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Hate crime hoaxes of 2021: Black student fakes vandalism but she’s not the only liar

The year was filled with hate crime hoaxes, overreactions and evidence-free accusations

Today, The College Fix will reveal to you the secret to exposing hoaxes: request the police report.

This year, The Fix has identified 11 confirmed hoaxes, six likely hoaxes and six situations we might call “overreactions” that occurred at a high school, college or involved a professor. Oftentimes, simply requesting the police report revealed the truth.

All examples but two relate to sexuality, race or religion. One example is about a fraternity falsely accused of requiring pledges to rape someone and another is about a professor who said she was sent a dog muzzle because of her promotion of COVID-19 vaccines.

Some are better considered as bias incidents — allegedly offensive comments or drawings that  are likely legally protected under the First Amendment.

CONFIRMED: Black student eggs her own door

Zoriana Martinez (pictured) is a black student who, almost definitely, egged her own door, claimed people were targeting her dog and said someone vandalized her LGBT pride flag. The Wayne State University student also accused her school of “forcibly remov[ing]” her from the dorms. She also said a residence hall employee told students they could discriminate against each other as long as it happened off of campus.

CONFIRMED: Vaccine expert’s credit card bought dog muzzle she said someone sent her as a threat

Vanderbilt University Professor Michelle Fiscus found out that sometimes people are muzzled because of the muzzles they place there themselves.

Fiscus claimed that someone sent her a dog muzzle, ostensibly due to her sending out a memo encouraging COVID vaccination for high schoolers, in her role as a public health official in Tennessee.

But Fiscus paid for this not only in the threat she received, but literally out of her pocket, since someone used her credit card to buy the muzzle.

CONFIRMED: Muslim Maryland student won’t talk to police about hijab assault that lacks video evidence

A Muslim student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County got quiet all of a sudden when the police were asking for more information about an alleged November 16 assault against her.

Probably because she lied about the assault happening and the university determined that the existence of a bias incident was “inconclusive.” There’s also no witnesses for the attack and a review of the video cameras in the student center yielded no footage of the incident.

Confirmed: No evidence for LGBT hate crime attack that happened in busiest part of the campus

Just like the Muslim student attack above, an unknown man “grabbed” a female University of Maine student and “called her a dyke for wearing a pride shirt.”

“The security cameras in the area were reviewed, but nothing was observed,” a spokesperson told The Fix at the time.

She’s not the only liar, though.

Other confirmed hoaxes include: A Muslim high school student faked assault, a black former Emory employee arrested for writing the ‘N-word,’ a black high schooler created an Instagram page that sent racist messages, students falsely accused a fraternity of requiring ‘rape initiation’, a black student set her dorm room on fire but claimed she was victim of hate crime, a black student created fake racist invite for rival fraternity and a black student admitted to writing racist graffiti.

Likely hoaxes: Everyone is getting real quiet when the media starts asking questions

Hoax likely: Police report for alleged hate crime against lesbian school board member finally released after intervention from state’s Attorney General office

A lesbian school board member said that someone in the very liberal city of Evanston, Illinois left a Christmas card in her car that said “you faggot” in December 2020. Despite a security camera on a nearby home capturing the incident, no one was arrested or charged for the incident.

The police and the school district refused to provide information and even tried to stop The Fix from obtaining the relevant documents. The police turned over the police reports only after The Fix filed an appeal to the state’s Attorney General office and it ordered the documents to be released.

Hoax likely: No photos of allegedly racist whiteboard drawing at Iowa State

A student reported that he heard from someone else that someone drew a “KKK rally crucifying a black man and that being symbolic of like a colored-in Among Us character to be completely black with the words #whitesupremacy written on the board.” There were no photos and the drawing was erased before any university employees reached the scene of the inappropriate but not illegal or punishable drawing.

Some other examples include:

A College Republican group appears to have been framed for anti-Semitic flyer, the University of San Francisco won’t disclose race of student expelled for hanging noose, Princeton remains silent on noose investigation, and a lack of evidence halts Johns Hopkins’ noose investigation.

Finally, sometimes people overreact:

Sometimes nooses are real but they are just part of a swing set or a construction site crane.

Sometimes nooses aren’t even definitively nooses.

Other times, alleged white supremacists are politically ambivalent, mentally ill criminals.

They could also be stupid high schoolers putting up fake Klan flyers or bored people in the bathroom who feel the need to carve swastikas into walls.

Sometimes hate hoaxes have to be created to meet the demand.

MORE: Campus hate crime hoaxes of 2017

IMAGE: Zoriana Martinez/Facebook

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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 a M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.