Crime, Journalism, Media, recent

The Hate-Crime Epidemic That Never Was: A Seattle Case Study

The Seattle Times recently reported that an epidemic of hate crimes is taking place in the Emerald City. According to the newspaper, more than 500 bias incidents were reported to Seattle police in 2018 alone, and this figure represents “an increase of nearly 400 percent since 2012.” However, this widely circulated claim is, at the very least, misleading. An examination of the Seattle data indicates that fewer than 40 actual criminal cases resulting from real, serious hate incidents were successfully prosecuted between 2012 and 2017. This provides an excellent case study of how media coverage of flash-point issues such as hate crime can—whether intentionally or not—sensationalize and exaggerate the urgency of social problems.

In the Times piece, headlined “Reported Hate Crimes and Incidents up Nearly 400% in Seattle Since 2012,” reporter Daniel Beekman suggests that the problem continues to get worse, estimating that since 2017 alone, hate cases have jumped 25 percent. He also reports that “community organizations say hate crimes are a serious issue,” and cites sources claiming that “more support from the city” is needed to battle hate crime. Beekman’s tone is relatively measured. But others have delivered more alarmist takes, creating fear that minority residents may be swept up in an “epidemic” of hate.

A look through the data that has been made available from Seattle’s office of the City Auditor reveals that there is little basis for panic. First, most of the situations contained in the 500-plus documented incidents for 2018 turned out not to be hate crimes at all. Out of 521 confrontations or other incidents reported to the police at some point during the year, 181 (35 percent) were deemed insufficiently serious to qualify as crimes of any kind. Another 215 (41 percent) turned out to involve some minor element of bias (i.e., an ethnic slur used during a fight), but did not rise to the definition of hate crime. Only 125, or 24 percent, qualified as potential hate crimes—i.e., alleged “criminal incidents directly motivated by bias.” For purposes of comparison: There are 745,000 people living in Seattle, and 3.5-million in the metro area.

Even that 125 figure represents an overestimate, at least as compared to what most of us imagine to be the stereotypical hate crime (of, say, a gang of white racists beating up someone of a different skin color). Seattle’s remarkably broad municipal hate-crime policies cover not only attacks motivated by racial or sexual animus, but also those related to “homelessness, marital status, political ideology, age and parental status.”

Indeed, if there is a single archetypal Seattle hate incident that emerges from this data, it would seem to involve a mentally ill homeless man yelling slurs at someone. According to the City Auditor, 22 percent of hate perps were “living unsheltered” at the time of their crime, 20 percent were mentally ill, and 20 percent were severely intoxicated.

The conviction rate in cases such as these has been very low. As Beekman notes, 398 reports of actual hate crime, i.e. instances of “malicious harassment” that were “verified by the Department,” occurred between 2012 and 2017. Of these, 128 were referred for prosecution, indicating authorities’ baseline belief that the accusation was not a hoax and that the police had managed to identify and apprehend a viable suspect. But not all of those cases were prosecuted. And only 37 of those that were prosecuted resulted in a conviction for malicious harassment between 2012 and 2017. That is an average of about six per year—fewer than half of which likely involved a sane, sober, non-homeless offender. That’s hardly an epidemic of hate.

So why is this report getting so much publicity? Beekman notes in passing that in 2015, Seattle’s police department hired a full-time Bias Crimes Coordinator, who made it a priority to engage in “community outreach.” This is apparently seen as an approved practice: “Jurisdictions that report more hate crimes are typically seen as leaders in hate-crime response efforts because high reporting can indicate law enforcement is prioritizing these crimes.” And, indeed, one can see how much good can come out of increased community engagement (of any variety). But in this case, a cynic might argue that the coordinator has had every reason to generate more hate-crime reports—since the existence of such reports helps justify the newly created position. One rather remarkable result is that Seattle has, during some recent years, reported more hate crimes than most U.S. states—including Florida. (To its credit, the City Auditor has bluntly acknowledged that: “A rise in reported hate crimes does not necessarily mean there are more of these crimes occurring.”)

Seattle’s case does not stand in isolation: The scope of hate crime often gets exaggerated all over the United States. In my research, I’ve found that widely reported “surges” in hate crime often turn out to be mere artifacts of new reporting techniques, with actual conviction rates remaining low.

For example, one of the most widespread claims is that the number of reported hate crime incidents increased nationally by roughly 1,000 between 2016 and 2017, a 17 percent increase that often is casually attributed to Donald Trump. A representative 2018 CNN piece, for instance, was headlined “Hate Crimes Increase by 17% in 2017, FBI Report Finds,” and opened with an in-set video featuring a former white supremacist discussing today’s charged “political climate.”

Reality proves to be more complex and mundane. One reason for the increase in reported bias crime between 2016 and 2017 turns out to be the fact that roughly 1,000 additional law-enforcement agencies contributed hate-crime data to the FBI in 2017. As one newspaper pointed out, each of these newly reporting departments would each have had to report an average of only about one hate crime annually to account for the full increase. There may well be no surge in hate crimes at all.

Nationally, convictions in hate crime cases are also rare. Figures from California, the largest state by population, indicate that 931 felony and misdemeanor hate crimes were reported to police in 2016. However, only 307 (33 percent) of those cases resulted in the identification of a suspect and referral to a prosecutor, of which 220 (24 percent) resulted in the filing of criminal charges, with only 51 (5.5 percent) resulting in a hate-crime conviction—about one per week. Another source, the eminently reliable Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, pegs the federal hate crime conviction rate at 11 percent: The Justice Department has received 270 bias-crime cases since 2009, and obtained convictions in only 29 of them. One obvious reason for this low conviction rate is that many supposed hate crimes are probable hoaxes—and those which are not hoaxes often turn out to be un-prosecutable incidents of anonymous graffiti or shouted slurs.

When the media suggest that America has become a sort of dystopia in which minorities are constantly under threat of mob attack, with even a prominent Black actor supposedly being beaten in the wee hours by MAGA-hatted racists in a Chicago yuppie district, it is a good idea to check the actual data. The same rule should apply to all sensationalist claims, whether it’s community activists trying to convince us of a hate-crime epidemic, immigration hawks trumpeting a supposed surge in violent crime by undocumented migrants, or culture warriors claiming that we are under siege from Islamist terrorists. Fear sells newspapers and generates clicks. But to flip Ronald Reagan’s famous axiom on its head: When it comes to media reports of crime surges, first verify, then trust.

 

Wilfred Reilly is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University. He is the author of Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War.

Featured image: Logo used by politicians and activists declaring Washington State a “hate-free zone” in 2016. 

99 Comments

  1. “the stereotypical hate crime (of, say, a gang of white racists beating up someone of a different skin color)”.

    Stereotypically, the “racists” are always white, & there is a reason for this, of course, which is that xenophobia is being deliberately (if not necessarily consciously) incited all over the West by its own white elites, so that they can claim a spurious moral authority for themselves by condemning it.

    Evolved human nature is tribal & territorial, & thus naturally inclined to nativism, xenophobia & tribal (e.g. racial) prejudice.

    Instead of seeking to understand human tribal nature, so that we might learn to live with it in a rational & civilised fashion, academics demonise & weaponise it as an instrument of socio-political intimidation & control, a modern, secular replacement, effectively, for Original Sin, which only submission to priestly/academic/state ideology and authority can save us from eternal damnation for, not as heathens and heretics, as in the past, but as bigots, xenophobes, nativists or racists.
    https://twitter.com/rogerahicks/status/1147786204517228544

    • David of Kirkland says

      Indeed, I’m a victim of hate crimes every time people tell me why socialism is good, why government intervention in private affairs is good, why we need to spend the most money on the least of those in society, etc.
      Self-segregation is common among races, sexes, sexual orientation, religion, age etc. It blows their minds that people do this on their own, and then claim institutional bias for why people prefer to hang out with like-minded people.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @David of Kirkland

        “It blows their minds that people do this on their own, and then claim institutional bias for why people prefer to hang out with like-minded people.”

        We’ve all seen similar, but just last night I saw a documentary about prisons in the US. If there were to be only one rule that inmates must learn, it is that blacks, whites and hispanics DO NOT MIX WITH EACH OTHER. Not the most Kumbaya singing idealistic warden or guard has the slightest doubt about it. Were some whitey to wander over to the black side of the exercise yard, even if he were to survive long enough to get back, his own race would execute him for blasphemy.

        • melvin polatnick says

          White inmates are outnumbered and brutalized.

        • Karen says

          Have you asked yourself why this is? The answer is not as simplistic as you assume it to be.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @Karen

            What do you suppose my simplistic answer is? What is your more nuanced answer?

      • Eric Osborne says

        Though the is this media fueled image of minorities being victimized by white gangs, the reality is rather different. If you check US Department of justice, FBI, and National Victim Survey statistics you will find that in black/white violent crime, whites are the victims about 85% of the time. Hardly the impression one would garner from hysterical ‘hate crime’ reporting.

        Although often racially motivated, these black on white crimes are generally not reported as hate crimes because the hate crime laws are often written to protect specific ‘at risk’ populations. Those don’t include white people generally, and certainly not white cisgender males. So regardless of the amount of racial animus, minorities in most jurisdictions cannot be prosecuted under the law for a ‘hate crime’ against a white victim. This leads to grossly misleading statistics showing ‘hate crime’ victims as overwhelmingly non-white.

    • GSW says

      “Evolved human nature is tribal & territorial, & thus naturally inclined to nativism, xenophobia & tribal (e.g. racial) prejudice” @Philosopher King

      Aha, evolved human nature as opposed to nature’s natural human nature – many thanks for clearing up one of life’s enduring mysteries that has puzzled actual philosophers since the beginning of time.

        • GSW says

          “in overreaction to Nazi social Darwinism…” @Philosopher Kine

          Yes exactly, those strutting over-the-top Nazis gave racism in general and social Darwinists (who apply “Darwinian logic to human nature & society”) in particular a very bad name. I mean, what were they thinking?!

          • Uab says

            No, he’s saying that the Nazis took Darwinism and treated it like the ultimate truth (look up true believers), which led to them defining which race was better – this is a bastardisation of Darwinism, it is not a social phenomenon but an evolutionary one (although it can lead to social paradigm shifts, it is not the only thing that influences society). As a result, Darwinism is heavily demonised today, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some truths that apply to all of us due to evolved characteristics.

            Whilst we should never use it for determinism, if you think you can ignore this and simultaneously affect positive social change… Oh dear. Just because Darwinism was misused (and erroneously applied to race), doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some insight as to what led to the Nazi mind set taking hold in the first place. I mean it clearly appealed to alot of people (through sustained propoganda and social policies over time) by creating an Us vs Them narrative. The reason this was effective is because people are tribal by nature (this can be seen in chimps that we have close evolutionary ancestors with – look up Bonobos) and other mammals have been known to form tribes (or herds – elephants, or packs – wolves, dogs etc) as well as hierarchies. A lot of these have been known to fight other packs or tribes. Hence, a tribal nature, Saying something is naturally occurring, doesn’t mean it is desirable but you have to be mindful of these factors.

            If you ignore biology/evolution and only concentrate on societal factors (especially considering how narrowly that’s defined these days) you’re not “fighting racism”, what you’re actually doing is the same thing that the Nazi’s did. You’re just doing it in the other direction. You’re taking something that’s true some of the time but you’re treating it as a universal rule.

    • ga gamba says

      Stereotypically, the “racists” are always white, & there is a reason for this, of course, which is that xenophobia is being deliberately (if not necessarily consciously) incited all over the West by its own white elites, so that they can claim a spurious moral authority for themselves by condemning it.

      A few years ago France reported a significant upswing in anti-Semitic hate crimes. At first I thought it was due to an increase in white supremacists or they being more active in perpetrating their crimes of hate. Turns of most of the hate crime incidents were due to Islamist Muslims, almost all of whom in France are non-white. Are we being conditioned to reach erroneous conclusions based on incomplete reporting of data as well as amplification of certain hate crimes?

      In the US, the FBI tallies hate crimes, their type, their victims, and the known race/ethnicity of the perps. The FBI’s latest data is for 2017.

      When reporting hate crimes by the race of the perpetrator there were 6,370 reports.
      50.7 per cent were White. Whites are 61.3 per cent of national population (or 76.9% if including white Hispanics).
      21.3 per cent were Black or African American. Blacks are 12.7 per cent of national population.
      0.8 per cent were American Indian or Alaska Native. Indigenous people are 2 per cent of national population.
      0.7 per cent were Asian. Asians are 5 per cent of national population.

      We find three groups are under represented, one of which is greatly so, and one group is greatly over represented.

      The above numbers don’t tally to 100 per cent. 19.1 per cent were unknown and 7.5 per cent were groups made up of individuals of various races (group of multiple races) for a total of 1690 reports. I’ll assume the multiracial hate groups embraced and celebrated diversity, so their racial distribution mirrors the US.

      How do we distribute? It seems most plausible many of the “unknown” 1,215 reports are Hispanic. Hispanics are 17.8 per cent of national distribution. The FBI states of “known”: the term indicates some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. Since aspects were neither identifiably white, black, Asian, or Indigenous, “s/he looked Hispanic” probably gets tossed in here as well as “I couldn’t tell,” and “I don’t know.”

  2. Martin28 says

    Add to this that many of these “crimes” were probably hoaxes, and others did no provable harm to anyone, they were merely slurs, and what is defined/reported as a slur is based on social justice theory—those targeted at what social justice theorists define as oppressed groups are given far more weight and subject to availability bias. You have a crime wave that is describing no crime at all, apart from those that would be crime without the hate laws, and these crimes are mostly minor—such as spray-painted vandalism or fights where both parties share blame.

    There’s a tremendous incentive to affirm all of this—to be outraged puts you on the right side of social justice morality. So the tone of Beekman’s reporting may be measured, but none of the reporting questions the premises. Thank you for questioning some of the premises, Wilfred Reilly. While hate crime legislation may have started out very limited and reasonable, it is wide open for abuse, ideologically driven, and now exists mainly to confirm social justice theory.

  3. Geary Johansen says

    Good article

    This is, apparently, a phenomena in the UK as well. You can receive a phone call from the UK police, telling you that something that you have written on line qualifies as a hate crime incident even though no crime had been committed. I think that this is some derivation of pro-active policing, meant to intervene to warn you about potential future conduct- although I have to say, as a regular watcher of 999: What’s your emergency?, I would be somewhat incensed that this valuable police resources were being wasted in this way. Especially at a time when police 999 responses are stretched to breaking point. Still it qualifies for the hate crime statistics, which I suppose is the important thing.

    Similarly, there are now signs up in Scotland, asking members of the public to report their fellow citizens for offensive speech and/or behaviour. It would appear that after 150 years of policing by persuasion, backed by force on occasion, having established a world renowned reputation for the most humane and highly effective policing, the UK police are now reduced to relying on the 19th continental method of policing, in which the state relies upon an apparatus of spies, volunteer or otherwise, to enforce the law.

    But the greatest ire must surely be reserved for the perversion of English Common Law. Because it is through our laws that we are governed, by consent or otherwise. Thankfully, Rowan Atkinson was successful in his campaign to get the word ‘insulting’ removed from section 5 of the Public Order Act: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/14/insulting-section-5-public-order-act. But this is a ray of sunshine, on an otherwise bleak landscape of personal liberty. The Common Assault legislation, still contains the provision for psychiatric injury, which will no doubt be used on a more frequent basis as our inherently fragile young people interact with the world in greater numbers. The most abused legislation currently on the books, has to be the Communication Act 2003, section 127 which governs threatening or offensive speech online.

    Now, threats online should always be taken seriously, the rule of thumb should be that common decency should apply whether in person, or remotely. But offensive speech? This is an obstacle to free thought and free enquiry, because it is only in the mortal combat of ideas, that good ideas emerge victorious, and bad ideas are vanquished to the waste bin of history. But, of course, this probably the point, given that most of the Left’s current dogma has either been thoroughly disproved by history, or doesn’t stand up to the most cursory exposure to empirical facts.

    The worst aspect of this has to be in the realm of comedy, such as in the case of Count Dankula and the fiasco of the Nazi Pug. At it’s very best comedy should be transgressive, skirting the line of what is permissible, in daring to say what we cannot. Not only does this offer us cathartic release to buried tensions and resentments, giving voice to gallows humour of otherwise grim subject matter, but it also forms a locus of resistance to the otherwise authoritarian tyranny of others. It is any wonder that our young people are so stressed, so anxious and depressed, and prone to mental illness, when they deny themselves this very essential stopgap release of pressure, by having to self-edit every line for permission to laugh, and in doing so become dontrived in their laughter.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Geary Johansen

      “Similarly, there are now signs up in Scotland, asking members of the public to report their fellow citizens for offensive speech and/or behaviour.”

      Can one do that anonymously? Say, for example, one wanted to cause a bit of trouble for a person one disliked rather intensely. Could one make a call, sic the constables on them, and not be held accountable?

      • Geary Johansen says

        @ Morgan

        I imagine so, but they would have to be careful that their story occupied a time when the person couldn’t account for their whereabouts.

        But my point would be more along these lines: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074knp

    • E. Olson says

      The UK and Sweden both have serious police efforts aimed at finding and prosecuting online hate crimes, while at the same time failing to police dangerous “no-go” zones where actual physical crimes occur because of fears by the police that they will be labelled racist for upholding the law and/or get stabbed or bombed or shot by “diversity is our strength” refugees and immigrants. The police also don’t seem to put much effort into solving cases of rape, sexual assault, burglary, car theft, drug dealing, or gang related violence because they just don’t have the budgets or manpower investigate such crimes when they also have to monitor hate crimes.

      • Geary Johansen says

        @ E. Olson

        The real problem there was that as Home Secretary, Teresa May, both emasculated the Met in terms of pro-active policing powers and reduced headcount because of austerity. Also, in response to the knife crime epidemic, and as Prime Minister, she made police, schools, pupil referral units and community resources more responsible, without reversing any of the damage done by austerity. I’m all for cuts to public spending, but not in areas that positively affect public safety. I’ve been on about it for months, only to see that the Times picked up on the story just this Friday, on their front page.

        Unfortunately, you are right about the fact that she did buy the whole correlation equals causation argument, without any attempt to look into the matter more deeply. Although I do think that the whole ‘no-go’ zone situation was a bit overblown. Assaults on police are up though, mainly from drunken men and women in their twenties, who have been indulged beyond belief, in terms of parenting and schooling. The hobbling of experienced detective establishments, with South Yorkshire reporting 140 detectives out of an establishment strength of 225, is a huge concern. It effectively amounts to fudging the figures on the part of the UK government, given that newly minted uniformed police are significantly less expensive than detectives.

    • David of Kirkland says

      A country that is dividing itself will not stand.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Geary Johansen

      “Not only does this offer us cathartic release to buried tensions and resentments”

      Exactly. Laughter feels good because it’s a release of tension. I hypothesize that the British are the most civil people in the world (ok there’s the Japanese and one or two others), because they have had the very best humor. But all fundamentalists hate humor. This is very dangerous.

    • Heike says

      A Scottish judge is laughing uproariously after leaving court. Another judge asks, “what’s so funny?” The first judge replies, “I can’t tell you, I just fined a man £800 for that!”

  4. Morgan Foster says

    @Martin28

    “So the tone of Beekman’s reporting may be measured, but none of the reporting questions the premises.”

    Questioning the premises would mean investigation, and that takes time and resources, both of which cost money.

    This story could have been written entirely from Beekman’s desk during the course of a morning.

    “Reported hate crimes” are up, not “hate crimes” are up. “So-and-so said … Another person said …”

    This is birdcage-liner journalism.

    An editorial elsewhere in the paper could well say: “As Seattle Times reporter Daniel Beekman wrote in yesterday’s edition, reports of hate crimes are on the rise in our city.”

    Newspapers are trash. They always have been, as any student of Mencken will know.

    • David of Kirkland says

      Overly broad swipe at newspapers over time. All institutions run by humans suffer all the frailties of the human mind, including greed, fear, anger and hatred. The hatred is now direct at people who make fun of others, a form of teasing that was never thought to be hate before, but now it is. Catastrophic thinking is becoming the new norm.
      When the news is real news, and when it does investigative journalism, they have been terrific. But you are right that they mostly are geared towards 8th grade readers, which suggests they are meant to inform children, not academically qualified adults.

    • Martin28 says

      “So the tone of Beekman’s reporting may be measured, but none of the reporting questions the premises.”
      Questioning the premises would mean investigation, and that takes time and resources, both of which cost money.

      Nah, it just takes an open mind, training as an objective reporter, and a decent editor who is not pre-committed to an ideology. Both were basic expectations at a paper like the Seattle Times 30 years ago. They no longer seem to be found at any newspaper. The media also faces a different culture today. If the reporter does not affirm the social justice narrative, that reporter would be attacked personally on Twitter.

  5. bullslayerfrog says

    It looks as though statistical methodology for hate crimes is about as sound as temperature readings over long periods of time or the use of tree rings to create hockey sticks. So here’s a hate crime for you. I hate people who distort facts in order to push their preconceived notions.

    • Geary Johansen says

      @ bullslayerfrog

      Good point. I think the over-reporting and over-exaggeration of crime, could also be a desperate bid to ensure greater policing resources. In American policing, probably the only time in the past when police chiefs actually received anything near the resources required to perform the job, was during the ‘zero tolerance’ period, which also happened to be the time when politicians happened to be standing beside them, basking in their reflected glory. Public servants should only ever be accountable to politicians, never beholden to them.

      • DrZ says

        @Geary Johansen my very subjective gut feeling is that the exaggeration of racial animosities is political, not police.
        I agree that the exaggeration of crime can be used by police to bolster budgets, but the exaggeration of racial crimes is owned by the left and it is used into scaring minorities with the message that they can only be saved if they vote Democrat.

    • David of Kirkland says

      Denying climate models show more severe weather based on higher concentrations of methane and CO2 from human agriculture, husbandry, deforestation and burning fuels suggests you’d prefer to cherry pick for your reality too.

      • Charlie says

        Climate model are based upon increasing carbon dioxide will increase temperatures. In the Cretaceous , the CO2 was 6-7 times what it is today. The climate models did not predict the levelling off of temperatures post 1998. The hottest period in the 20th century was 1936 and there were warm periods of the Medieval, Rome, Minoan and at 6900 and 7900 years ago. The Sahara has gone from savanna, to desert to savanna to desert over the last 18,000 years; the last change was about 6000 years ago. The Minoan, 6900 and 7900 warming periods were 3 C warmer than today. The great drying of about 6000 years ago meant people moved from savanna to Nile and Tigris/ .Euphrates and created the Egyptian and Sumer civilisations.

        The Earth changes more than people realise, either from meteorites, volcanos and ice ages; movement of continents due to tectonic activity, just look at the last 600 million years. From about 1690 to 1740, the temperature of England increased at a rate of about 3.4 C per century and this was during a mini ice age. The Vostock Ice Cores shows how temperature has changed over the last 0.5 million years.

        When models can accurately replicate the last ice age and afterwards, then they will be of use.

        Changes in phytoplankton activity in the seas is ignored and is the largest form of photosynthesis. When it comes to local temperatures, humans cutting down woods makes difference but this is due to removing trees which reduces shade and increases run off of water, not increasing CO2.

    • Jonny Sclerotic says

      @ bullslayerfrog

      Exactly. Whenever I read about something quantified as a percentage over 100% (like the 400% cited in this article) my suspicions are raised that there are ulterior motives at play in the reporting. It doesn’t always hold true, but if it’s something political, most of the time the percentage is being used misleadingly.

  6. Kauf Buch says

    Good that Leftists are finally reaching the ultimate phase of “The (genderfluid) Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf!’ (who identified as said species, different but equally valid as human).”

    Unbridled, Leftist totalitarian intolerance would eventually broaden the legal meaning of “hate” crimes into THOUGHT crime and worse: “You are White, and you still exist?!? GUILTY!”

  7. Klaus C. says

    On the other hand, mass caging of civilians without trial, with families separated and kept in dehumanising conditions in violation of international human rights laws, might sensibly be regarded as hate crime on a very large scale. But unfortunately it’s conducted by the US government, so is unlikely to show up in “community outreach” reports.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Klaus C.

      I don’t care if illegals are uncomfortable. They can return to Mexico at any time, where they will be safe.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Morgan Foster

        In all the hand wringing that simple fact is always overlooked: If you don’t like it here, then you are free to leave at any time.

    • DiamondLil says

      Klaus, you are deliberately suggesting that families are being rounded up, taken from their homes, and sent to detention centers. In fact, people are literally showing up by the thousands and demanding to be let into those centers.There is no question that the immigration system is overwhelmed by the numbers of people claiming asylum, but every single person in every one of those “cages” is free to go home at any time.

    • Kauf Buch says

      Aaaand…you’re only mentioning this NOW (implying Trump’s fault), ignoring that 0bama set up those cages?! HOW “INCONVENIENT.”

      You faux-but-fashionable “outrage” is duly noted.

      • David of Kirkland says

        TDS on your fanboy part. He made zero references to Trump and blamed the US government.
        Nobody is showing up to be detained. They’d like to enter the country and resume their lives, like all prior waves of immigrants. That we’ve made an immigration system that declares them criminal is the same as the laws that declared drinkers and makers of alcohol criminals, or women into sex criminals for getting compensated for their effort.

        • They’d like to enter the country and resume their lives, like all prior waves of immigrants. That we’ve made an immigration system that declares them criminal is the same as the laws that declared drinkers and makers of alcohol criminals, or women into sex criminals for getting compensated for their effort.
          Every immigration system has some type of limits and/or qualifications, and if you don’t follow these, you are indeed breaking the law. The alternative is an open borders regime. If you are for this, than have the courage to follow through on what that would mean for our country (how many would come, how fast, and how poor, and what would this country be like after it had finally subsided).

        • crawford421 says

          They can resume their lives where they have citizenship. As they have not been admitted to the US legally, they have nothing to resume in the US.

        • Shawn T says

          Prior waves of immigrants were not supported by the government. Many died trying to make a go of it. Extending the safety net to anyone who shows up logically ends with offering it to anyone anywhere – why be so inhumane as to make them leave their homes for freebies? If we want an open border, eliminate all public assistance, education, earned income credits, mortgage supplements, health insurance supplements, county health centers, mandatory hospital treatment and any other support program of any kind. That was the U.S. greeting prior waves of immigrants. We’ve built a bubble of support, it pops if we let everyone on earth inside it.

    • This ‘mass caging’ – that the media (and you?) totally couldn’t give a bleep about when Obama was doing the exact same thing, to the point that they use photos from Obama’s era to imply Trump is doing this – is what happens when people cross borders illegally.

      I’m curious what your solution is. Open borders? What then?

      Our own citizens are incarcerated every day, and separated from their kids. Is that ok with you? If so, why is it ok for citizens to be incarcerated for a crime, but not people coming here illegally? If you are bothered by children also being ‘held in cages’ what exactly is your solution? People come with children. Obama stated that many of the adults with them were suspected traffickers and sex abusers.To release them unvetted to the adults with them is something we don’t do for Americans – if you even have to pick up a kid at school, you need an ID showing you are the kid’s parent. To keep them with the adults in jail is a problem. To separate them and educate them and give free clothes and meds is what we’re doing. What would you do differently?

      Furthermore, how is it a ‘hate crime’ to not have open borders and allow people unvetted to come through our borders?

      A final question. If you went to, say, Japan, with your kids in tow, sneaking across their borders, with no passport, no money, and no proof you or your kid were who you said, and you were arrested, what would you expect to happen?

      • Stephanie says

        I agree that it’s horrible children are kept in detention. Children who are apprehended crossing the border illegally should be transferred to an orphanage in their home country and put up for adoption immediately, while their parents should be charged with child endangerment as well as illegal entry. Someone who would offer their child up to traffickers for rape, subject their child to a dangerous journey, and sabotage their child’s future by depriving them of legal status is not fit to ever be a parent.

        • Shawn T says

          Stephanie. I agree. Take your kids out to the freeway and try to walk to the furthest coast. You won’t make it far. Arrest for neglect and endangerment and loss of custody will be swift.

    • Geary Johansen says

      @ Klaus C.

      Recently found a mainstream press article that showed that 6,000 people died crossing the border between 2000 and 2014. Glad to hear that the Democratic Party has finally discovered there is a problem with illegal immigration.

    • Just Sayin' says

      Klaus, there are laws against roaming bands of humans moving into your home without your permission. Say twenty-five such individuals – all needy, all less fortunate than yourself – move into your home without your consent, what would your attitude be? What should the authorities do?

      As for separating children from their parents, this is done every day many times per day in every country on earth. Criminals who are jailed are separated from their families. Do you shed tears for the criminal who commits crimes against you, is prosecuted and jailed, thereby separating him from his kids?

      • Jonny Sclerotic says

        @ Just Sayin’

        The nation state/private home analogy is tired. But let’s play along with the analogy.

        FWIW, I have no problem letting strangers into my house. If they steal all my stuff and eat all my food, I’d be pissed off. If they contributed to domestic chores, were well-mannered, and only ate the can of garbanzo beans I didn’t know I had, I would have zero problem.

        • Azathoth says

          “The nation state/private home analogy is tired. But let’s play along with the analogy.”

          Do you want to know what’s TRULY tired, Jonny?

          This–

          “FWIW, I have no problem LETTING strangers into my house. If they steal all my stuff and eat all my food, I’d be pissed off. If they contributed to domestic chores, were well-mannered, and only ate the can of garbanzo beans I didn’t know I had, I would have zero problem.”

          See what you wrote? You have no problem letting strangers into your house, Jonny. LETTING them.

          We don’t have a problem with LETTING strangers into our country either.

          We DO have a problem when they just break in.

          Would, you, Jonny, have a problem with people breaking into your house?

          Ah.

          • Jonny Sclerotic says

            @Azahoth

            Would I have a problem with people breaking into my house? No – I would assume they had bigger problems than me and get the hell out. I certainly wouldn’t detain them or their children.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      The responses to Klaus are quite revealing. And you guys say that Quillette isn’t a far-right site that caters to racist assholes! Adorable.

      • d a says

        As a legal immigrant I totally agree with the Quillette “racist” comments you reference, Plaza boy.

        • Jonny Sclerotic says

          @ d a

          As a legal immigrant I totally agree with Nakatomi Plaza’s reference to the revelatory nature of some of the comments.

      • @johnny.

        You may think you sound like a super compassionate person when you say you wouldn’t mind someone breaking into your house. That they have bigger problems and you’d just leave…

        But you actually sound like
        1. You’re lying. Nobody doesn’t care when their house gets broken into.

        You have no boundaries or self esteem. People that actually need help don’t need to also take a huge shit on you to ask for it.

        Or 3. You’re an actual crazy person who doesn’t understand how the society you live in is structured or works.

        At any effect, you’re not presenting well.

        • Jonny Sclerotic says

          Ike, you’re right, it could be a combination of low self esteem and insanity. As mentioned upthread by a couple of people, if you don’t like the place you live, you’re always free to leave. That is a preferable course of action (at least to my self-loathing, mentally unstable ears) than detaining the person’s children outside my front door.

    • GeorgeQTyrebyter says

      You don’t want to be jailed? Don’t make a false asylum claim.

      Problem solved.

  8. Robert Franklin says

    Encouraging anonymous reporting of wrongdoing is always going to inflate the figures. For many years now individuals have been encouraged to report suspected child abuse or neglect to local CPS authorities. Indeed, many people (school employees, medical personnel, etc.) are required by law to report anything that could possibly indicate abuse or neglect. Unsurprisingly, the Administration for Children and Families that collects states’ data on abuse and neglect reports that 80% of reports are unfounded and of course many are made purely out of spite. As with hate crime, we’re often asked to be terrified about an epidemic of child abuse and neglect, but the figures don’t get close to backing up the claim. The simple truth is that children in this country are astonishingly safe, but that of course garners no headlines.

  9. E. Olson says

    Funny how hiring “diversity and inclusion” staff always seems to lead to more victims and hate being found. It’s almost as if they think their jobs and juicy salary and pension are dependent on finding fault with the current hierarchy/majority populations, but I guess I’m just not woke enough to see all the sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, etc. that surrounds us all.

    As the same time, however, I think such people need to get the word out to all the shithole countries of the world that the West is full of violence, hatred, and unfairness, and that the people living there should stay where they are to avoid becoming victims of it, because apparently millions of people still haven’t gotten the word and are arriving at unwelcoming Western borders by any means possible.

  10. Anchovy says

    It would be a problem if Seattle was actually a part of the United States.

  11. Candy Mercer says

    In Olympia currently we have hate crime lies being perpetrated. A woman died most likely from a fall while going to the bathroom while her BAC was twice the limit. She had a history of such falls and was a late stage alcoholic.

    The family is saying she was murdered because she was black and the anti-racists are all over it. They are comparing it to the Central Park 5 which makes no sense, cause THEY are the ones trying to convict innocent people. They are saying the police staged the scene with the alcohol bottle etc to cover up their complicity in her death. They are calling on people to harass the person who found her body and the EMT who tried to save her life, also saying both are complicit in her murder.

    Their charges are over the top irrational, but are getting no push back because they are black and people do not want to be seen as “racist” for even speaking the facts.

    This is dangerous in the context of previous events including the unjust shooting of two young black men by OPD and then the troubles at TESC around Bret Weinstein. Luckily they seem to be losing some steam, their numbers of supporters are dwindling, but the ones remaining are hard core.

    They complained that no media was covering it, but when the media did do some in depth investigation, including myself posting my preliminary findings they went off the rails. I am a white supremacist for not believing them.

    You can see thier insanity here: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForYvonneMcDonald/?epa=SEARCH_BOX The Olympian recently did an article which included some of the actual police reports, which enraged them….https://www.theolympian.com/news/local/article231904923.html

    After what happened to Andy Ngo, I am thinking long and hard about how to cover this locally. After all, one of the reasons he got beat up was for reporting on fake hate crimes in Portland for the NY Post. Even before Ngo, I did not attend the recent rally around McDonald, the first time I did not report on an event ever due to fear. I was not thinking I would get beat up, but I expected intense verbal abuse, and I had no one to protect me, if it got bad. I just was not up for that, so watched the video instead of going live.

    This is the climate in Olympia in 2019.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Candy Mercer

      Judging by the video in the link you posted, it looks like there were maybe 10 or 12 people participating in the rally for Yvonne McDonald. You didn’t miss much by staying home.

      • Candy Mercer says

        I know, there was about 20 people, and about 20 at the vigil the night before. So luckily they are not having massive support. Previous events have had a couple hundred. At times black bloc have taken over “security” for these events. So it seems like they are losing supporters. Also part of their plan was to “take over” the city council meeting. Due to their poor planning, there was no council meeting that night which may have affected turnout. I also did not see some of the most familiar faces in the anti-racist group which I am curious about. I see how others post and talk about it. Also see the Cooper Point Journal which is the TESC student newspaper for an interview with family. They definitely have supporters.

        My concern came from the previous week when I had made a private FB post asking for advice on whether to publish or not. I revealed some of what I had found out, this was before the Olympian. This of course got leaked, which I thought it might, but also thought it might not as I have purged a lot of people from my FB due to their antagonism. So it leaked and the White Supremacist hate posts started, and were pretty vehement and directed at me specifically. These posts were from some of the same people who thought I heroic for my coverage of the police shooting of two black men.

        One deep hypocrisy is that this is the FTP crowd, and now they want the police…they can’t have it both ways, it is intellectually incoherent. Also, given their lack of trust in the original report, I cannot see them accepting anything less than a conclusion that matches their own. These people are irrational and divisive, they are making the race situation way worse. They see the world through distorted lenses where everything is racist. Everything, and everyone, and there is no way to change that as it is inborn.

        They took over the local Media Island, which was a bastion of free thought, now it’s only focus is racism and hate of white people. It is also really gross how some of these white activists objectify blacks, and treat them as if they are powerless. They have weaponized guilt and it is highly effective in shutting down any opposition. They are also advocating that violence is a valid choice if you are oppressed.

        Remarkably, the stuff around Bret W. was extreme, but it was hardly the most extreme I have seen here. The most extreme thing is how normal it now is, and that anything less than full obedience earns you the alt right title. I am not alt right. I have watched pure and good activism, even the most radical, become perverted into a movement of hate. I have watched it happen in real time.

    • Grant says

      @Candy

      Twice the legal limit for an alcoholic isn’t that much, and it was wrong for the police to assume that was the cause of her death. The family has a right to question the police force’s performance. Shirt open and pants and underwear down? That by itself indicates possible foul play. Sounds like lazy police work to me and we should expect more.

      • Candy Mercer says

        I shorthanded it. But yes there is reason to be suspicious. But I read the full investigation which I feel was as thorough as possible. Going into further detail, she had a bowel problem which caused her to sometimes soil herself. Evidence was found that supports this both at the scene, in her apartment,and from witnesses etc. She was found with feces on her which was positioned as part of the hate crime, but at the time they did not reveal that there was soiled tissue found near the body (evidence photos).

        It is details like this that make this a difficult and sensitive story to report on and to debunk. There were no signs of sexual assault or any trauma, or signs of a struggle at the scene or in terms of other evidence on her body. She was found with half a bottle of vodka, and consider her BAC was taken at a time that would have been hours after the fall. The actual cause of her death was internal bleeding from a laceration in her gallbladder. I spoke to a medical professional on background and they told me this was definitely a possibility given her medical history.

        Ultimately she died alone, there appear to be no witnesses or camera footage. While foul play cannot be ruled out with certainty, there is a large amount of compelling evidence to support that this was an unfortunate accident. In order to report the story, some of this evidence needs to be presented, without demonizing the victim in any way. But to say she was murdered, and the police, EMT and mayor is complicit, is inflammatory, especially given the recent history of racial tensions in the town.

        I went in with an open mind, as open as possible, and my previous work was highly critical of OPD. I am just not seeing it here. I am further debating whether it is worth it to cover this or now. The Olympian article did a pretty good job. Where I could do better is details, context, and depth. I also do have a reputation as being a fair reporter, which could make it more credible coming from me than the Olympian?

        I was not going to cover it, but the family is not letting it go, harassing the Council at every meeting, and making these wild accusations, and trying to get innocent people convicted. The more misinformation they put out, the more I feel a need to correct it. I am going to sit on it some more, and continue to see how it develops.

  12. Grant says

    It’s a sad sign of our culture and government gone wrong when a mound of paperwork documenting so called hate speech is generated by a schizophrenic homeless person, but they remain homeless and uncared for.
    But a least you keep your job.

    • Candy Mercer says

      The way homeless are being handled here is a whole other story. For best coverage see Seattle is Dying. The liberal model is not compassion. People are living in giant tent cities. Addiction is not discouraged. There is a strong current of what is called shelter in place…let the people live in the woods and provide services. Despite Seattle spending one BILLION dollars a year on homelessness, there is still a massive humanitarian crisis. It is partially due to lack of affordable housing, but the greater problem is untreated mental illness and addiction. There is also a liberal current to decriminalize crime as it relates to “survival” – no one shoplifts at the volume that happens here to survive, it is addiction, but it is a third rail that cannot be talked about. There is even a slur – “housie” to inculcate guilt in the housed, as if housing was not the ultimate goal. The people living in the tents are forming a street subculture, which is going to be very hard to counteract.

      Activists in Olympia have targeted security hired by DT businesses, harassing them so much they quit the contract, and then have called these small local businesses “economic terrorists” for wanting their businesses to be safe for employees and customers. I know it sounds like I am being hyperbolic, but this is what is happening. Olympia is the point of the spear, concepts develop here and spread….I could go on and on with some of the insanities I have witnessed while being an activist here. I recently had a guest from OH stay with me, and I kept telling her, I know you are thinking I am making this up…there is no counterbalance so the extreme left has taken over and it is not the happy freethinking place I have loved for so long.

      • ERH says

        And the worse it gets, the more inequality and exploitation/oppression can & will be blamed. It’s a downward death spiral. I don’t envy your position. Very troubling.

  13. Morti says

    “criminal incidents directly motivated by bias.” <– look at the language here. It’s so vague that anything could possibly be qualified as such. It entirely depends on law enforcement whether it’s a punishable crime or minor incident. With the introduction of more diversity officers, bias training and all that SJW “education” in law enforcement institutions it’s a matter of time till you wake up to see something akin to Sharia Police in Saudi Arabia.

    it’s pure totalitarianism.

    It’s nearly as ridiculous as “suspicion of espionage” or “suspicion of diversion” crimes that existed in the USSR, especially during Stalin.

  14. Rev. Wazoo! says

    As they say, “When you’re a nail, everything looks like a hammer.” a recurrent, misleading method of driving a narrative is “statistical lumping” : including widely disparate things in the same category. “Hate crimes and incidents” is the current example; ‘hate inciddnts’ is a newly-created catch-all appended to the already-dubious ‘hate crime’ category simply to inflate the total stats to headline-generating levels.

    “One is 3 women sexually assaulted or harassed” is another, lumping offence taken at a colleague’s girlie-calendar with being physically attacked. The former catches the eye and the latter grossly inflates the incidence. It’s akin to “A Third of Americans Murdered or Burgled!”

    • Candy Mercer says

      There is also the cognitive and perceptual distortion from wearing glasses that make you see hate in everything…the microaggressions etc. In Oly there is this big fear that trans are under attack as well. We are the motherland of the genderqueer. It simply is not true on any community wide level. This community is so accepting, celebrating of trans people, the hate they feel, I just think it is in their heads, the narrative that I am trans i am hated. I am saying this as someone who is on the gender spectrum myself.

      It is the same with the anti-racists, everything has to do with race. I saw someone called out for having a racist grief reaction! Someone just lost a loved one, and their talk of their grief did not pass the purity test. This was done in public, on social media, by a “friend” who felt the correction was necessary. The woman targeted did a forced apology. That was one of the lowest things I have ever seen by those people. Just horrible. Who does that? people with an agenda that makes them blind to their humanity and the humanity of others.

      • GeorgeQTyrebyter says

        @candy mercer: We hare having that problem in Unitarian-Universalism. We accept trans people. Yet every trans person says that it’s not enough, they are not “fully accepted”. It’s the height of SJW bullying. The comments are not specific, they are basically defining new forms of microaggressions, and it’s all designed to gin up guilt in non-trans people. In me, it gins up huge wellsprings of annoyance. Nope, I will not kiss the trans woman. Na ga da it.

  15. Pingback: The Hate-Crime Epidemic That Never Was | CauseACTION

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  18. melvin polatnick says

    Many homeless racists live in Seattle. They spring to action when spotting a Muslim or Jew. Homeless white men blame helpless minorities for their self-made situation.

  19. So, basically this cements what we’ve known since the last 60s: America is not a racist, hateful society, except at its very (leftist) fringes. Anti-Fa, anyone?

  20. Richard says

    “[T]he stereotypical hate crime (of, say, a gang of white racists beating up someone of a different skin color)……” Would anyone like to publish the statistics on how often such incidents occur with the races reversed? Are those EVER called hate crimes? Didn’t think so.

    • JA M says

      The beating of Andy Ngo by a bunch of lily white violent extremists was not a hate crime, apparently. It was apparently a “deserved” “corrective action.” Because everyone knows only white Republicans can engage in hate. Because . . . science?

  21. Anon E. Mouse says

    This underscores the ridiculous nature of thought crimes. It really matters little to the murder victim why they were killed, because someone hated them or was just killing at random. The money stolen by a thief is the same amount, no matter what the thief thought of the victim. The wisdom of kindergarten still shines through today, “sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words (or thoughts) can never hurt me”. When did we get so smart as to imagine that thought makes a crime worse?

  22. Cerebrate says

    The unfortunate response of progressive idealists to these facts will be that of their shining star, AOC: Why sweat the facts when we have morality on our side? Data only matters if you use it.

  23. Andrew ( Mt. Vernon ) says

    Having moved from the East side I can’t recall a moment I didn’t “ hate “ Sheattle…. I journeyed there only upon times of no other choice or option. That having been said;
    If it were not for salacious news and hook titles the Main Stream Media would have nothing at all to report.
    It seems as if they are constantly reporting, well to call it “reporting “ seems an undeserved assignation, perhaps “ propagandizing “ is more apropos .. regardless of what one calls their articles the tonal quality is suspect, often misleading by intent, and not worthy of being in print or to caress the airwaves. We are saddled, bombarded and given great consternation by their poorly gathered prose and infantile ad hominem, the polemic duly marches on.
    Our President is frequently and perhaps deservedly castigated for His war against these propagandists. I say deservedly because it is within his power to reinstate the prohibitions against the media from propagandizing the people that Obama rescinded, but Trump has not done so, thud he deserves the propaganda spew and personal affronts for lack of action on his own part.
    All told Hegel would be proud of today’s propagandists, prompting untoward synthesis seems their bread and butter.
    Feeling manipulated ? Good, because we are.

  24. Henry says

    Hate crime accusations are often nothing more than progressive socialists invoking government force to punish those who don’t agree with them. It’s like SWATting, but without the penalties for a false accusation.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      What does this have to do with socialism?

      And in case you haven’t noticed (you obviously haven’t) “government force” is used far, far more often to terrorize and incarcerate minorities in this country. A white guy can’t make casual gay jokes anymore and suddenly he thinks the system is oppressive… Enjoy that bubble you live in.

      • d a says

        NK: yes, because they commit more crimes. DUH

  25. Nakatomi Plaza says

    Wait…so when some douche from Antifa lands a punch every couple of years it’s evidence that everything remotely associated with the left is rotten and we need to hide the women and children, but no amount of hate-crimes coming from the right mean anything?

    You guys are a joke.

    • Geary Johansen says

      @ Nakatomi

      Can’t you see that all this spurious reporting of hate crime can only end one way? One of these days, one of the real, honest-to-God, 11,000 white supremacists living in the US, is going to commit some violent racist act as a precursor to a mass killing, and law enforcement and the FBI are going to miss it because it’s buried in a sea of white noise. Dozens of people could die, just because of bureaucratic activism. Surely you must see that it’s true?

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  28. Byron says

    Great article! A few other aspects to consider:

    Does white guilt play any role in white victims reluctance to report hate crimes against them? As a very blonde-haired light-skinned male, I’ve been called cracker, and other derogatory things by both whites and non-whites, but I’d never consider reporting them, mostly because I doubt anyone authority would care if a “privileged” white male was a victim of anything (although I don’t consider myself privileged at all). I also think it’s hardly a crime. They didn’t threaten violence against me, mostly.

    As more and more people, particularly white liberals in the media continue to call white straight conservatives or poor whites nothing short of the devil, do you think it’s natural for these latter groups to get their back up and resist and some even become radicalized? You can only be called scum so many times before you’ve had enough. I think about the world my white children will grow up in. I remember Sonny Jeong (sp?) saying she gets excited about white genocide. Then she gets hired by the NYT!! How am I supposed to explain that to my 8 year old daughter??

    In the end, all my white friends, including many white conservatives, could care less about race and just want to be left alone to raise their families in peace. Too much to ask?

  29. Paul says

    I have to admit being a little surprised to see Florida being singled out as an example of a state with a hate crimes problem large enough that it’s weird that Seattle is worse.

    We’re the “naked drunk man riding an alligator through the McDonalds at midnight” state, not the hate crimes state. Is Florida really viewed as a nexus of hate crime by the rest of the nation?

  30. Indie Wifey says

    the Q remains: who is making money on all this so called conflict? All this pot stirring, which starts and ends in our Matrixes, our social media universes, is the result of addicted anonymous/nobody cooks and their equally addicted “leader” (high click and follower) somebodies.
    Here and there, a metooing or doxxing occurs, or some such other unfortunate real life cross-over ramification from within the virtual universe, just as here and there real crimes are perpetrated that are harmful and prosecutable under our the rule of law.
    The rest is noise noise noise noise by Who’s who just want to be heard. It’s pathetic and scary because so far there’s no end in sight. once in and vested via Pavlovian click reward internalization, people are staying.
    Unplug, folks. Also: back off the 24-7 conflict and issue info ingestion. We’ve lost sight of all else that Ian out there, and that includes good stuff, and stuff that is working.
    And if – and when – you inevitably plug back in, notice that nothing will have changed (here apply the aforementioned adages of pan-demographic tribalism, aka real diversity, that continues to defy all ongoing attempts at [globalist/Marxist] homogenization and will continue to do so), even if the buzz keeps shifting from one thing to the next, which simply fools users into thinking resolutions have been reached. Something’s gotta keep the anger fueled, which triggers the ongoing connectivity outreach of all Users who seek solace in the Matrix (the term user says it all), which brings me back to my first point, that money that a few are making from all this concocted/perpetuated conflict

  31. Pingback: Quillette Podcast 44 – Professor Wilfred Reilly on Hate Crime Hoaxes - Quillette

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  33. A new Quillette article about UK ‘Hate Crimes’ as hoaxes has just vanished! Strange…

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