Hate Crime Hoaxes

Chance Layton

It seems that every day we hear of hate crimes, bias, and discrimination that devastate communities and college campuses. But is bias truly as prevalent as made out to be? In the third edition of Hate Crimes, released fall of 2015, NAS Executive Director Ashley Thorne writes in an essay that bias exists, but too often it’s a hoax.

“How did students at campuses all over the country, both liberal and conservative, get into their heads that faking hate crimes was a good idea?” According to Thorne, students sometimes are so desperate to generate outrage against bias that they create false evidence for hate crimes to validate their personal goals and ideologies. College administrations substantiate these claims in “many cases, before all the details are known . . . enacting a full-on response, usually involving a day of diversity rallies and canceled classes.” But these actions do more harm than good, by disrupting lives and causing unnecessary anger. Moreover, “crying wolf erodes the credibility of real wrongdoing.” Thorne writes, “We will be better equipped to respond to true instances of hate crimes when false ones fall away.” 

When lies justify calls to action, it only hurts actual victims of hate crimes. By leaving the past behind, and dealing with the reality of issues before us, society will be better off. Thorne writes in conclusion, "The way to move forward is to live in the real world today and live by the truth."

Hate Crimes is one in a series of books by Contemporary World Issues that elaborate on discussions of contemporary importance.

Thorne, Ashley. “Hate Crime Hoaxes on College and University Campuses.” Altschiller, Donald. Hate Crimes: A Reference Handbook. 3rd ed. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015.

ISBN: 978-1-61069-946-4

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