In contrast, it ought to be said, American cops have been fairly admirable in not rushing to persecute the victims of hate hoaxes. For example, the cops initially got the George Zimmerman–Trayvon Martin tragedy right, while the national media later went hysterical.
Last week, in response to the Air Force and Kansas State fiascos, it was widely asserted in the press that the ratio of hate hoaxes relative to the number of hate crimes is tiny.
But, having followed the topic of hate hoaxes carefully going back to the 2004 fraud at Claremont McKenna when a professor trashed her Honda in order to blame it on her conservative white male students, my estimate is that about as many nationally publicized “bias crimes” turn out to be fallacious as turn out to be confirmed.
Hate-hoax perps are sometimes arrested and even punished. For instance, the Claremont professor was sentenced to a year in prison. On the other hand, the perps at Air Force and Kansas State were spared legal involvement.
More important, higher-ups almost never suffer consequences for encouraging hate hoaxes by taking them seriously. Both Silveria of the Air Force Academy and Greenblatt of the ADL have fallen for hate hoaxes this year in what should have been a humiliating fashion. But instead, the two chumps/exploiters were honoring each other this week.
Last week, comedy legend Larry David shocked much of the country by devoting one joke in his Saturday Night Live monologue to noticing that his fellow Jews were overrepresented in the ongoing Harvey Weinstein-inspired sexual-harassment scandals.
Similarly, Jews tend to disproportionately figure in validating and promoting hate hoaxes. But few know this because David-style criticism of any Jewish tendencies toward self-indulgent behavior is punished in modern America.
Indeed, the ADL says it exists to “to put an end forever to…ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.” In essence, Jews are off-limits to satire. Yet being vulnerable to criticism encourages us to behave better, which is why people like Weinstein and Greenblatt are able to run amok for so long.
There actually are a certain number of classic hate crimes committed each year by whites against nonwhites. But these usually involve lowlifes and the cops come down on them like a ton of bricks, so the stories don’t because national causes célèbres.
In contrast, a high proportion of the cases in the national media turn out to be absurd. For example, when The New York Times a year ago was promoting the idea of a “wave of hate” following Trump’s victory, its top-featured case was from Lindenwood U. There a jolly Polynesian lady rugby player had jokingly assembled a “wall” of tennis shoes to divide her half of the dorm room from that of her Mexican roommate. The outraged Mexican coed called campus security.
But lining up sneakers toe to heel isn’t illegal, yet.
America has tens of thousands of social scientists. Yet as far as I can tell, not one has ever studied quantitatively what percentage of nationally publicized “hate incidents” turn out to be misleadingly fallacious.
This ought to be the highest-priority social science question in America, but it’s likely to remain off-limits for objective study.
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