Another LGBTQ hate crime turns out to be a hoax — this time with a moral

Another LGBTQ hate crime turns out to be a hoax — this time with a moral

Mark Twain once sagely quipped, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” The same advice might be extended in earnest to journalists who are outraged over reports of “hate crimes” against members the LGBTQ community. Just wait a day, and the crime will turn out to be a hoax.

Exhibit A is a story that ran in the San Jose Mercury News two days ago:

Parents, students and teachers were reeling Tuesday in the wake of a violent attack on a transgender student at Hercules Middle/High School.

The attack was the second altercation involving a transgender student on the campus this school year and came only days after an overwhelming teachers’ vote of no-confidence in the school’s principal, partially spurred by complaints of a lack of safety on campus that had led to fights and arrests.

In the latest incident, a 15-year-old transgender male student told police he was leaving the bathroom in the 300 building at around 11 a.m. when three boys pushed him inside a bathroom stall and physically and sexually assaulted him.

The article remains at the paper’s website. Now, however, it is preceded by an “editor’s note” that advises:

Late Tuesday afternoon, Hercules police said that the student who claimed he was attacked in a bathroom at Hercules High School had recanted his report and admitted that the incident was a fabrication.

There is a link to an updated story with the same dateline, this one appearing in the Contra Costa Times. Two of the names in the byline match those in the original article.

The first three paragraphs of the new story are a rehashing of the original account. Beginning in paragraph 4, the reader learns that the police — who initially classified the attack as a hate crime because of “disparaging remarks” reportedly made — became suspicious when details the alleged victim gave them didn’t add up. They found no injuries to corroborate the teen’s claim he had been struck in the head, face, or hands. The timeline of alleged events also didn’t jibe. When confronted with these inconsistencies, the youth wilted and “admitted he fabricated the entire story.”

What does this tell us? Much, actually. It reveals that the teen — like too many other LGBTQ “victims” — is a liar. It’s not as though he came forward on his own after suffering pangs of conscience. He was caught in an out-and-out deception and confessed rather than dig his hole deeper.

Why he lied is more difficult to explain. It could be that he was seeking attention and knew from the previous incident at the school that shouting “Persecution!” would catapult him into the spotlight, at least among those who know him. He certainly wasn’t a target of actual persecution.

But what this incident taught Charles Ramsey, president of the West Contra Costa Unified school board, is hard to square with what happened. The lesson he learned also suggests this won’t be the last hoax. He told reporters:

I’m just relieved that nothing of this nature did happen. It would have been a tragedy. Sometimes a young person uses poor judgment, but we have to be compassionate and understand what motivated the student to want to do this.

Everybody is human and we all make mistakes. It doesn’t take away from the fact that we need more support for transgender students.

His message to other LGBTQ students is in essence: “Cry wolf if you must. We support you and feel your pain — even if it’s imaginary.”

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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