Black people have been behind a number of would-be hate crimes against other Black people. But the hoaxes, often intended to shine a light on racism against Black folks, backfire many times and are harmful.
The deceptive act–which cannot be condoned–created an opportunity to address bigotry. Discovery of the epithet moved academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria to warn the cadets, faculty and staff that intolerance at the academy is unacceptable. A video of his speech went viral.
There are several reasons that Black people falsify hate crimes, including psychological illness, attention seeking or rallying support for a cause, Phyllis Gerstenfeld, a criminal justice professor at the California State University Santislaus, told the Christian Science Monitor, referring to these types of case in general.
What’s missing from the list is the element of poor judgment. There are far better ways of calling attention to racism. It’s counterproductive once the truth is discovered, and it creates doubt when a genuine hate crime is committed. At the same time, these hoaxes discourage actual victims from reporting racist attacks.
That kind of misguided thinking was involved in a 2015 case at Kean University in New Jersey. Police arrested an alumna who tweeted threats against Black students. The investigation found Kayla-Simone McKelvey, an activist, paused during a protest to create an anonymous Twitter account and post the messages. Her motive was to create awareness about campus racism.
At St. Olaf College In Minnesota, a faked hate crime brought a measure of good to the campus, which was outweighed by the harm.
Students rallied against bigotry after reports that a threatening message was placed on the windshield of a Black student. Some students said the ruse didn’t change the reality of racism and welcomed the new awareness, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
It also gave ammunition to folks who are less empathetic about discrimination, and it no doubt gave real victims pause about filing a report.
Happy Presidents' Day! 44 Photos To Make You Miss Obama
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 42
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 42
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 42
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 42
5. First Family PortraitSource:Getty 5 of 42
6. Two TermsSource:Getty 6 of 42
7. Michelle and Barack host a State DinnerSource:Getty 7 of 42
8. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 8 of 42
9. The Obamas on Air Force OneSource:Getty 9 of 42
10. The First Family in LondonSource:Getty 10 of 42
11. First Lady Michelle Obama with daughters Malia Obama and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 11 of 42
12. Sasha and Malia Obama at the 2016 State DinnerSource:Getty 12 of 42
13. Turkey PardoningSource:Getty 13 of 42
14. Sunday ChurchSource:Getty 14 of 42
15. Gobble, GobbleSource:Getty 15 of 42
16. Malia Obama, the First DaughterSource:Getty 16 of 42
17. Barack Obama and his daughter Malia ObamaSource:Getty 17 of 42
18. A Family AffairSource:Getty 18 of 42
19. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 19 of 42
20. Happy Birthday!Source:Getty 20 of 42
21. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 21 of 42
22. Historic First FamilySource:Getty 22 of 42
23. Ice Cream TreatSource:Getty 23 of 42
24. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 24 of 42
25. Always Giving BackSource:Getty 25 of 42
26. A Christmas StorySource:Getty 26 of 42
27. Hawaii Trip!Source:Getty 27 of 42
28. Obama Loves Team USA & His WifeSource:Getty 28 of 42
29. Malia and Sasha ObamaSource:Getty 29 of 42
30. Michelle Plays on a BikeSource:Getty 30 of 42
31. Obama Loves Team USA, His Wife & MaliaSource:Getty 31 of 42
32. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 32 of 42
33. Family SupportSource:Getty 33 of 42
34. The Sister SelfieSource:Pete Souza 34 of 42
35. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 35 of 42
36. Giving Back On MLK DaySource:Getty 36 of 42
37. Obamas Give Back To The CommunitySource:Getty 37 of 42
38. Always Supporting Small BusinessesSource:Getty 38 of 42
39. Obama SwaggerSource:Getty 39 of 42
40. Laughs & TurkeysSource:Getty 40 of 42
41. Christmas With The ObamasSource:Getty 41 of 42
42. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 42 of 42
Hate Crime Hoaxes That Are Intended To Spotlight Racism Are Actually Harmful was originally published on newsone.com