Campus racial hoaxes proliferating
Noah Rothman, writing in Commentary Magazine, has documented some recent hoaxes on campus, where fake racist incidents led to overreactions by school administrators.
Rothman is very careful in making it clear that actual victims of racist hate should not be automatically dismissed as hoaxers. But, at the very least, the recent spate of fake hate crimes on campus should have resulted in a more cautious approach to the problem by campus activists.
At the University of Missouri, the investigation of the "poop swastika" and racial slurs hurled at black students was incomplete when activists demanded the resignation of the school president and chancellor of the university system. But then, the activists don't care about investigations. They want ""retributive social justice."
The allegation that school administrators were slow walking the investigation into claims of racial discrimination prompted Mizzou students to construct an Occupy-like tent city and led one particularly committed student to go on a hunger strike. Before there had been any conclusive investigation into these incidents, the University of Missouri’s president and chancellor were compelled toresign. One professor who declined to cancel an exam in deference to the students’ self-professed senses of trauma was so aggressively harassed that he offered his resignation, too, though it was rejected by the school. While we do not know if the students who allege that they encountered discriminatory language did indeed experience that adversity, the lack of corroborating evidence would lead any objective observer to urge caution. That instinct in itself has been impeached of late as evidence of latent prejudice – or, at least, a disturbing lack of empathy and zeal for the cause of retributive social justice.
When it comes to investigating accusations of racism on campus, there are mountains of reasons for skepticism. Even on the University of Missouri campus, one of the incidents that caused a national furor has been cast into doubt. The story of a swastika painted in human feces in one of the campus residence halls has been difficult to confirm. The school’s Residence Halls Association immediately alerted the student body to this vandalism and described it as “an act of hate,” but The Federalist’s Sean Davis has been unable to find one administrator who saw this incident, one photograph of it, or anyone who cleaned the mess up. The University of Missouri Police Department released a heavily redacted report on the event, which does seem to confirm its existence. That report does not, however, reveal any details about the suspected perpetrators. You’ll forgive the expression given the context, but something doesn’t smell right here.
Still, before the facts are fully known about this act of defacement, students are demanding a cultural inquiry and a national conversation about its implications. “Just like any racism case against any type of minority, it should be discussed and it should be on national media,” Insisted one representative of an on-campus Jewish organization. “National media” attention might be the problem. A plague of incidents involving falsified accusations of discrimination, often perpetrated by the accusers themselves, has recently become lamentably commonplace on American college campuses.
The hysteria being ginned up by SJWs has turned colleges upside-down. Ever more restrictions on speech, on thought, and on actions have made activists into power-mad autocrats, capable of running anyone who doesn't agree with them out of school.
Any questioning of racial hate incidents makes one – what else? – a racist himself. At the University of Delaware, the remains of paper lanterns that hung on bushes and trees were identified by the Black Lives Matter movement as "nooses." Even after the error was discovered, the activists continued to insist they were nooses.
The truth just doesn't matter, which is why the fake racist hate generated by hoaxers is so readily and easily believed.