For two weeks running, iHypocrite (if you haven't subscribed to his channel, do so now. I'll wait until you get back) has focussed his "This week in social justice" series on the spate of hate crime hoaxes taking place across the US.
Granted, not every example he gives has been confirmed by authorities to be a hoax, but they all smell fake as fuck. Sources for his latest video can be found here. More hoaxes and other interesting links can be found at this handy subreddit.
Common themes running through these recent proven and likely hoaxes is that they're often made on social media, they involve white male perpetrators, MAGA hats and Trump shirts, and dialogue that is over the top ridiculous. And that the perpetrators of the hoaxes wanted to raise awareness of the hate crimes that have been rampant since Trump got elected.
Claims made on social media have in some cases led to police investigating and determining the entire thing was a sham, but that's small comfort when such posts are shared thousands or tens of thousands of times before they're revealed as having been fabricated.
Anyone familiar with the website Community of the Wrongly Accused will be familiar with this pattern. Pierce Harlan has written extensively on the use of false reports of rape and other sexual violence/harassment by feminist activists whose zeal to stamp out rape is frequently stymied by the unavailability of local rapes to stamp out.
And of course, the universe wouldn't be right without the SPLC getting involved and whipping up some good old fashioned hysteria.
Here's their "report hate" form.
A few things I noticed.
"These incidents, aside from news reports, are largely anecdotal."
Uh... an "incident" that is based on one person's word and is unsubstantiated is anecdotal, even if the news reported on it.
For instance, this one from iHypocrite's latest video:
Hasn't Rolling Stone Magazine taught us anything? Hasn't it taught us that unsubstantiated anecdotal claims do not suddenly become substantiated and factual just because a journalist publishes a story about them?
The SPLC's "report hate" form is every bit as easy to fill out as a Facebook post. To their credit, they indicated they've also received reports of anti-Trump harassment.
This is currently the top comment on the SPLC's post:
I've noticed a common theme in these hateful acts - the perpetrators usually run away before they can be confronted. Why? They are cowards who can't justify their own beliefs so they dump and run. Either that or they commit these acts undercover of darkness and are long gone by the time their message is received.
I am disgusted that there are Americans who behave like this.
Or, and I'm just playing devil's advocate here, the alleged perpetrators allegedly run away before they can be confronted because then the alleged victim doesn't have to provide any evidence. The evidence ran away.
Or, and again, just bear with me, the alleged perpetrators commit their acts undercover of darkness and are long gone by the time their message is received because, like with this story out of Williams College, the acts of vandalism and racist graffiti were committed not by Trump supporters, but by overzealous anti-Trump individuals who did it to "raise awareness" of how racist and hateful Trump's America is.
One thing "Madge" and I can agree on. I too am disgusted that there are Americans who behave like this.
Whether they are committing hate crimes and hate-inspired harassment, or whether they're perpetrating hate crime hoaxes, I'm disgusted by them.
I would strongly suggest that anyone who has genuinely felt harassed or has been assaulted (verbally or physically) because of their support for Trump, or even just for being associated with conservatism, or who has witnessed such an incident, please go fill out the SPLC's "report hate" form. Include links to news reports, video footage if available, and more importantly, police reports.
The SPLC may be biased as fuck, and doing it all wrong by detailing these reports and publishing them without substantiation, but they HAVE indicated they're willing to report incidents of anti-Trump harassment.
And frankly, I agree with iHypocrite when he says the Trump hate crime hoaxes are a form of politically motivated crime, and that they are perpetrated to engender public fear of a Trump presidency, public hatred of the people who supported him, and that they paint a worrying target on white men in particular.
In that sense, these hoaxes could be considered hate crimes in and of themselves.
Put the SPLC's feet to the fire. They're willing thus far to say they've received reports of incidents of anti-Trump harassment. And write to your local police and elected representatives if a verified hate crime hoax has been committed in your area. Demand that the perpetrator be charged and prosecuted.
Hate crime hoaxes, like all false accusations, are dangerous. Rolling Stone and Sabrina Rubin Erdely showed us that when the fraternity she irresponsibly libelled had bricks thrown through their windows.
But it's not just one fraternity on one campus who are being falsely accused and demonized by these hoaxes anymore.
It's white men and conservatives across America. And that's a recipe for political violence.