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There were 12 campus hate hoaxes this school year

ANALYSIS: Hate crimes do happen, but sometimes allegations turn out to be untrue or lacking important context

There were at least 12 hate crime hoaxes in the 2023-24 school year that either occurred on a high school or college campus or are otherwise linked to higher education, according to an analysis by The College Fix.

A hate crime hoax is anything considered criminal or at least an act of misconduct. This number also includes questionable hate incidents that have yet to be solved. The 2023-24 school year saw a mix of hate crime hoaxes and other situations that do not neatly fit into a narrative about racism on college campuses.

It can also be a hoax when there is no path forward for the investigation to end but there’s also no clear evidence indicating the act was an intentional hate crime.

Some hate crime allegations have clearly fallen apart.

In early August, a veteran pled guilty and was ordered to mental health counseling after leaving a noose on a statue of the poet Homer at the University of Virginia. But he did not leave the noose as a racial hatred symbol (Homer was Greek, after all), but to protest what he saw as the “sexualization of children,” according to the veteran’s attorney.

Similarly, a drunk college student tore down a flag at Susquehanna University – but did not know it was for Black Lives Matter.

Other examples include:

— A Somali Muslim ‘black feminist theory’ grad student who was criminally charged after posting a fundraiser alleging she was attacked.

— A conservative white professor falsely accused of harassing a black student.

— A ‘middle-aged Black male’ who allegedly vandalized the Florida State University Black Student Union house.

In another example, a transgender Harvard University student did not die due to police brutality, as the family alleged, but rather by suicide.

Other alleged hateful incidents remain unsolved.

For example, the State University of New York-Cortland found swastikas, male reproductive organs, and “Trump 2024” drawn on bathroom stalls. However, the university did not have an update at the beginning of the school year and The Fix could not locate any further update since last July.

It is similar to the situation at North Carolina State University. The school did not have an update after two months concerning an alleged racial slur yelled during a women’s basketball game. “I don’t know,” one spokesperson told The Fix when asked if the investigation was still ongoing.

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Illinois State University gave the community closure. Officials could not “verify” racial slur allegations after interviewing 47 people and reviewing footage from a December 2023 men’s basketball game.

A high school in New York also could not find any evidence that black players endured racial harassment.

Sometimes racist slurs are unfortunately actually used. But even then, the media tends to go beyond the actual story to find a broader narrative.

That is what happened when an investigation found a teen actually did yell a racial slur, followed by a sexually suggestive remark, at black University of Utah female basketball players.

But National Public Radio and the Associated Press felt the need to try to link the teen to past extremism activity in the Coeur D’Alene, Idaho area that occurred in recent and distant history.

Police also could not verify a claim that drivers in trucks were “revving” their engines and shouting racial slurs.

Racism does, unfortunately, occur. But it is not just from white people. For example, one of the racial slur suspects accused of leaving anti-black slurs at the University of Maryland is probably Hispanic.

The revelation of hate crime hoaxes shows that the truth will ultimately prevail.

That is what happened when Florida State University fired a professor for “extreme negligence” in the way he conducted race research. One paper claimed, “as black and Hispanic populations grew, the surrounding white populations wanted more racially discriminatory sentencing.”

It also happened when Michigan State University Press halted publication of a book about its football team being racially integrated.

The movie had more problems – it not only falsely painted white players as racist, but also was accused of promoting offensive imagery of black players – thus underscoring how what you see in the media is not always true.

And that includes some hate crimes.

MORE: 8 times ‘nooses’ on campus turned out to be hate crime hoaxes

IMAGE: NEOSIAM2024+/Pexels with College Fix edits

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.