Explosive 'I'll ride with you' hashtag based on a hoax

Ben Shapiro at Truth Revolt notes another liberal "lies are fine, as long as they start a conversation" moment, this time in Australia.

As the story went, in the aftermath of the Muslim terror attack in Sydney, former political candidate and now university lecturer Rachel Jacobs (pictured) saw a woman sitting next to her on a train, taking off her headscarf.  The sight so moved Jacobs that she, knowing nothing about the woman, tearfully embraced her and declared, "Put it back on, I'll walk with you."  Per Jacobs, "[s]he started to cry and hugged me for about a minute, then walked off alone."

All this from a post on Jacobs's Facebook, which inspired the successful #IllRideWithYou hashtag campaign for people terrified at the prospect of a terrorist attack reflecting badly on Islam or Muslims.  "By 6pm [on Monday] it had been mentioned 90,000 times and was trending worldwide, with countless news outlets mentioning it as a bright spark of hope in a tragic day."

It turns out that the Jacobs's actions in her story were a complete fabrication (though her sanctimony was not):

Confession time. In my Facebook status, I editorialised [sic]. She wasn't sitting next to me. She was a bit away, towards the other end of the carriage. Like most people she had been looking at her phone, then slowly started to unpin her scarf.

Tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by feelings of anger, sadness and bitterness. It was in this mindset that I punched the first status update into my phone, hoping my friends would take a moment to think about the victims of the siege who were not in the cafe.

Imagine what the actual victims of the actual attack must think to read that second paragraph.

The idea that this woman is choking back tears at the injustice of a situation concocted entirely in her own head says a lot about her state of mind.  So does this: "At a time of heightened emotions, a misplaced word or phrase could cause offence, requiring numerous explanations and reassurances."  And this (emphasis added): "It will be tempting to search for answers in politics or beliefs, sheltering in the irrational fear that more madness is to come."  And this: "I'd rather deliver a message to racists, bigots and anyone who dares to derive a message of hate from this tragedy – it is you who are unwelcome here. Your values have no place in civilised [sic] society, and if you spread intolerance, there's an avalanche of kindness ready to take you down."

This sort of "ends justify the means" narrative-forming is par for the course in liberal thought.  What exactly constitutes "intolerance" is not defined, nor are the criteria to make one a "racist" (since when is Islam a race?) or "bigots."  All one can know is that in the wake of a Muslim terror attack, everybody had better offer his car or his personal space to someone taking off a headscarf – as Jacobs herself says, "[s]he might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm!"  Because treating people a certain way because they kinda-sorta look Muslim (maybe?) is bigoted only when someone other than Rachel Jacobs is doing it.

The takeaway: egocentric lies are perfectly fine, as long as they effect the liar's desired result.  The true surprise here may be that Jacobs fessed up at all.

Drew Belsky is American Thinker's deputy editor.  Contact him at drew@americanthinker.com, and follow him on Twitter @DJB627.

Images via the Joel Carrett/AAP and the Brisbane Times.

Ben Shapiro at Truth Revolt notes another liberal "lies are fine, as long as they start a conversation" moment, this time in Australia.

As the story went, in the aftermath of the Muslim terror attack in Sydney, former political candidate and now university lecturer Rachel Jacobs (pictured) saw a woman sitting next to her on a train, taking off her headscarf.  The sight so moved Jacobs that she, knowing nothing about the woman, tearfully embraced her and declared, "Put it back on, I'll walk with you."  Per Jacobs, "[s]he started to cry and hugged me for about a minute, then walked off alone."

All this from a post on Jacobs's Facebook, which inspired the successful #IllRideWithYou hashtag campaign for people terrified at the prospect of a terrorist attack reflecting badly on Islam or Muslims.  "By 6pm [on Monday] it had been mentioned 90,000 times and was trending worldwide, with countless news outlets mentioning it as a bright spark of hope in a tragic day."

It turns out that the Jacobs's actions in her story were a complete fabrication (though her sanctimony was not):

Confession time. In my Facebook status, I editorialised [sic]. She wasn't sitting next to me. She was a bit away, towards the other end of the carriage. Like most people she had been looking at her phone, then slowly started to unpin her scarf.

Tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by feelings of anger, sadness and bitterness. It was in this mindset that I punched the first status update into my phone, hoping my friends would take a moment to think about the victims of the siege who were not in the cafe.

Imagine what the actual victims of the actual attack must think to read that second paragraph.

The idea that this woman is choking back tears at the injustice of a situation concocted entirely in her own head says a lot about her state of mind.  So does this: "At a time of heightened emotions, a misplaced word or phrase could cause offence, requiring numerous explanations and reassurances."  And this (emphasis added): "It will be tempting to search for answers in politics or beliefs, sheltering in the irrational fear that more madness is to come."  And this: "I'd rather deliver a message to racists, bigots and anyone who dares to derive a message of hate from this tragedy – it is you who are unwelcome here. Your values have no place in civilised [sic] society, and if you spread intolerance, there's an avalanche of kindness ready to take you down."

This sort of "ends justify the means" narrative-forming is par for the course in liberal thought.  What exactly constitutes "intolerance" is not defined, nor are the criteria to make one a "racist" (since when is Islam a race?) or "bigots."  All one can know is that in the wake of a Muslim terror attack, everybody had better offer his car or his personal space to someone taking off a headscarf – as Jacobs herself says, "[s]he might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm!"  Because treating people a certain way because they kinda-sorta look Muslim (maybe?) is bigoted only when someone other than Rachel Jacobs is doing it.

The takeaway: egocentric lies are perfectly fine, as long as they effect the liar's desired result.  The true surprise here may be that Jacobs fessed up at all.

Drew Belsky is American Thinker's deputy editor.  Contact him at drew@americanthinker.com, and follow him on Twitter @DJB627.

Images via the Joel Carrett/AAP and the Brisbane Times.