November 9, 2017

Racist graffiti at the Air Force Academy was writen by a cadet who had seemed to be one of the victims.

The NYT reports:
The words “Go home,” followed by a racial slur, were found scrawled in marker on message boards outside the rooms of five black cadet candidates at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School in late September. The discovery led to an uproar on campus, and the widely shared video of a speech by the superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria....

The episode renewed concerns that falsely reported hate crimes could make it more difficult for people with legitimate grievances to be taken seriously, particularly in a time when the reports of hate crimes are highly politicized.

“There are opportunists who try to paint this problem as indicative that they are not occurring, when they actually are,” said Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. While hoaxes form a tiny percentage of total hate crime reports, Mr. Levin said he had an “anecdotal sense that we have seen somewhat of an increase in these hoaxes over the last year or so.”
Wait. Who are the "opportunists"? I don't think of myself as an opportunist — in fact, I'm pretty much exactly the opposite — but what I've been doing for years is taking note of reports of racist graffiti and withholding any opinion until there's more information. I don't think it's always a hoax, but it's often enough a hoax that getting immediately excited about it seems to encourage more hoaxes. I do feel sorry for the people who feel bad during the period when they think it's real. Wouldn't my approach of reserving judgment be better? Is it opportunism to recommend that people hope there is no racism, but merely somebody using a stupid technique for getting them excited about racism?

"Opportunism" is "The practice or policy of exploiting circumstances or opportunities to gain immediate advantage, rather than following a predetermined plan; the ability or tendency to exploit circumstances in this way. In later use esp. with the implication of cynicism or lack of regard to principles" (OED).

It seems to me, the person who wrote the graffiti was the opportunist. He's jumping at what he perceives as an immediate advantage and he has no real plan.

82 comments:

AllenS said...

Appears to me that it's a hoax more than a hate speech/crime.

Kevin Weiss said...

I eagerly await the Air Force general’s revised screed.

Which will not be endlessly replayed on the Morning Mika.

Nancy said...

AceofSpades had a good take on this: It's not a hoax, it is a hate crime. He writes:

"Why does someone write a real bit of hate-graffiti? For these reasons:

1. To threaten/worry a racial minority.
2. To stir up racial divisions.
3. To encourage others to express their own racial hatreds (for minorities).

"Now, why does a member of a minority group write hate-graffiti?

1. To threaten/worry a racial minority.
2. To stir up racial divisions.
3. To encourage others to express their own racial hatreds (for the group presumed responsible for the graffiti, usually straight white Christian men).

"Now, notice that in both cases, the motivations and the intent and the act and even the very words used are precisely the same."

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/372429.php

rhhardin said...

The reason to assume it's a hoax is that white people don't with black people ill. It's a black persons' narrative.

White people have however become uninterested in what black people think as a result.

Indifference slogans could be suspected to be from whites, if any come up.

rhhardin said...

s/with/wish/

David Begley said...

Media nearly always blows these events - true or not - into BIG NEWS. Opportunists.

Paco Wové said...

"hoaxes form a tiny percentage of total hate crime reports"

Where the value for 'tiny' hovers somewhere between 95 and 99.

traditionalguy said...

Affirmative action needs a boost.The power of White Guilt is weakening. What ever will the favored classes do now? Maybe demand a renewed psyops indoctrination program. That seems like a good move.

Laslo Spatula said...

A sad thing, this.

Some people so need racism to exist -- to buttress their identity and worldview -- that they will create it if necessary.

Their minds would be better if they were simply addled with drugs.

You can quit drugs.

I am Laslo.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Is it a hoax if the intention was to cause race problems? Calling it a hoax diminishes the impact these have.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Wondering about the impact of this on the morale at USAFA, after the superintendent overreacted with his speech.

AllenS said...

Want to make an attempt to stop these hoaxes? Try prosecuting hoaxers with attempt to start a riot, or some other charge that brings about a serious jail sentence.

Oso Negro said...

I think that more attention must be paid to the emotional needs of the victim class of black people. Perhaps a service could be created that shows up on campus once per year to hold mock KKK rallies, shout things like "spook" or "junglebunny" at participating students, and leave banana peels in trees.

Fritz said...

Embrace the healing power of "and."It can be both a hoax and a hate crime.

John said...

#metoo

Patrick Butler said...

I wonder when/if the graffiti on the monument here in Madison will be outed as a hoax. I've assumed that it was from the beginning, since it's too cute by half, being on a monument to idealistic but misguided leftists who fought on the losing side in the Spanish Civil War. My guess is that not one in a hundred Madison residents even know that monument even exists. I suspect the city isn't dedicating a ton of resources to uncovering this, based on that likelihood of a hoax, and if it is a hoax, I expect absolutely no coverage of that fact.

BarrySanders20 said...

The opportunists are those who direct centers for the study of hate and extremism. Heard they give new employees a hammer on the first day and tell them that's all they've got to work with.

tim maguire said...

“There are opportunists who try to paint this problem as indicative that they are not occurring, when...actually [my job depends on all this being real],” said Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

We all know the routine:
Republicans acting badly, the story is Republicans acting badly
Democrats acting badly, the story is Republicans capitalizing on Democrats acting badly

Mike Sylwester said...

I thought it was a hoax immediately, but a three-star general fell for the hoax immediately.

Qwinn said...

Actually it usually goes like this:

One Republican acts badly: all Republicans everywhere are equally responsible and must apologize.

One Democrat acts badly: it's America's fault.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse - please fix your headline. It was not at the Air Force Academy; it happened at a nearby [affiliated?] prep school.

Paco Wové said...

We now know that nature herself can perpetrate hate crime hoaxes.

Bob Boyd said...

Signs and wonders of the Prog religion.

Jersey Fled said...

In Dan Rather World, it was fake but true.

Clyde said...

There was a fake hate crime at a black church in Kansas City a couple of weeks ago, where one of the members who worked there stole some money to buy crack cocaine, then set a fire and painted racist graffiti on the outside to try to cover it up. He was briefly caught on camera disconnecting an interior security camera, but didn't know about the external one that caught him painting the graffiti. He was an example of our poor public educational system, since he couldn't even paint a proper swastika. It looked like a Z with goalpost arms.

Rob McLean said...

hoaxes form a tiny percentage of total hate crime reports

[citation needed]

jaydub said...

I personally haven't heard the "N word" or any other racial epithet used by anyone other than a rapper in at least 15 - 20 years. I don't know a single white person that does not have multiple friends of color. There are multiple mixed race couples in my circle of friends and I have never heard one negative remark about it from anyone. Race just isn't an issue anymore to anyone I know, and my friends and I can't be the only ones to think that way. My actual experience informs me that white people do not sneak around posting swasticas or racial epithets on dorm room doors in the middle of the night, so my intial reaction to these reports is to discount them. And, what's behind these despicable hoaxes? It would seem their sole purpose is to stir hatred among the citizenry in order further a political agenda. Yet, it's kind of comforting to know that the country has actually progressed to the point where the race industry needs to make stuff up to keep the problem alive. That seems like very good progress to me.

Clyde said...

At this point, any so-called hate crime claim needs to be met with a certain amount of skepticism until there is evidence that provides conclusive proof that it actually happened.

Original Mike said...

"I do feel sorry for the people who feel bad during the period when they think it's real."

How about feeling sorry for the rest of us who have to live in the society these racists false-flaggers create?

AllenS said...

Black girls do these hoaxes and constantly are caught by security cameras. Maybe they just want a hug. No, not from you, you cracker ass jive motherfucka!

Rob said...

It would seem that the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism woukd have something of a vested interest in there being a large number of racist incidents. Their opinions should be subject to the same scepticism we’d apply to the analyses of any self-interested party.

Ken B said...

"Appears to me that it's a hoax more than a hate speech/crime."

Hate speech is the wrong lens. Is a fkae claim of a mugging a mugging? Is a fake report of a shooting a shooting? If I report to the cops that you robbed me at gunpoint is it just a "hoax" just because it's not a "robbery crime"?

Angel-Dyne said...

We need a handy Gomer Pyle gif for these occasions.

Ken B said...

"Want to make an attempt to stop these hoaxes? Try prosecuting hoaxers with attempt to start a riot, or some other charge that brings about a serious jail sentence."

Good idea. Start with NBC's attempt to start race riots and get George Zimmerman killed.

mike said...

My son is a cadet at the Air Force Academy. He is a good, earnest, capable young man who accepts that he has freely picked a harder path in the interests of serving the country and greater good.

It would be nice if the superintendent of the Academy, who berated the cadets on the pretext of a false flag, might take the opportunity when next addressing them to mention that yes, the country you have pledged to protect at the expense of your very lives...is a basically good and decent land, full of good and decent people like yourselves.

That would would be responsible leadership.

Fernananindiananaide said...

While hoaxes form a tiny percentage of total hate crime reports

I doubt that is true. Probably just the opposite.

Mr. Levin said he had an “anecdotal sense that we have seen somewhat of an increase in these hoaxes over the last year or so.”

Anecdotes are for proving that astrology is real and that witchcraft and homeopathy are effective.

Fernananindiananaide said...

And come to think of it, anecdotes are for Michael K. to prove that LSD is dangerous.

J. Farmer said...

This site attempts to keep track of "hate hoaxes." The Air Force Academy hoax is the newest entry to the list, coming in at #327.

The Drill SGT said...

Note that the headline is incorrect. It wasn't an Academy Cadet. It was a kid (Cadet Candidate) who didn't have the grades to get in to the Academy, but who the athletic or admissions folks wanted. So he was at the Prep school.

I speak with some knowledge, having taught at the Army's version. USAMAPS.

Nancy said...

I'd add two more reasons for a hoax:
- to obtain obtain victim status
- to squeeze some sort of educational relief out of the school. e.g. passing grades, finals cancellation, etc

gg6 said...

'Opportunist' that I am , I jump to imagine what Life must be like inside the head of the "director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism" - a man dedicated to the study of things which "are not occurring, when they actually are,”
A Life NOT based on specificity much less statistics, but an “anecdotal sense that we have seen somewhat of an increase in... hoaxes over the last year or so.”
More or less, perhaps. Maybe. Or maybe not.

Browndog said...

Of the dozen or so "racist graffiti hate crimes" here in Michigan in recent months, all of the solved cases were a "hoax". Mysteriously, many that were in very public places remain unsolved.

And no, not one person was even charged for filing a false police report.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Second most disappointing thing is the ink wasted on this event by the poorly written NYT article.

Most disappointing is the response by the Superintendent: a full-on presser with video recording; castigating the Cadet Wing for an event at the Prep School; choice of indirect language.

- My take on the language issue is based only on the snippets chosen by the NYT. -

In his initial response Gen. Silveria instructed people how they should feel: "You should be outraged." In the more recent speech he addressed the "needs" of the Cadets: "...you need to get out."

I would be more impressed with direct phrasing of what he or the Air Force would do.

The phrase "hate crime" appears five times in the article. Whatever the underlying problem is here, I believe the solution is the decriminalization of hate.

Was this a criminal event? I think not.

The NYT article is spoiled by hysterical words, trite phrases, and namby-pamby writing: "galvanized," "uproar," "teaching moment," a speech that "found" viewers, and the inexplicit "racial slur".

Times change. - H.Gritzkofe, USAFA '65

Static Ping said...

The "tiny percentage" claim interests me. Based on what exactly?

It would not shock me that of all these racist events, 10% are hoaxes, 10% are real, and 80% are unconfirmed either way. The group probably assumes that if it is not proven as a hoax then it is real. It is probably the other way around.

Mac McConnell said...

I can't remember the last real hate act reported by the media in my part of the country.

The "Hands Up Don't Shoot!" in Ferguson, Mo. that the media dry humped was a lie which burnt down three or for city blocks turned out to be a hoax.

The University of Missouri shit smeared on the walls of a dorm bathroom turned out to be done by a black student.

The racist graffiti on a black student's car at Kansas State University last month was done by the black student to his own car. The same as this Colorado Springs hoax.

Then there is the Kansas City church hoax mentioned by commenter Clyde at 7:40 AM above.

The only places in Kansas City I see N-word graffiti is in black neighborhoods that whites avoid after dark.




Big Mike said...

Can we agree that the asshole who wrote the graffiti does not have the makings of an Air Force officer? Send him to Marine boot camp where the drill sergeants will help him understand how to get along with squad mates of other races.

Amadeus 48 said...

"hoaxes form a tiny percentage of total hate crime reports"

It all depends on how you define "hate", "crime", and "reports", as well as "hate crime reports".

How do you feel about Western Civ courses?

You white supremacist!

exhelodrvr1 said...

jaydub,
"And, what's behind these despicable hoaxes?"

Who would be the beneficiaries from making people think that there is more anti-minority racism than is actually the case? Not conservatives!

Caligula said...

" hoaxes form a tiny percentage of total hate crime reports,"

Do they? Then show the data.

If that's too hard for people to comprehend, just display the data (red=real, green=hoax, yellow=undetermined) for USA Today "readers" as a pie or bar graph.

With verifyable sources, OK? Why is it that "journalists" consume so much media time/space with this this, yet no one ever makes the effort to find the actual data?


In any case, if you want fewer hoaxes then incentives need to be bent to discourage them. Yes, criminal and civil law would be a start. As would administrative penalties such as expulsion or firing. and so would not awarding resources to activist groups every time there's another incident, even before there's any serious evidence to suggest it's not just another hoax..

Yes, activists commit hoaxes because they want cash rewards and recognition. Is it really hard to understand that distributing these before the facts are in encourages more hoaxes? Or just irrelevant when there are more important things to do, such as displaying one's virtue?


exiledonmainstreet said...

Well, that's diversity for you. The service academies have embraced it by admitting race-baiting liars and out and proud Commies, unlike the old days, when those bad white men excluded and shamed them.

It's great to see how woke the military brass is.

Kevin said...

And yet the media keeps reporting that hate crimes are up because Trump has emboldened the haters.

Not only do they know what aint so, they can tell you the cause.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

People who claim to be victims of racist hate crimes have a RIGHT TO BE BELIEVED.
Not immediately believing such claims is evidence of racism just as not immediately believing alleged sexual harassment or assault is evidence of sexism/rape culture.

Irony: the opportunistic grandstanders who use hoax attacks to praise themselves and implicitly attack non-Leftists as racists, etc, often say "THAT"S NOT WHO WE ARE!" Well, I mean, yeah--turns out it isn't, assholes.

Bob Boyd said...

A friend of mine was abducted by space aliens.
She said she remembers being taken down a corridor on the mother ship strapped to a levitating gurney. She said they passed an open doorway and she saw an alien teaching Bigfoot how to draw a swastika on a black board.
Then they probed her.

Mark Nielsen said...

And, of course, the NYT anti-opportunistically does *not* include a comment section for this.

rcocean said...

"Feel sorry for those sucked into the hoax"?

Why? They seem to enjoy it, and don't seem upset when its found to be untrue.

Notice when these things occur, that all journalist professional skepticism is thrown out the window and the whole thing is blared across the nation with a "The workers and peasants must fight harder against underground wreckers and counter-revolutionaries" meme.

rcocean said...

Conservatives bought into "Hate Crimes" instead of fighting it.

Now, we're paying for their pandering and cowardice.

rcocean said...

BTW, if the Air Force Academy Superintendent had simply waited for the investigation to conclude all of this could have been avoided.

But then he wouldn't have been able to give his "all racists must die" speech and get all the canned applause.

No doubt he's lining himself up for a Democrat Political career.

Rick said...

“There aren’t many people claiming fake hate crimes, but when they do, they make massive headlines,” Ryan Lenz, senior investigative writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Project, told ProPublica. All it takes is one false report, Lenz said, “to undermine the legitimacy of other hate crimes.”

Here's a similar comment from the SPLC making the same error. In fact the hoaxes themselves are making the massive headlines because the left-media can't help but grasp at the few opportunities they have to support their worldview. Revelations these are hoaxes draw less attention as the media immediately pivot to argue they aren't important exactly as demonstrated by these cogs.

Rick said...

The good news is that the student is no longer at the school. At Yale they'd put him on the student council.

BDNYC said...

I sometimes wonder about the people who get agitated when the story first breaks and condemn our racist society, etc. What are their thoughts and feelings when the hoax is exposed? Do they feel stupid? Do they feel regretful? Do they become more reticent? Are they more trusting of their fellow Americans?

I imagine those with a shred of honesty and integrity will develop a default attitude of, this is awful and I hope it's not true, but most people are actually decent and respectful so it's probably not true.

It would be nice if there were harsher repercussions for the hoaxers. Think of all the psychic and societal damage they do!

RNB said...

No, no. You are not an 'opportunist.'
.
You are a 'denier.'

Wilbur said...

I notice the lefties avoid these sort of posts like the plague. Anyone know why?

Kevin said...

It seems to me, the person who wrote the graffiti was the opportunist.

So was the three-star General.

eddie willers said...

I've kept a running total in my head since Tawana Brawley. In all that time I can't think of one instance where it wasn't a hoax.

eddie willers said...

Here's one that I instantly knew was a hoax. Media lapped it up, of course.

Lesbian who reported 'hate crime' attack staged incident, Nebraska police say

Yancey Ward said...

I think it pretty obvious that almost all of these cases of anonymous graffiti hate crimes are hoaxes these days. Indeed, I can't remember a single one in the last year that was proven not to be. Whenever a perpetrator is identified today, it is a hoax. The solution, of course, is to punish the perpetrator of a hoax the exact same way one would punish an "authentic" hate graffiti artist. Of course, that is too much to asked, right?

Original Mike said...

Why aren't the hoaxers prosecuted under the hate crimes laws? Their actions are damaging to society in exactly the same way that these laws were supposedly meant to address.

Ken B said...

Many years ago I formulated Ken's 5th Law:

Any highly symbolic attack in which no-one was injured, there were no witnesses, and the victim suffered no serious loss, is probably a fake.

My second law is relevant here too: Ken's 2nd Law:

The first rule of media manipulation is get your lie out first.

Jupiter said...

It is interesting to contemplate the state of mind that induces a young black man to write "Go home nigger" on the whiteboards outside his own room and those of several other young black men. Freud might well have attributed it to a subconscious desire that he and his fellow young black men go home. No?

Jupiter said...

Original Mike said...
"Why aren't the hoaxers prosecuted under the hate crimes laws? Their actions are damaging to society in exactly the same way that these laws were supposedly meant to address."

The only "hate crimes laws" I have heard of -- in the US -- require a real crime before the motivation can be used to make the punishment worse. I suppose vandalism, but there seems to be a lot of prosecutorial discretion applied in these cases. It is almost as if the DA, who is an elected official, would prefer not to be the centerpiece of a BLM shitstorm.

Gospace said...

Assume it's a hoax until proven otherwise.

Original Mike said...

Don't a lot of these cases entail filing a false report to the police?

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Prejudice, profit, and a progressive diversity racket. One step forward, two steps back.

Jupiter said...

"He's jumping at what he perceives as an immediate advantage and he has no real plan."

What was the immediate advantage?

JAORE said...

Of course the proper thing would be to wait for fact.

But, today, the RACISTS are everwhar!!! cry floods across the news and internet almost instantly.

When the hoax is shown... yawn.

The left is pushing me to a knee jerk counter reaction.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Blogger Wilbur said...
I notice the lefties avoid these sort of posts like the plague. Anyone know why?

11/9/17, 10:15 AM

Because they're too busy spraying swastikas on the door of the nearest synagogue and then running away?

Anthony said...

"when they actually are,” [citation needed]

Char Char Binks said...

"I eagerly await the Air Force general’s revised screed."

The general has nothing to apologize for. His "screed" was correct -- what happened was bad and wrong, and needs to be punished. He implicated no person or group of people. The perp has been expelled,which is what the general said should happen. That the perp is black is neither the surprising nor does it change anything about the general's speech on the matter.

Jim at said...

Treat each and every one of these events as fake until proven otherwise.

Big Mike said...

People are saying that the perpetrator has been expelled. However I understand that an individual who leaves a service academy is liable for the costs of his education up to that point. So it's not like being thrown out of Oregon, for instance.

Char Char Binks said...

"I understand that an individual who leaves a service academy is liable for the costs of his education up to that point."

Good luck collecting on that!

Gahrie said...

People are saying that the perpetrator has been expelled. However I understand that an individual who leaves a service academy is liable for the costs of his education up to that point

IIRC, this occurred at a prep school for the academy, not at the actual academy itself.