people as examples of hoaxers because black people are their favorite targets. Blacks who claim victimhood are least likely to be believed, especially by racists, which is why blacks are easily and often declared to be hoaxers.

    Brad and Jason dare not take on white women or Jews who claim victimization, because white women and Jews have the political clout, even when they are promoting hoaxes, to damage or destroy those who express skepticism about their claims. You do not see police officers arresting Jews or white women for hoaxes, but they are quick to arrest blacks.

    Which is proof that the racism Brad and Jason deny, is real.

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