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Another Hate Crime at the University of Maryland Turns Out to Be a Hoax

Beware of easy narratives about "bias incidents." We usually don't know who's behind them—and when we find out, they often aren't who you expect.

UMDbgervaisRacially charged graffiti—including a swastika—was found in a men's bathroom at the University of Maryland last fall and reported to the authorities as a hate crime.

That case is now solved. The perpetrator was Terrell Demonte Alexander, an 18-year-old former university employee. According to The College Fix, Alexander is black—which suggests this incident was a hoax, or at the least an act of intimidation committed by a member of the targeted minority group.

It's the second such deceptive case at the university in the past few months. Last October, police arrested Ronald Alford, a 52-year-old black former employee, for spray-painting a swastika on campus. At the University of Maryland, workplace grievances seem to be more important motivators of bias incidents than racism.

Meanwhile in Toronto, police have wrapped up their investigation of an anti-Islamic hate crime. An 11-year-old Muslim girl claimed a man cut off her hijab with a pair of scissors, but now the authorities contend that no such thing happened. (This specific hoax is reminiscent of a false report by a Muslim student at the University of Michigan in 2016.)

"It's very rare for an allegation to be investigated and we later find out that it does not happen," Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash told CNN.

That's true, but only because so many hate incidents go unsolved altogether. The perpetrator's true motives are often unknown to the public. And yet the popular narrative that schools are besieged by a powerful new wave of bigotry unleashed by the election of Donald Trump draws its strength from the supposed ubiquity of swastikas and derogatory language on campuses.

Those who cling to this narrative probably imagine a hooded neo-Nazi, or at least an alt-right-inclined white kid, behind every swastika. But in a nontrivial number of cases where the police actually caught the guy, the truth was something else entirely.

Photo Credit: bgervais

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  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Considering that, in these cases, they were pushed to the edge by white supremists who elected Literal Hitler, then, I can't really blame them.

  • ||

    Literally Stalin too now.

  • Leader Desslok||

    What? No love for Mao?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    No.

  • Agammamon||

    THAT'S RAYCIST!

  • WoodChipperBob||

    Give him time. He'll get to Mao later this year, right after he covers Papa & Baby Doc Duvalier to apologize for his Haiti "shithole" remark. I've heard he plans to move on to Pol Pot and Idi Amin next year. In his run-up to the 2020 election, he'll work in Castro to get the Hispanic vote. He'll have to save Pinochet, Ceausescu, Noriega and other lesser luminaries for his next term, because there's only so much time to be evil in, and there aren't enough Chilean-, Romanian-, and Panamanian-Americans to spend time courting them before the election.

  • ThanksForTheFish||

    OMG, now we know why trump intervened for ZTE!

  • albo||

    Colleges appear to be a hotbed of rape, racism and bolshevism. Why do people keep sending their precious children there?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Because they have to. You can't get anywhere in this world without a college degree. They literally have no choice.

  • Longtobefree||

    Tell that to the work from by computer bot who haunts these pages - - - - - -

  • khm001||

    All institutions lead by or dominated by democrats and leftists are hotbeds of rape, racism, and bolshevism.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That it's a hoax is fast becoming the easiest narrative there is.

  • Bearded Spock||

    The headline "Another hate crime at [insert location name] turns out to be a hoax" could be used as a template for most stories about hate crimes.

  • Zeb||

    reported to the authorities as a hate crime.

    So hate just means "being a dick" now. OK.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    For reference, see Trump, Donald.

  • DajjaI||

    So why do they do this? The purpose is to create a pretext for 'hate speech' and 'incitement' laws. Which are what lead to witch hunts and wars. Top Nazi propagandists were radicalized under 'blood libel' bans in Germany and they are heading down the same path again: "tighter laws banning Holocaust denial on the internet". This is so funny and tragic because the denial of the first holocaust will be weaponized to enable the second.

  • Rhywun||

    Treating the citizenry like four-year-olds couldn't possibly backfire.

  • Rossami||

    Read the article. "workplace grievances" What better way to get back at your employer than by making their entire institution look bad in the press? And what better way to make them look bad than by making them look like they're harboring a bunch of racists?

    In the two instances cited above, it wasn't some grand plot to create a pretext for censorship - it was petty vandalism.

  • Brandybuck||

    Three. Words. Morton. Downey. Jr.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    I loved watching Mort back in the day. I can still remember Al Sharpton getting decked by Roy Innis.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Iron Man?

  • Agammamon||

    Iron Man's bug-fuck crazy uncle.

  • Brandybuck||

    Tony Stark without the charisma or technical prowess. Imagine Geraldo as a Scotch/Irish loudmouth. Or Tony Clifton getting his own talk show.

  • ||

    Speaking of alleged hate crimes, whatever happened to the one about Lebron James and the one at his house?

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Pretty sure Steph Curry was behind that one.

  • Ken Hagler||

    "Those who cling to this narrative probably imagine a hooded neo-Nazi, or at least an alt-right-inclined white kid, behind every swastika."

    From what I've seen, those who cling to that narrative consider neo-Nazi, alt-right, and white to be synonyms.

  • esteve7||

    My prog roommate would say that even if a black student did that, it's just more evidence of white supremacy. See, it's everywhere, in the ether.

    Sounds like a religion to these people

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    It is indeed becoming a religion, with it's own faith and tenets; white privilege was invented during the Obama presidency because otherwise there would have seemed to have been too much progress toward resolving racism [reference "post racial society"], and they are not about to give it up that easily.

  • colorblindkid||

    Reminder that according to the FBI hate crime statistics, 24% of hate crimes are committed by black people, while 52% are committed by white people.

    This means that black people are over twice as likely to commit a hate crime than white people.

    But muh narrative.

  • colorblindkid||

    Also, there are, on average, 8 hate crime murders a year. In a country of 330,000,000.

    The people on left screaming bloody murder about the huge threat racists and hate crimes pose have even less statistical basis for their fear-mongering than people on the right screaming bloody murder about illegal immigrant gangs and Muslim terrorists.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    It's a religion now; hate is a matter of faith, don't question it.

  • Jerryskids||

    8 hate crime murders per year? Bullshit. There are at least that many cops losing their lives in this country every single day. #BlueLivesMatter #StopResisting #FearedForMyLife #FurtiveMovementTowardTheWaistband

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    #FurtiveMovementTowardTheWaistband

    Let's not Bring Aziz Ansari into this.

  • Kivlor||

    Reminder that according to the FBI hate crime statistics, 24% of hate crimes are committed by black people, while 52% are committed by white people.

    Reminder that the DOJ determined that a bunch of negroes kidnapping and torturing a white kid because he's white and Trump won the election, and then livestreaming the torture on Facebook to show off what they were doing doesn't count as a hate crime.

    I have a feeling that the numbers are incorrect and skewed to be flattering to blacks...

  • creech||

    I think most swastika scribblings are by punk teenagers who know swastikas set off weeping and wailing among their elders and have nothing to do with any real sympathy for nazi causes. Just like getting "death threats" for outre behavior or facebook ramblings is some kind of cottage industry spawned by giggling kids sitting on their computer after school with not enough pron to look at.

  • Jimbo||

    ^ Check out the Nazi sympathizer ^

  • khm001||

    ^ Check out the Nazi. ^

  • Zeb||

    I think you are probably right. People know it will get a reaction.

    Like I said above, I doubt much if any of supposed "hate" graffiti has anything to do with hate. It's just being a dick, or hoaxes to make it look like racists are everywhere.

  • Anomalous||

    Bias incident at University of Maryland? Not since 1986 when he OD'ed.

  • operagost||

    Ouch.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    *polite applause*

  • WoodChipperBob||

    You win the internet today!

  • Bronson, Missouri||

    Perhaps the DC area is being overrun by black Nazis?

  • Rhywun||

    The assumption that black people can't be anti-semites seems... odd & not borne out by history. Not claiming that these (two!) instances are that, just that the jump to "hoax" seems premature simply based on the race of these guys.

  • colorblindkid||

    As I noted above (though that number was from 2015), in 2016, 26% of hate crime offenders were black, despite being 12% of the population. Most hate crimes are racial incidents, and most are against blacks, so this means that for all other categories of hate crimes black people are likely at least 4-5X more likely to be offenders than white people.

  • khm001||

    The idea anti-semitism is what defines a Nazi is plain stupidity.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    From Huffington Post Twitter: Finally! A hijab-wearing model will be featured in a mainstream hair ad for the first time.

    Suck on THAT, you Islamophobic bigots! The world is becoming more tolerant and inclusive of non-Christian religions, and I say it's about damn time.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    You are indeed a master of baiting.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I take Islamophobia very seriously, especially since I learned in college that it's actually a form of racism. Anything that presents Islam and Muslims in a favorable light is a welcome change of pace compared to the stereotypical "Muslims as terrorists" portrayal the right-wing corporate media normally promotes.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Dude, you are like a parody of yourself. There is a billion Muslims in this world, and you are making fun of the fact that they should be treated as people. Islamophobia is indeed a form racism, though I suppose it is more accurate to just call it bigotry.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    Please list the terrorist attacks committed by non Muslims. Compare it to the ones committed by Muslims.

  • Zeb||

    It's not a real person. Stop acting like it is. It's a lame parody of the "cosmotarians" that live only in the heads of stupid right-wingers.

  • Kivlor||

    It does a good job of parroting Shikha

  • MasterThief||

    So much so that Tony actually comes in and agrees with the parody

  • JoeBlow123||

    Lololol you are the Michelangelo of trolling. This was an absolute masterpiece. Perfect.

  • Zeb||

    You give it way too much credit.

  • lap83||

    Honestly, it seems just like any other ad. The product is inconsequential to the method of influencing consumers to buy it. She's pretty, so I'll be pretty too if I use that shampoo.

  • Jerryskids||

    Look at Cheapy McCheapskate over here with the shampoo. Real poo or gtfo.

  • lap83||

    True cheapskates get whichever one is on clearance, sham or real. Why won't advertisers pay attention to us? "We are the brand of which retailers bought way too much, look for us in the shadowy, cluttered end-cap towards the back of the store" I couldn't throw my 98 cents plus tax fast enough at them.

  • ||

    I couldn't throw my 98 cents plus tax fast enough at them.

    $0.98 for shampoo?!? You know you can probably get it for $0.80 at Menards after the mail in rebate, right?

    Also, as a senior-level cheapskate, you should know never to pay for something that's actively advertised on TV. You're just paying for actors, production managers, and broadcast rights rather than anything resembling and actual product.

  • JoeBlow123||

    More poo! I demand more!

  • ||

    The product is inconsequential to the method of influencing consumers to buy it. She's pretty, so I'll be pretty too if I use that shampoo.

    She's pretty, so I'll be pretty too if I use that masonry drill.

  • ||

    I suppose that link may not be safe for some workplaces, but it is youtube safe-space approved!

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    omg i haven't seen this video in 10 years.

    Fap-fucking-tastic

  • Social Justice is neither||

    If the shampoo is so good why is she hiding the results?

  • lap83||

    We usually don't know who's behind them—and when we find out, they often aren't who you expect.

    oh Robby, they're usually who we expect.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Hush now. Rico needs to toss that in to show his Daily Beast and Salon chums that he's still sufficiently woke

  • NoVaNick||

    So, as a Hellenic American, if someone asks me where to find the best gyros, or makes a butt sex joke in my presence, can I report them for a hate crime?

  • ||

    You like it Greek style?

  • juris imprudent||

    What are the odds?

  • WoodChipperBob||

    You can, but no one will care, because your people joined the oppressor class decades ago. I know, because I met one at an oppressor class meeting back in the '90s. He didn't know where to find the best gyros.

  • PaulTheBeav||

    I'd be curious to know the percentage breakdown for motives in cases that have been solved.

  • wef||

    Another? The proper wording would be: once again, yet another.

  • wingnutx||

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    I mean how are they even finding these people? Po-po are prolly just pinning it on the nearest minority they can find like any other crime.

  • GILMORE™||

    But buzzfeed told me these things are very rare

  • Kivlor||

    Overall, they are rare. It's just that they're much less rare than legitimate hate crimes.

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