Monday, September 14, 2015

Faked Hate Crimes on College Campuses

Two sources that are not new, but continue to have relevance whenever somebody claims to have been victim of a “hate crime” on a college campus. First, from The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 22 (Winter, 1998-1999), p. 52:
In the 1990s hoaxes disguised as hate crimes have become common. JBHE’s sister publication The Race Relations Reporter has documented about a dozen such racial hoaxes over the past several years. Hate crimes have been staged at several college campuses. But in these cases the motive for the hoaxes has not been financial gain. Rather, the hate crime hoax is usually conceived as an effort to energize black student activism or to press the administration to move more quickly on black students’ concerns. Here are some examples of hate crime hoaxes that have occurred on college campuses in recent years.
The article also includes a short list of racial hoaxes.

Then there is John Leo, writing in U.S. News & World Report:
Like Tawana Brawley’s hoax, some recent fake hate crimes seem intended to cover personal embarrassment. . . . But more of the college hoaxes seem to reflect an acted-out commitment to a cause, not just personal difficulties. One factor is that colleges now stress the need for each identity group to express its “voice” or “narrative,” without much scruple about whether the narratives are literally true. (Postmodern theory says there is no such thing as truth anyway.) After the Brawley hoax, an article in the Nation magazine argued that it “doesn’t matter” whether Brawley was lying, since the pattern of whites abusing blacks is true.
This, of course, has not changed since the 1990s. What the literal, empirical truth is matters less than what serves a politically correct agenda.

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