Three Paperclips and a Sandwich Wrapper
I Don’t Think She’s Handling the Menopause Very Well

Wolf, They Cried

Lifted from the comments following this, here’s an item that may have been missed. Roger Kimball takes a look at the “thriving cottage industry” of staged “hate crimes” and pantomime victimhood: 

Last month the Daily Caller reported on an incident at the ostentatiously “progressive” Oberlin College in Ohio. This time the anti-black messages circulating around campus were joined by anti-Jewish and anti-homosexual messages. It turns out that one of the two principle culprits was a vociferous supporter of Obama who belonged to such groups as “White Allies Against Structural Racism” and who describes himself on Twitter as an “atheist/pacifist/environmentalist/libertarian socialist/consequentialist.” As William A. Jacobson reports on his website Legal Insurrection, “School officials and local police knew the identity of the culprits, who were responsible for most if not all of such incidents on campus, yet remained silent as the campus reacted as if the incidents were real. National media attention focused on campus racism at Oberlin for weeks without knowing it was a hoax.”

Jacobson’s timeline of the Oberlin saga makes for interesting reading, not least for the credulity and rush to judgement in the supposedly progressive media and the obfuscation – one might say complicity - of Oberlin’s President. Other fabricated “hate crimes” are mentioned in Kimball’s piece, including a sixteen-year-old student sending himself racist and threatening text messages warning him to drop out of running for presidency of the Student Council, and leading to the involvement of parents, school officials and the police. 

As regular readers will know, feigning racial abuse, whether to justify more “diversity” measures or simply to indulge in some personal psychodrama, has, for some, become a fashionable strategy. As when a 19-year-old freshman ransacked her own room and scrawled racial slurs across its walls before curling into a foetal ball, supposedly “traumatised and mute.” When the invented nature of the incident eventually came to light, Otis Smith of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People showed a remarkable indifference to what had actually happened: “It doesn’t matter to me whether she did it or not because of all the pressure these black students are under at these predominantly white schools. If this will highlight it, if it will bring it to the attention of the public, I have no problem with that.” Despite Mr Smith’s nonchalance, it isn’t clear to me how activist theatrics of this kind – ranging from email sock-puppetry to hanging nooses in campus libraries - will help any students feel welcome and at ease.

Update, via the comments:

Mr Smith’s willingness to excuse malicious disinformation is shared by other activists. Among them, black law student Johnathan Perkins, who in 2011 told the University of Virginia’s student newspaper that while walking home he’d been taunted and intimidated by two white police officers. Perkins’ letter to the paper claimed that “most Americans are raised in racially sterilised environments,” and that “black people are accused of… playing the victim.” The student’s stated hope was that, “sharing this experience will provide this community with some much needed awareness of the lives that many of their black classmates are forced to lead.” A subsequent investigation involving dispatch records, police tapes and surveillance video from nearby businesses revealed the student’s story to be entirely untrue. In a written statement Perkins later admitted, “I wrote the article to bring attention to the topic of police misconduct... The events in the article did not occur.”

Archives of similar hoaxes can be found here, here and here. The latter includes a psychology professor at Claremont McKenna College who slashed her own tyres and defaced her own car with abusive and racist messages. The professor, Kerri Dunn, protested her victimhood to faculty and police despite being seen vandalising the vehicle, thereby setting an example for youngsters everywhere. Meanwhile classes were cancelled in support of Professor Dunn and students held rallies for “tolerance and diversity.” But spare a thought for the professor, our self-imagined heroine. After all, if you’re going to tell students there’s a “crisis of hate” on your campus, as Professor Dunn did, and if the campus you’re talking about doesn’t match that rhetoric at all, then certain measures will have to be taken. And by measures I mean liberties. Like slashing your own tyres then blaming someone in your class. Or walking over to the people who’ve just watched you do this and asking if they’d seen who was responsible. 



It turned out that the Klan sighting at Oberlin likely was just a woman wrapped in a blanket.

Mass hysteria always helps.


Mass hysteria always helps.

Michelle Malkin covered that one too and added a list of other “hate crimes” that didn’t actually happen. There’s another list here, which includes a psychology professor at Claremont McKenna College who slashed her own tyres and defaced her own car with racist and sexual messages. Despite being seen trashing her own car, the professor, Kerri Dunn, lied repeatedly to faculty and police while classes were cancelled in support of her and students held rallies for “tolerance and diversity.” Even Salon has noted this peculiar trend.

Naturally, the Guardian ran at least three articles citing the Oberlin story as damning evidence of “campus hate” and the need for even more coercive “diversity” measures. Having just searched their archives, I can’t see any acknowledgement by the Guardian that the incidents they reported on were actually hoaxes.


Well the IPCC have just had a whole conference about hoax-pollution.


Perhaps, its necessary to provide the racists/sexists/homophobes with the necessary encouragement to perpetrate their evil deeds. After all, how will they be able to give vent to their feelings unless someone shows them the way.


According to my quick head count almost all of the hoaxes are by leftwing students or faculty. I found only one by a conservative student. At least five hoaxes are by law students. "Our moral betters", as out host would say.

Richard Powell

The Salon article is revealing. Is the author concerned that such incidents are dishonest, deceitful and criminal? That they poison the atmosphere on campus, creating an atmosphere of suspicion which makes learning difficult? That troubled individuals may not get the help they need? That public resources are wasted in a futile search for non-existent offenders?

No, none of the above. Such incidents are problematic because they hand ammunition to those who want to discredit the whole concept of hate speech. Which I suppose they do, but it doesn't strike me as the most important issue at stake.


”Our moral betters”, as our host would say.

Well, there are a range of motives, from insurance scams and embarrassing self-inflicted injuries to mental health issues. But yes, when a political motive is discernible it’s usually, almost always, coming from people who imagine themselves as progressive. I suppose if you’re spending years in an environment where pretentious grievance and witch-finding are very much in favour - and grant a certain leverage - the temptation to play that system will, for some, be hard to resist. Though you do have to marvel at “activists” who think the way to combat racial bigotry, to the extent it can be found on a modern campus, is to make your own nooses and send death threats to your classmates.

There’s another archive of “hate crime” hoaxes here.

sackcloth and ashes

It's also worth remembering that following the barbaric murder of Lee Rigby, there were a slew of reports about a rise in 'anti-Muslim hate crimes'. It turned out that of the 212 'attacks' that 'Tell Mama' reported, 57% were about comments posted online, and only 7% of the attacks involved actual physical violence (none of which were serious enough for the victims to need medical or hospital treatment).

Now it's pretty clear that some racist morons responded to Drummer Rigby's killing with assault and arson, but 'Tell Mama' decided to report this as a new Kristallnacht, and the media (including the Beeb - surprise, surprise) decided to run with a story that could have inflamed communal tensions, rather than interrogate the figures.

'I suppose if you’re spending years in an environment where pretentious grievance and witch-finding are very much in favour - and grant a certain leverage - the temptation to play that system will, for some, be hard to resist'.

During my days as an army reservist I also found that procedures for reporting racist bullying that had been put into place in good faith were abused (on at least two occasions I know) by soldiers. Both the individuals involved were being disciplined for their own shortcomings played the 'race card' in response, claiming that they were being victimised because of their ethnicity (one was from Sierra Leone, one was from Jamaica). The result was that at least one regular army Corporal ended up in trouble on a spurious charge of 'bullying'.


The common currency within the victimology industry is the degree of oppression that you and your ancestors have suffered. But like most monetary systems, counterfeiting is a problem.


Also, remember our own dear Piers Morgan. You would imagine that the man who was responsible for printing completely faked images of British soldiers urinating on Iraqi prisoners would have had a rather truncated career.

Quite the opposite.

Piers response was that, although they were completely fake and did irreparable damage to the British soldier, they represented the ‘truth’ of what was happening out there, and were therefore justified in some bizarre post-modern way.

carbon based lifeform

The professor, Kerri Dunn, protested her victimhood to faculty and police despite being seen vandalising the vehicle, thereby setting an example for youngsters everywhere.

If race hustling is good enough for the faculty…


Sackcloth and ashes: I think the website ought to be called "Tell Imama"


The Salon article is revealing.

The author doesn’t sound at all concerned for the victims of such behaviour – as if being suspected of bigotry, harassment and vandalism were matters of no importance – and even though the hoaxes can quickly get out of hand and entail considerable disruption and expense. Say, when universities cancel classes or tighten security, or go into “lockdown” mode, or end up with armed police patrolling their rooftops.

Jeff Guinn

And we must not forget the completely concocted Duke lacrosse rape scandal.

the wolf

As with so many pet causes of the left, they so severely lack actual examples that they need to manufacture their own as "proof." One would think that if racism (or bullying, global warming, sexism, whatever) were so obvious, they wouldn't have to resort to such tactics.


That Kerri Dunn incident is worse than you might think. The graffiti scrawled on her car was anti-Semitic, even though no one knew that Dunn, an Irish catholic, had recently converted to Judaism.


It's killing global warming alarmists that the earth's temperature has not increased in 15 years. You would think that evidence that the earth might not be as sensitive to CO2 levels as once thought would be good news, but they take it as a personal affront.

And it's killing victimologists that there's not as much racism and intolerance in America as they would like. The Klan should be marching in the streets with hemp ropes in hand, but alas it's not so. They have to settle for tepid accusations that criticizing Obama's policies is racist. How is one supposed to build a career out of that?

So they create an incident to further their cause, their own little Reichstag fire. Full marks for innovation.


That Kerri Dunn incident is worse than you might think.

It does have the unhinged quality common to such incidents. When faculty are reduced to browsing graffiti in the students’ toilets in order to find a basis for their ostentatious outrage - specifically, the word fag, written once – an air of desperation is hard to miss. But the outrage had been booked in advance, you see. They couldn’t let it go to waste.

And if you’re going to tell students that there’s a “crisis of hate” on your campus, as Professor Dunn did, and if the campus you’re talking about doesn’t match that rhetoric at all, then certain measures will have to be taken. And by measures I mean liberties. Like a leftwing professor slashing her own tyres then blaming someone in her class. As seen above, what actually happened didn’t seem to matter – hence Dunn’s feigned outrage at being rumbled while still playing the role of besieged truth-teller. I mean, when you’ve been caught vandalising your own car and then walk over and ask the people who watched you do it if they saw who was responsible, as if they hadn’t just seen what they’d seen, then we’re in the realm of psychodrama.

For people like Dunn, what matters is the narrative. How dare you question the narrative?


And we must not forget the completely concocted Duke lacrosse rape scandal

There's a good video summary on Youtube.

The same YT user* put up another excellent video about the antics of several students - including a prominent feminist student who made a false rape accusation. (6:31 onwards on the video) She retracted the claim, but a couple of years later it was noted that:

"Feminists’ lack of concern over the harm caused by false rape allegations is evident in the fact that even today [the student who made the false claim] remains in the leadership of Brevard County [National Organisation for Women group]"

A commonality you'll see between the stories in the video and David's examples is the idea that a false rape allegation is somehow a good thing if it 'raises awareness' of what women face on campus. There are so many problems with this line of thinking I just don't know where to begin mocking it. But you could start by questioning the honesty of raising awareness of anything by using example cases that never happened.

* I'm not so keen on the use of the term 'misandry' - making the same mistake as those who overuse 'misogyny'. But I can highly recommend the second video link.

Steve 2

It's tempting to describe these incidents as "fake hate crimes", but most seem to be real crimes - vandalism, making false accusations, etc. - motivated by real hatred against the presumably white, male, Christian, conservative types the hoaxers have in mind when perpetrating these acts.

It's a modern spin on the old blood libel that medieval Jews suffered.


Jeff and Henry,

In a saner world, the Duke lacrosse saga and the behaviour of its faculty participants would be the subject of a class in every university. As a lesson in impropriety, arrogance and academic dogmatism, it’s hard to top. But as the academic environment is one in which the Group of 88 have escaped any kind of reprimand and indeed have flourished, I can’t see that happening any time soon.

[ Added: ]

As Victor Davis Hanson points out,

The original progressive untruth proves far stronger than subsequent pedestrian correction. The point was not that the Duke players did not rape a black stripper and commit a “hate crime,” but that they were the sort who in theory could have, and she was the sort who in theory could have been raped by virtue of her race and gender — a virtual truth that trumps a known lie.

If that sounds like an exaggeration, readers are invited to watch the video linked by Henry above and browse the archives at Durham in Wonderland, including the individual profiles of the Group of 88. Among them, the self-described “wannabe Marxist” Wahneema Lubiano, who presumed – and insisted upon – the lacrosse players’ guilt on grounds that they were “exemplars of the upper end of the class hierarchy, the politically dominant race and ethnicity, the dominant gender, the dominant sexuality, and the dominant social group on campus.” Lubiano promised to continue her incoherent, prejudicial ravings “regardless of the truth” established in court.

This dogmatism extended beyond the campus, with the ridiculous Amanda Marcotte displaying her signature disregard for facts and logic. When a handful of moderate voices arrived at Marcotte’s Pandagon website in order to defend the accused students or simply to defend due process, they were immediately dismissed as “anti-feminists” and given a typical Marcotte welcome:

No one talks to you because you are rape-loving scum. If you think otherwise, you are mistaken… That you defend them makes you such lowly, sleazy scum that it’s no wonder no one talks to you. They’re afraid by acknowledging you, they will catch the evil. Know this. Absorb it. Hope you enjoy sleeping at night, you sick, hateful bastards.

Weeks later, the State’s Attorney General declared the defendants “innocent of all charges,” adding that, “the charges never should have been brought.” None of which modified Amanda’s adamance. Responding to subsequent, very belated, media questions about the rush to judgment among faculty and students, Marcotte wrote:

I had to listen to how the poor dear lacrosse players at Duke are being persecuted just because they held someone down and fucked her against her will - not rape, of course, because the charges have been thrown out.

The fact that the students had done no such thing was a trivial detail and unworthy of acknowledgement.

sackcloth and ashes

Can any Americans here advise me as to whether US police forces can charge people for '[causing] any wasteful employment of the police' by 'making a false report'?


Not a lawyer, though I am proudly any American. It is a violation of the law. The penalty depends on jurisdiction. Some states it's a felony and others a misdemeanor. Some prison, some a fine. From what I recall of such stories being reported in the news, it usually results in a slap on the wrist and a stern warning along the lines of "That's a Bozo no-no".


"Fake but true" is the usual justification for this stuff.


their own little Reichstag fire. Full marks for innovation.

If the technique has its own historical referent, "innovation" doesn't exactly obtain.


If the technique has its own historical referent, "innovation" doesn't exactly obtain.

Few things are truly original. The innovation comes in figuring out who's tactics to borrow from.


Hey, it's just so oppressive not being oppressed by oppressive oppressors so we can show the world just how opressive oppresion is, that we decided to oppress ourselves, yeah?

The comments to this entry are closed.