Need to fake a hate crime? Call the nearest journalist

By Alec Rooney

An arson fire breaks out at a Houston mosque on Christmas 2015.

A Fresno, Calif. Islamic Center is vandalized extensively in 2014, also on Christmas, in what local police initially call a “hate crime.”

A 20-year-old Middle Eastern woman is slashed across the face and called a “'f***ing terrorist” near Wall Street in New York City just last month.

In Dearborn, Mich. in 2014, several Qurans are burned in front of a mosque.

In Arlington, Texas, a Muslim student says she was followed, harassed, and eventually threatened with a gun by men in a large pickup truck sporting Texas flags.

In Oceana County, Mich., a Muslim woman is forced to remove her headscarf for a booking photo, then made to sit bareheaded in a cell with male inmates, despite her religious objections.  

What do all these atrocities have in common, other than helping to build a narrative that Muslims are persecuted by thuggish Americans in the United States?

Visit the links above, and the common thread comes out: They’re all fake.

Whole Foods is suing a gay man who claims he received this cake from one of their stores' bakeries. Media were quick to jump on the man's initial accusation.

Whole Foods is suing a gay man who claims he received this cake from one of their stores' bakeries. Media were quick to jump on the man's initial accusation.

Fake crimes and phony incident reports are an increasingly common weapon of minorities trying to strike blows against majorities. Just as terrorism seeks to effect political change through fear with a relatively small investment of time, manpower and money, phony crimes do the same thing, at the same low cost, only with guilt rather than fear as the emotion being exploited.

Make enough members of the majority feel ashamed, the logic goes, and there will be an opportunity for political gain. Show that you have been victimized and then capitalize on the sympathy — or on the penalties and shame imposed on your foe.

It is an increasingly common strategy among activist blacks in the United States, who do things like tweeting fake racist threats from fake social media accounts, setting fire to their own homes, scrawling fake "white power" graffiti at their colleges and portraying police officers doing their jobs as racist murderers (Ferguson, Baltimore). The Duke lacrosse case is a widely known story in which a black woman falsely accused three white men of rape.

In a story about this 2015 mosque arson in Houston, the local newspaper focused on the frightened feelings of Muslims. But a mosque member was later charged in the blaze. 

In a story about this 2015 mosque arson in Houston, the local newspaper focused on the frightened feelings of Muslims. But a mosque member was later charged in the blaze. 

Among gay and lesbian activists the strategy may be even more common, with all manner of spray-paintings, lacerations, fake notes from restaurant customers and other slurs being reported. Most recently, a gay man in Texas accused a Whole Foods store of icing the word “FAG” on his “LOVE WINS” cake. It hasn’t been proven to be a genuine slur yet, by what would have to be an outrageously stupid cake decorator. The chain has produced security camera footage in its own defense and is suing the gay man for $100,000.

Feminists have also adopted the strategy, striving to manufacture the myth of a U.S. university culture steeped in rape. Cases in point: Duke lacrosse (again), a phony incident at Virginia Military Institute, and the recent targeting of the University of Virginia in a lurid Rolling Stone feature story that was subsequently proven fake and retracted.

A number of excellent web sites track fake hate crimes, often with links back to the news stories that originally reported them.

Which brings us to the point: What is the one vital element to staging a fake, sympathy-generating crime against oneself?

Answer: It’s a mouthpiece. Someone with public standing and a wide reach to tell the world about your grievance, provide the stamp of credibility, report the injustice you have suffered.

These days, that mouthpiece is easy to find in the United States. It’s called the media.

There was a time when fake-victim stories could not make it past a smart reporter, let alone that reporter’s editor. The press were once very savvy about people who would manipulate their reach and power. Accuse them of cynicism, skepticism or whatever, but the one thing journalists used to hate most was being played for fools. 

The University of Virginia was the target of a lurid Rolling Stone feature story based on rape allegations that were later proven fake. The story was retracted and an apology issued.

The University of Virginia was the target of a lurid Rolling Stone feature story based on rape allegations that were later proven fake. The story was retracted and an apology issued.

Today, however, they revel in it and even seem to seek out new chances to be fooled. Pretty much every fake hate crime reported today made its initial splash with a television or print reporter/editor who bought the story, did not seek out inconsistencies in the story of the “victim,” sympathized with the “victim’s” grievances and in many cases actually seemed to want the story to be true.

Part of this trend can be blamed on the 24-hour news cycle and shrinking media audiences, which add a lot of urgency to the publish-it-right-now mentality. Journalists don’t think they have the time to edit and check facts. They see it as better to get it wrong than to get beaten on a story.

That doesn’t explain why the overwhelming majority of “hate crime” victims are gay, black, Muslim, feminist … it might be easier to say, not white American Christians.

Of the many things that need a reset in current U.S. culture, the news industry is one of the most vital. Instead of chasing concocted stories designed to inflict shame, it is they who should be hanging their heads … and then seeking out the truth.

Because the news isn’t that "hate crimes" are increasing. The real story is that they’ve become so ridiculously easy to fake.

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Alec Rooney serves as communications director for the Christian Action Network. He is a longtime journalist, with experience as a writer and editor at five daily newspapers over 25 years. An award-winning print copy editor and copy desk chief, he also works as a freelance academic book editor. He is a 1986 graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and holds an M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky.

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