The 10 Most Ridiculous Phony Hate Crime Hoaxes from College Campuses

When I went to college, the biggest thing we had to worry about was how we were going to repay our student loans. Today’s college students seem to have bigger problems, namely the invisible yet omnipresent and oppressive forces of systemic white supremacy. If there aren’t enough white supremacists around to do the job, some people of color are taking it upon themselves to remind their fellow classmates that this systemic racism is firmly in place. How do they do this? By creating phony hate crimes, of course. Here are 10 of the most ridiculous hate crime hoaxes from college campuses:

Eastern Michigan University

The horrors of hate haunted this hallowed institution of higher learning sometime in the fall of 2016. Apparently, someone spray painted “Leave n******” and “KKK” on the university’s campus in Ypsilanti, Michigan. After EMU’s police Department committed more than 1,000 hours to the case, a suspect was identified. Skinhead? KKK member? Neo-Nazi? Nope. The graffiti artist was identified as Eddie Curlin, an African-American. He was convicted of numerous charges including some not related to this vandalism. Here’s more about the unlucky Mr. Curlin:

University of Maryland

The spirit of Adolf Hitler lived for a brief time in September 2017 when someone painted a swastika on a campus trash cart. The culprit was caught, though he didn’t fit the profile of your typical swastika aficionado. Ronald Alford of Hyattsville was charged with one count of malicious destruction of property and one count of disturbing the operations of a school. Though you wouldn’t know if from most mainstream news sources, Ronald is African-American:

George Washington University

GWU’s Young America’s Foundation hates Muslims. That’s what some flyers that appeared on the school’s campus would have you believe. On September 11, 2017, someone distributed flyers in YAF’s name that read, “Hate Muslims? So, do we!” These flyers promoted an “Islamo-fascism awareness week” at the university. The YAF vehemently denied creating and distributing the flyers and the incident soon went quiet. The true culprit has not been found, leading many to believe this to be a hate crime hoax. Learn more:

Central Michigan University

It’s pretty bad when college professors get involved in the fake hate crime game. A former CMU professor claimed she was verbally assaulted for her sexual orientation at an August 2015 Toby Keith concert at the nearby Soaring Eagle Casino. She later claimed that the same man punched her in the eye when she ran into him at a popular off-campus bar. After police investigation, the professor admitted to fabricating the story and striking herself in the eye. Her reason? To help raise awareness of the “social hardships of people in the LGBTQ population.” Here’s what happened:

Michigan State University

Sometimes a fake hate crime doesn’t even have a perpetrator. Take the case of the “noose” hung on a doorway at this college in E. Lansing, Michigan. The incident occurred in October 2017. As it turns out, it was just a misplaced shoelace. This didn’t stop a student from reporting this as a possible hate crime, which was praised in a statement issued by MSU President Lou Anna Simon. Here’s the rest of the story:

Air Force Academy

Our armed forces aren’t immune to fake hate crime reportage. In September 2017, five black cadet candidates found racial slurs scrawled on message boards on their doors. One of them found the words “go home n*****.” The incident garnered national headlines, as one might expect from today’s social justice-inspired media. This prompted Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria to deliver a rousing speech denouncing the vandalism. Shortly after that, investigators discovered some shocking news: the person who wrote the messages was one of the same people targeted by the messages. Apparently, the cadet candidate did this in hopes of getting out of trouble in an unrelated incident. Read more:

St. Olaf College

Small colleges aren’t immune to the allure of fake hate crimes. Such was the case at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. In August 2017, a note threatening a black student was tucked into the windshield of the student’s car. News of this alleged hate crime kicked off protest across campus that forced administrators to cancel classes. An unidentified student later admitted to fabricating the note as a “strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate.” Get the full story:

Indiana State University

When it comes to hate crime hoaxes, college professors should know better. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop one ISU professor from being arrested on charges of making a false police report. His claim? That he was the victim of anti-Muslim email, and was later physically attacked in October 2017. A police investigation quickly determined the attack and the messages were fraudulent. The professor, Azhar Hussain, faced felony charges and lost his job due to this stunt. Learn more:

Beloit College

Sometimes people just need a little attention. For example, take the Beloit College student who faked a hate crime in February 2017. Michael Kee allegedly found an anti-Muslim threat spray painted on his door and a wall near his dorm. He later told police that he came up with the idea after he saw the college come together after a Jewish student received an anti-Semitic message under his door. Don’t colleges have safe spaces, therapy dogs, and hug sessions for these kinds of things? Read more:

University of Iowa

Most people would agree that anyone who starts a fight cannot really be a victim. This didn’t stop Marcus Owens, a University of Iowa student, from telling police that he was the victim of a hate crime in May 2017. As proof of his victimhood, Mr. Owens shared photos of his busted eye socket, chipped teeth, and split lip. While his injuries were real, Marcus’s account of the events was not. After a two-week investigation, Iowa City Police found that the drunken Marcus and his friends jumped a man who allegedly used a racial epithet. Marcus then suffered his injuries after trying to start a fight with another man. Marcus’s family issued a heartfelt apology and no charges were filed. Learn more:

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