Hate Crime Hoaxes Occur Frequently, Academic Researchers Acknowledge

By Robert Jonathan

In the aftermath of the Jussie Smollett apparent hoax, several college professors have concluded that hate crime hoaxes are more common than popular perception. Chicago cops have charged the Empire actor with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report after a claim that he was assaulted by two MAGA-hat wearing, MAGA-country shouting Trump supporters. Some two dozen detectives investigated the Smollett case in a city that is engulfed in an ongoing gun violence crime wave.


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Hate crime hoaxes, many of which Godfather Politics has documented, obviously prevent law enforcement authorities from deploying resources to investigate real hate crimes and/or serious felonies.

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According to Profs. Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, authors of The Rise of Victimhood Culture, such hoaxes aren’t even “new or unusual.”

The Hoaxstream Media

In a Quillette article titled “Hate Crime Hoaxes are More Common than You Think,” they explained that the mainstream media is generally uninterested in following-up on bogus hate crimes after their original breathless reporting:


“More recently, after Donald Trump was elected president, major newspapers published a number of stories about what were apparently Trump-inspired hate crimes, but many of these also turned out to be hoaxes…Why aren’t such cases more widely known? But if you’ve missed the few mainstream stories, and if you don’t follow conservative media, you may not have a sense of how often stories of hate crimes turn out to be false or a sense of what the false cases tend to look like.”


The sociologists continued:

“Even fairly incompetent hoaxes might therefore succeed, which brings us to our second point: Hate crime hoaxes aren’t hard to pull off…Strange, implausible details don’t mean an attack didn’t occur, but they’re enough to raise questions. Yet many celebrities and Democratic presidential candidates immediately accepted the story at face value and offered their support for Smollett, sometimes placing the blame for the attack on Republicans. If Smollett was in fact behind the hoax, this was probably the kind of reaction he was hoping for.”



Parenthetically, if America is seething with racism, as divisive liberals and the far-left argue, why do millions of people from around the world want to come here? The media also largely downplays or ignores politically motivated crimes committed against Trump supporters.


The article distinguishes real vs. fake hate crimes:

“Real hate crimes happen, of course. We’re not arguing that all or even most alleged hate crimes are hoaxes. But the ones dominating the headlines in recent years have often been false or misleading, possibly because fake cases are better designed to push the buttons of drama and partisanship. Real hate crimes don’t necessarily have offenders who conveniently announce themselves to be members of your political outgroup, or display a stylized iconography of evil, like nooses and swastikas. The hoaxes, by contrast, often read like political-struggle fan fiction, with the hoaxers making themselves Mary Sues and their adversaries stock villains…That the hoaxes act as simple morality tales illustrating an outgroup’s evil, or that they flatter the hoaxers, are part of what makes them attractive to the hoaxer’s audience.”

The authors also opine that a sea change has occurred from the previous notions of honor and dignity to the current culture of victimhood:

“Long term cultural trends matter, too, and the third thing to know is that hate crime hoaxes thrive in a culture of victimhood…Victimhood culture gives rise to hate crime hoaxes, then, because it makes them easier to pull off for the same reasons it makes them more lucrative. However, while others might balk at scrutinizing evidence, the police do so as a matter of routine…Right now the police don’t automatically ‘believe the victim’ in such cases, but that could change if victimhood culture continues to spread.”

Hoax Incidents Not Outliers

In a USA Today Op-Ed, poli-sci Prof. Wilfred Reilly of Kentucky State University similarly writes “That [the Smollett] case turned out to be a hoax shouldn’t come as too big of a shock. A great many hate crime stories turn out to be hoaxes.”


Reilly described Smollett’s original allegations as “bizarre, bordering on the absurd.”

Buying his version of events meant that you had to accept that Trump supporters would be wandering around at 2 a.m. in liberal, freezing-cold Chicago looking for an obscure TV actor to assault.

Reilly further elucidates on fake hate crimes:

“Doing research for a book, Hate Crime Hoax, I was able to easily put together a data set of 409 confirmed hate hoaxes. An overlapping but substantially different list of 348 hoaxes exists at fakehatecrimes.org, and researcher Laird Wilcox put together another list of at least 300 in his still-contemporary book Crying Wolf. To put these numbers in context, a little over 7,000 hate crimes were reported by the FBI in 2017 and perhaps 8-10% of these are widely reported enough to catch the eye of a national researcher.”

Dr. Reilly maintains, however, that many hoaxers, such as those on college campuses, have an “honorable, if misguided” goal in bringing awareness to alleged racial violence. Campus-based hate-crime hoaxes are often “not isolated outliers,” he acknowledged in perhaps calling out some of the liars.

“However, hate crime hoaxers are ‘calling attention to a problem’ that is a very small part of total crimes. There is very little brutally violent racism in the modern USA…Simply put, Klansmen armed with nooses are not lurking on Chicago street corners. In this context, what hate hoaxers actually do is worsen generally good race relations, and distract attention from real problems…We all, media and citizens alike, would be better served to focus on real issues like gun violence and the opiate epidemic than on fairy tales like Jussie’s.”

Hate Crime Statistics

Based on FBI statistics, Jewish-Americans are the group most victimized by religious hate crimes while most victims of bias crimes are African-Americans.


According to Reason, hate crimes in raw numbers may be increasing, as pundits and politicians keep claiming, because of the availability of more data. “We have higher numbers of incidents, but we also have more and more police agencies participating in the voluntary reporting system.”

Some of the numbers reflect “police investigations opened, not necessarily incidents where a suspect was ever confirmed. So we could be dealing with false positives.”


News Update

Another alleged hate crime hoax has recently made headlines, Yahoo and various news outlets have reported.

“A popular gay rights activist was charged on [February 26] with first-degree arson after an FBI investigation led authorities to believe he set fire to his own house in an elaborate hoax meant to look like a hate crime.”

A registered independent, Robert Jonathan is a longtime writer/editor for viral news aggregation websites with a focus on politics and other trending topics. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from “a law school the basketball teams can be proud of.”

Follow Robert Jonathan on Twitter @newseditor2010.



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