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Spare a thought for the pathetic school hoaxers

It speaks of an unwell mind

This week a young girl in Northern Virgina revealed that last week she had lied about a racist attack at her school. The sixth-grade girl, who is black, claimed that three white classmates held her down, covered her mouth, cut her hair with scissors, verbally abused her, then stole and ate her lunch. A global furor ensured, with major media attention across the planet. It was all completely false.

We’ve seen this sort of thing before. School hoaxes, from elementary right on up through graduate school, are ubiquitous these days. It seems like most news cycles these days feature at least one outrageous campus story that ends up being exposed as a lie. Invariably these false stories run progressive—the victims are usually a favored identity group, while the perpetrators are usually white males. It’s not hard to see what’s happening here.

Of course, anyone found caught in such a lie should suffer the consequences, up to and including severe sanctioning from the campuses they throw into turmoil. But it is also worth sparing a thought for these sad individuals, who plainly have deep-seated issues beyond simply a mere desire for notoriety. If you’re making up a brutal, sadistic, racist crime to the point that it becomes a global media touchstone, you have some problems. That seems self-evident.

Most of us aren’t inclined to do such things, because most of us are happy enough and secure enough not to want to cause such mayhem. The individual who perpetrates a hate-crime hoax is a sad and pitiable kind of person, in no way absolved of the consequences of that behavior but pathetic and piteous nonetheless. We should want justice for everyone wronged by such reckless lies. We should also want the people who spread those lies to heal from their obvious brokenness, and stop wasting their lives on useless falsehoods. Nobody wins in a hoax, least of all the people who commit them and render themselves humiliated and reviled outcasts.

MORE: 50 campus hate-crime hoaxes The College Fix has covered since 2012

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