Wednesday, April 21, 2004

More On Hate Crime Hoaxes

Interesting article about the prevalence of hate crime hoaxes on college campuses:
More than 20 hate crime hoaxes have been suspected or confirmed at college campuses nationwide in the past seven years as students draw on the socially conscious atmosphere of a college campus to perpetrate their fraud.

"A person who is a victim of a hate crime can probably expect to get almost universal sympathy on a college campus. Out in the world at large, that's not necessarily true," said Mark Potok, who has researched hate crime for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"But on a college campus, you are very likely to get the support of the administration, the faculty and virtually all the students. It tends to put you in the limelight very quickly."


At least 20 cases of suspected or confirmed hoaxes have occurred since 1997 nationwide -- and many may go unnoticed, the Los Angeles Times reported.


At Miami University in Ohio, a display of racist and homophobic fliers six years ago -- a suspected hoax that was never solved -- still bothers President James C. Garland. People come away believing that "racial incidents and race relations are really not an issue, that it's all a trumped-up hoax or manufactured to make political points," he said.
Obviously, these aren't all manufactured for political reasons--some people just want a new roommate--but it does make people understandably skeptical.

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