One of the saddest narratives to come out of the 2016 election was that hate crimes are on the rise due to the election of Donald Trump. Trump and his supporters are hateful people, so the story goes, and his win has emboldened them to commit hate crimes against minorities and other groups like Muslims. News stories began to appear regularly of these hate crimes and the narrative began to seep into the public consciousness that Trump’s election had ushered in a new era of hate.
What most people don’t know is that it was all a lie. All of these high profile ‘hate crimes’ turned out to be hoaxes or misunderstandings. Most people do not know it because while the original story was front page news that sometimes led the television news shows, the retractions after the investigations were buried in back pages or just omitted completely.
If you are a casual consumer of news, especially if you watch the Fake News channels, you have heard about and probably believe all or most of the following events happened. (more details provided at whathappened.com/tag/fake-hate-crime)
Amazingly, every one of these hate crime hoaxes happened in just a couple of months, between the 2016 and election Trump’s inauguration. And every one of them was fake, usually found to be perpetrated by the very people claiming to be the victims. They continued to occur, and they continued to be fake. There is no point in listing them all here. Dozens more are documented at www.whathappened.com/tag/fake-hate-crime.
The truly sad thing is that a false impression of Trump and his supporters has been created by these stories. It is virtually impossible to correct the record on so many false stories. Even if some people were astute enough to notice that one or two of these were later proved false, very few people will realize that none had actually been real.
Put the word ‘noose’ into the WhatHappened.com Search Bar. You will see a special class of fake hate crimes that seem to happen with amazing regularity. This category contains the famous Jussie Smollett and Bubba Wallace incidents. Most people at least know these two turned out to be fake but there have been many many more ‘nooses’ discovered that allegedly prove what a racist country we are. So far, none of these have been real. Most had innocent explanations. They were exercise equipment, a scaffold hoist, a garage pull, a scarf, fishing knot practice, canopy knots, a lasso from a cowboy costume, a lost shoelace and in the one example having real nooses, those nooses were put there by democrats to make a bogus statement about Republicans. All of these were stories that sparked outrage, protests and promises to expand racial sensitivity training. Again, most people “know” all or some of these things happened because they caught the headline or the initial story.
Dennis Prager asks a very interesting question: “If America Is So Racist, Why Are There So Many Race Hoaxes?” WalkAway founder Brandon Straka answers, “Racism is a commodity for which there is great demand but very little supply.” Horace Cooper says, “America isn't a racist country… Grand delusion that racism is running rampant in this country.” Cooper joked that Jussie Smollett “had to hire foreigners to do the racism that Americans just won't do!”
This is good news of course, but it is unfortunate that the Democratic party needs people to believe this country is racist so badly, that fake examples continue to be created in large numbers. Of course, real hate crimes and racism exist, but this society is at least less racist than it would have been had all or many of these incidents been real. Far less racist because these fake stories represent the overwhelming majority of the examples that are supposed to prove how racist America is. The other main category of examples are police incidents (topic for another article) that are almost always misrepresented (for example, a cop is called racist for justifiably shooting a black suspect reaching for or drawing a weapon when the police react the same way when the suspect is white but no one looks at those examples to realize that).
There have been a number of Anti-Semitic hate crimes over the last few years that have not been hoaxes but they deserve a mention here because without fail, Democrats tried to falsely blame Trump and Trump supporters for them. The idea that President Trump is Anti-Semitic is absurd on its face. He has a Jewish son-in-law, Jewish grandchildren and no President in history has been more pro-Israel than President Trump. He is so pro-Israel, that Israel literally named the town ‘Trump Heights’ after him.
While Anti-Semitism exists on all sides, its smallest presence is on the right. A recent study of Anti-Semitic attacks in Europe showed that more than 50% came from Islamists, about 25% were left wing and only 5% were right wing. Anti-Semitism on the right is condemned by those on the right. Anti-Semitism on the left is rewarded with Congressional seats (Omar, Tlaib) and by Presidential support as evidenced by Presidents Clinton and Obama legitimizing the Anti-Semitic hatred of Louis Farrakhan who they stand with instead of denouncing. Farrakhan has called Jewish people 'bloodsuckers' and 'termites', has called for 'death to Israel' and has called Hitler 'a very great man.' Also standing with Clinton are people who have called Jewish people 'Hymies' and 'Diamond Merchants.'
In 2019 there were dozens of violent Anti-Semitic attacks on Hasidic Jews in New York City. When asked for an explanation for this, New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio said, “It's really clear that forces of white supremacy have been unleashed.” At another time, he commented about the attacks saying, “The ideological movement that is anti-Semitic is the right-wing movement.” As we’ve seen, a very small percentage of Anti-Semitic attacks come from the right wing. But since he said these dozens of violent attacks were due to the “forces of white supremacy”, it’s a fair question to ask, how many attackers were even white? Zero. Not a single one. Almost all were black and a couple were middle eastern. None were “right wingers” or “white supremacists.”
Other Democrats get into the false blame act. After the Jersey City kosher grocery store attack that killed 3 people and a police officer, Representative Rashida Tlaib explained the attack by saying, “White supremacy kills” even though the attacker was black. A couple of weeks later when another black man invaded the home of a Hasidic rabbi in Rockland County and stabbed 5 people with a machete (The Monsey Hanukkah stabbing), de Blasio is again babbling about “white supremacists” and “right-wing militias” and tried to link it to President Trump even though there is no link whatsoever. He blamed an “atmosphere of hate has been developing in this country over the last few years. A lot of it is emanating from Washington.” Governor Cuomo did the same thing, “You foment hate and then you're shocked when you see these episodes of hate all across the country.” Why lie so blatantly that the lies don’t even resemble the truth? These attacks had nothing to do with Washington, Trump, white supremacists or the right wing. Of course, de Blasio and Cuomo know a Black Hebrew Israelite is not a white supremacist Trump supporter. The answer is that the lies are politically useful and tragedies like these are an opportunity to gain political ground against their opponents if at least some people believe what they are saying. The mainstream media helps them achieve those ends.
In 2017 thousands of bomb threats were called into Jewish Community Centers around the country. Before the perpetrators were known, Democrats and the mainstream media were blaming Trump (for creating the environment that incites hate crime like this) and Trump’s supporters for carrying out the Trump inspired hatred. As usual, it turned out that the perpetrators were not Trump supporters. Most were done by an Israeli teen with mental issues and the rest were done by a liberal black writer for The Intercept trying to frame his ex-girlfriend. No apology was ever given to the wrongly accused Trump supporters. By that time, Democrats had moved on to the next set of false accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia etc. The horrific Tree of Life Synagogue shooting was also blamed on Trump even though the shooter hated President Trump for his strong support of Israel.
Kentucky State Professor Wilfred Reilly, author of 'Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War' has documented MORE THAN 400 HATE CRIME HOAXES IN THE PAST 5 YEARS ALONE. Reilly acknowledges that “most of the highly publicized hate crime incidents in the recent past have in fact turned out to be hoaxes.” Almost all have been hoaxes but the same people never learn. Every time one of these similar sounding stories comes up, no one at least on the Democratic side is skeptical at all that just maybe this is another hoax. Perhaps this is due to that information never really penetrating their ‘bubble’ and they are still under the false impression that the dozens and dozens of incidents they’ve heard about were real.
What other explanation could explain their credulity regarding the ridiculously implausible Jussie Smollett story. They didn’t blink when he claimed he received a letter with white powder with return address ‘MAGA’ saying, “You will die black fag.” Why would a political supporter of Trump single out this relatively unknown actor for death threats, racial slurs and gay slurs? Smollett’s next story was even more absurd. He claimed to be attacked in downtown Chicago at 2am on sub-zero night by Trump supporters who called him a “faggot”, the N-word and yelled “This is MAGA country.” Then they beat him up, put noose around his neck, and threw bleach on him. He was still wearing the 'noose' when he got back to his apartment with sandwitch still in hand. If you think about it for two seconds, it’s just not at all plausible. First of all, why would Trump supporters choose him to attack and if they did, how would they know he would be at a particular Subway at 2am in downtown Chicago so they could show up with the noose? And if they didn’t plan it in advance, are we supposed to believe that Trump supporters were milling around downtown Chicago on a freezing night with a noose, looking for someone black to lynch and talk about “MAGA country.?” AND then they actually recognized that it was “that actor from Empire” who (imagine their luck) was both black and gay so they could really act on all the hatreds that Trump supporters supposedly have?
There is just no way you can make sense of the story but yet, all Democrats, and almost all ‘celebs’ fell for it completely. Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker called it a 'lynching' and introduced an 'anti-lynching' bill in the Senate to make lynching illegal (which is already was). Furthermore, Democrats shamed anyone who cast doubt on the story. They scolded that top of this being the kind of racist, homophobic country where this kind of politically motivated hate crime happens, it’s also the kind of country where people would doubt the word of a gay, black man. So, he becomes a “double victim.”
A quick note about Bubba Wallace: Don’t put Wallace in the same category as Smollett. Smollett knowingly perpetrated a hoax which if successful would have helped his career at the expense of making both race relations and the political divide in this country much worse. Wallace simply mistook a garage pull for a noose. They were both technically “hoaxes” but only one was intentional.
There is one more angle to this story not having anything to do with specific stories. There was a widely quoted Washington Post study which claimed that hate crimes tended to spike in areas following Trump rallies. What is usually not mentioned is that the study found an even greater spike following Clinton rallies! But no matter, because the ‘spikes’ are not real in either case. This study was very flawed and has been debunked by Harvard PhD students long ago. But it is still being cited to ‘prove’ that President Trump foments hate. The study failed to control for population size. When population was properly controlled for, the effect entirely disappeared. Long after the study was debunked, Democrats keep repeating it to associate Trump and his supporters with hate crimes. On 12/31/2019, Vox editor Ezra Klein tweeted a quote from the previously debunked study to his two and a half million followers, “We found that counties that had hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally.” Shameful. Fake Hate Crimes, Fake Studies, Fake News.
Oct 5, 2020 Addendum: There are many hate crime hoaxes other than the ones listed above but this one deserves its own addendum because even though it exhibited a Jussie Smollett level of absurdity, it was still believed by all of the usual fools. It was featured on Good Morning America and the 'victim' was called by celebs like Meghan Markle. NFL Players Todd Gurley of the Atlanta Falcons and Oren Burks of the Green Bay Packers put Bernstein's name on their helmets as part of the NFL's Inspire Change program. Rep. Joe Kennedy spoke about it on the House floor. Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke about it, "This is horrific. Althea Bernstein: Say her name. She was attacked with lighter fluid and fire. These injustices must end." Seriously, they never learn.
The totally implausible story was this: Biracial woman, Althea Bernstein, was stopped at a red light in Downtown Madison when four white men who 'looked like classic Wisconsin frat boys' started yelling the n-word at her. Then they doused her with lighter fluid through the window and then threw a "lighter" through the window to ignite the fluid on her neck, at which point she floored it through the red light. None of the traffic cams showed any of that, though they tracked her car almost the entire way. Also, "17 city cameras in the Downtown area from 12:15 a.m. to 1:15 a.m. found no groups of white males matching Bernstein’s descriptions." And, anyone who has used a lighter, (which apparently, she never has), knows that the instant you take your finger off the button, it goes out. Therefore, no one could throw a lighter through the air to light anything. Anyway, the police found no lighter (or match) or lighter fluid residue in the car. "Police also did not find any fire damage in the Elantra, according to police reports, and a dog trained to sniff out accelerants did not find evidence of them of in the car." "The police investigation also found evidence that Bernstein had her window rolled up at the time of the alleged attack and hadn’t stopped at stoplights where it might have occurred. It was also determined she had been driving in a different lane than she told police." Cell phone GPS data also showed that she was not where she claimed she was when she called her friend. When asked about all of these inconsistencies, she stopped talking. She claims to no longer remember the attack and her family says, "We continue to maintain our family privacy and will not be granting interviews at this time."
Nov 10, 2020 Addendum: Black man Clifton Eutsey made it look like his car was vandalized by a Trump supporter. He spray painted the n-word, “KKK,” and profanity laced anti-Black Lives Matter and pro-Trump messages. Eutsey was charged with insurance fraud. "It turns out that Mr. Eutsey did it himself," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. "He allegedly called the insurance company up to try to get a claim for the damage to his car."
Mar 1, 2021 Addendum: Yet another big national story which was widely seen as evidence that America is a ‘systemically racist’ society turned out to be a big lie. In the summer of 2018 Smith College student Oumou Kanoute said she was racially profiled by a cafeteria worker, campus security and a janitor simply because she was black. “All I did was be Black. It's outrageous that some people question my being at Smith College, and my existence overall as a woman of color.” she explained to the credulous media. The ACLU said she was being harassed for the crime of “eating while Black.” The school immediately apologized to her and placed some of the people involved on leave before any investigation. Again, before any investigation, the college president issued this statement, "This painful incident reminds us of the ongoing legacy of racism and bias in which people of color are targeted while simply going about the business of their ordinary lives." This was a huge story, covered by all the major networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and others and newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post, and many others. It became a go-to example of ‘systemic racism’ and ‘implicit bias’ in America.
After many lives (and American race relations) had been damaged, the investigation finally revealed that the entire story was false. Her questioning had nothing to do with her race. She was simply in two places that were off limits to students (of any race). She first used a cafeteria that was closed to Smith students because it was being used for a summer camp. A cafeteria worker simply informed her of that and took no other action. Kanoute named that cafeteria worker publicly, accused her of being “a racist person” and posted her picture and contact information and falsely claimed she was the one who called security. That cafeteria worker was reassigned by the school to another location. She received many hateful messages, phone calls and threats. She had notes taped to her car and mailbox and received phone messages like “You don’t deserve to live.” She eventually had to be hospitalized due to the stress triggered symptoms of her lupus.
After getting her lunch, Kanoute went to eat it in a dorm that was closed for the summer. A janitor reported her being there as he had previously been instructed by the school to call security if anyone was spotted in the closed areas. That janitor, who never mentioned her race, was also called a racist. Kanoute accidentally doxed the wrong janitor, posting another janitor’s picture and contact information and accusing him of “racist cowardly acts.” This of course brought a lot of negative attention into his life, similar to what happened to the cafeteria worker. The school placed the janitor on leave for several weeks (the one who made the call).
The unarmed campus security officer simply politely informed Kanoute that no one was allowed to be in the building she was in. When she told the security guard that his presence made her uncomfortable, he apologized for bothering her. For that, he also was publicly declared to be a racist and guilty of “implicit bias.” According to whistleblower Jodi Shaw, a self-described ‘lifelong liberal,’ the incident caused the college to turn into such a “racially hostile environment” from then on, that she finally had to resign. Shaw left her Alma Matter and the job she loved because Smith College “is so deeply committed to this toxic ideology that the only way for me to escape the racially hostile climate is to resign." Smith, she said, was “demanding that I admit to 'White privilege' and work on my so-called 'implicit bias' as a condition of my continued employment.”
John Black is the founder of the WhatHappened.com website.