Hate crime hoaxes and why they happen

Hate crime hoaxes and why they happen
Jussie Smollett — the wet look (Image: ABC News video screen grab)

[Ed. – It’s hoaxes, not hate crimes, that are common.]

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. While Jussie Smollett’s case transfixed the nation, it is merely the most recent of a long line of politically motivated fake bias crimes. It’s difficult to think of a more compelling task for American scholars than to point out the dangerous lies behind this invented crisis.

My research and analysis of hate-crime hoaxes began informally. When I was a graduate student several years ago, I became interested in two widely reported incidents near my hometown of Chicago. …

But I noticed something unexpected. Most of the hate-crime allegations eventually turned out to be false. By 2016, the Velvet Rope Ultra Lounge fire had been exposed as an act of arson that had been intentionally staged to look like a hate crime.

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