Former Empire star Jussie Smollett is currently on trial in Chicago for faking a dramatic “hate crime” in 2019 that made world-wide news. The manufactured attack won him a celebrated interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts on Good Morning America and Kamala Harris famously denounced it as “an attempted modern day lynching” and warned “We must confront this hate.”
As the liberal Daily Beast recently admitted, “For many progressives, the story was ‘too good to check’—so they didn’t.” They just went along because it fit their narrative.
But is the Smollett story a sad exception? It is not. Unfortunately, faked “hate crimes” have been spiking dramatically since 2009.
Curiously, the most dramatic spike in faked “hate crimes” took place in the month that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. In fact, there is no close competitor.
Fake hate crimes have become so numerous over the last decades that various organizations exist to track and report them, such as HoaxHateCrimes.com and FakeHateCrimes.org. They update their running archives monthly.
Major newspapers like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution have reported how out-of-hand such fabrications have gotten. The Wall Street Journal explained “hate crime hoaxes are more common than you think.” The Washington Post has tried to determine, unsuccessfully, how many of the reported hate crimes in the United States are hoaxes. Too many are, even while the majority of those designated “hate crimes” are legitimate.
The Washington Examiner has produced an informative short video explaining how far-reaching and creative these hoaxes have become. They also note how the mainstream media might finally be developing the basic journalistic skepticism they should have had from the start because these hoaxes are so numerous and embarrassing.
City Journal has documented how universities are increasingly serving as “‘hate-crime hoax’ mills”. Earlier this year, The New York Times told the story of a Smith College student who was supposedly profiled and threatened simply for “eating while Black” at school one day. According to the Times, the student’s charge of racism on Facebook “hit Smith College like an electric charge” setting off a season of instituted “reconciliation and healing” engagements as well as mandated anti-bias training for all college staff.
A janitor, who had faithfully worked at Smith College for 35 years and has poor eye-sight, was accused of racial profiling and “misgendering” the student. He was put on leave before an investigation was launched. A female food service worker at the college suffering from lupus was told to apologize to the accusing student. The New York Times reports that employee responded, “Why would I [apologize]? The student called me a racist and I did nothing.” The college hired an independent law firm to investigate the accusation and their 35-page report “found no sufficient evidence of discrimination by anyone else involved.” But faithful blue-collar workers had their reputations sullied and were reprimanded because the schools’ president accepted the student claims without question. A hate crime hoax.
Political scientists have also documented the disturbing trend. One of the of the most notable is Dr. Wilfred Reilly, who teaches political science at Kentucky State University, an historically black institution. He published the book, Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War in 2019, as well as other major articles on the topic. Professor Reilly explains,
“Our nation is not racked with hate crimes. When people in positions of power or visibility say that it is, they should be rebuked for it. I have done a great deal of research on hate crimes in America, and the tragically underreported fact is that an enormous number of such incidents reported over the past decades turn out to have been hoaxes.”
Reilly told The Washington Post, “No one’s denying that there are real hate crimes. I think the focus for me is on media coverage” adding, “I think my focus is on the media’s intentional creation of this narrative of ethnic conflict. Both the left and the right do this.”
Unfortunately, increased suspicion of hate-crime claims is warranted, which is what makes these false claims so uniquely vile. They play on the inherent compassion of the rest of us for selfish political ends.
Photo from Youtube / The Washington Examiner.