On the Use of Racism as Propaganda

(Last updated Aug 31, 2021)

Racism is real like a tree is real. Racial slurs, racial agitation, all that is real. Like anything else, it can be manipulated for political gain; racist incidents can be invented and propagated, accusations of racism (the deadliest there are these days, enough to wreck a life, an institution, a career) can be made up; when that happens, it’s fair to speak of propaganda, isn’t it? In the abstract, at least, right?

After Donald Trump last year became a candidate to the U.S. presidency, I noticed a trend of false accusations of racism: literally fake news. So I started to keep tabs. I wrote them down and made a list. I never trawled the Internet looking for this; it’s just stuff I kept coming across, that I kept notes of. This is almost entirely false accusations; it’s not about actual racial murders, such as the incredible case of Jayna Murray. For a longer, more comprehensive list, for which I can’t vouch, you can check here for example, or here; or here, for one from a more controversial source.

Stats about fake accusations are of little use, because many of them were never actually filed with police (only publicized through traditional and social media). But we do have plenty of stats about the racial breakdown of murders and other crimes, in the U.S. and other countries such as the U.K.

Without further comment, raw as it is and in rough chronological order, with sources attached in each case, this is the list as it currently stands:

-In April 2016, black students were identified as the people behind a recent racist drawing found at Salisbury University’s library, school officials confirmed. The image, found April 10 on a whiteboard in Blackwell Library, showed a stick figure being hung and labeled with a racial slur. Underneath was the hashtag “#whitepower.” Huffington Post, 28.4.16

-In March 2016, Seattle’s Africatown Center was vandalized with swastikas and pro-Trump graffiti. An East African, a former employee, eventually confessed to have done it. Seattle.gov, 16.3.16

-Slate reported on Dec. 14, 2016: Nearly two weeks after what appeared to be a horrifying incident on the New York City subway, the NYPD announced that an apparent hate crime never happened, and Muslim teenager Yasmin Seweid made up the story that she was harassed by three drunk white men on the subway who shouted Trump slogans and tried to pull off her hijab. The 18-year-old has been charged with filing a false report and obstructing governmental administration.

-A 19-year-old US-Israeli citizen was arrested in southern Israel on suspicion of carrying out a wave of telephone bomb threats targeting Jewish centers and communities around the world. The months-long, multi-agency investigation led Israel Police’s International Crime Investigations Unit to the city of Ashkelon, where the suspect and his father were arrested. Various media, 23.3.17

-Florida man Vincent Palmer faked a pro-Trump KKK hate crime, set his ex’s car on fire, and then staged his own kidnapping in ransom note covered with his blood; the note for her and their four children, who are all under the age of five, had the words ‘KKK’ and ‘Trump’ written on it: ‘I HAVE WATHED [ sic ] YOU FOR A LONG TIME YOU AND YOUR N***** KIDS DON’T Belong,’ read the note left at her Ormond Beach, Florida home. Palmer, who is black, then fled but returned when ex-wife Staci Winn, who is white, called him to reveal what happened, at which point he was arrested on a warrant for failure to pay child support. He was released on Sunday at which point he faked how own kidnapping, again implying it was the work of the KKK. Police located him by pinging his telephone and tracing it to a nearby Burger King, at which point he confessed to setting the fire and leaving the note. Daily Mail, 13.12.16

-The subjects of a TV documentary series about the Ku Klux Klan abruptly canceled last week by A&E allege to Variety that significant portions of what was filmed were fabricated by the producers. The KKK leaders who were interviewed by Variety detailed how they were wooed with promises the program would capture the truth about life in the organization; encouraged not to file taxes on cash payments for agreeing to participate in the filming; presented with pre-scripted fictional story scenarios; instructed what to say on camera; asked to misrepresent their actual identities, motivations and relationships with others, and re-enacted camera shoots repeatedly until the production team was satisfied. The production team even paid for material and equipment to construct and burn wooden crosses and Nazi swastikas, according to multiple sources. Variety, Dec16.

-Police in January 2017 said it found no evidence to confirm a November report that a teacher bullied and assaulted a Muslim kindergartener at David Cox Road Elementary, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced, the Charlotte Observer reported. Principal Celeste Spears-Ellis notified parents that the accused teacher has returned to the classroom after the District Attorney’s Office found “no evidence of an assault other than the complainant’s report” and no grounds for criminal charges. The incident made national news in November when the Council on American-Islamic Rights wrote to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction alleging that the teacher “continuously harassed and recently assaulted” a 5-year-old boy in her class. The letter, dated Nov. 21, said the teacher had grabbed the boy by the neck and choked him on Nov. 16. It said she had also failed to prevent classmates from bullying the boy and forced him to carry a large backpack filled with textbooks and headphones. The letter named another teacher who reportedly separated the two after the choking incident and consoled the boy.

-A 14-year-old Muslim girl who claimed she was pushed in front of a train simply for wearing a headscarf has been challenged after police checked CCTV tapes. The girl, identified only as Sinem, claimed on social media she had been called a ‘terrorist’ and was pushed onto the tracks by a man who had taken offence at her headscarf at a railway station in the Austrian capital of Vienna. She told an online anti-racism forum she was only saved at the ‘last second’ by another man who pulled her onto the platform before the S-Bahn train arrived at Wien-Döbling station. The girl, whose parents are originally from Turkey, said she was taken to hospital with minor injuries and her parents filed a criminal complaint after hearing what had happened. But The Local reported that Vienna police spokesman Irina Steirer said officers had searched through tapes of CCTV cameras on the platform and found no trace of the incident the girl described. The Daily Mail, 19.1.17

-The Anne Arundel County Police Department on Jan’17 charged a 14-year-old African-American girl with a juvenile citation for sending a threatening tweet related to Arundel High School. Police began their investigation after Arundel High School officials told them about a suspicious Twitter account. The account, named @KoolkidsKlanKkk, reportedly sent out a tweet that read, “We’re planning to attack tomorrow”. This account used similar language to a racial petition that had been passed around Anne Arundel High School by the “Kool Kids Klan”. Police worked with Twitter, and were able to identify the person who created the account and sent out the threatening tweet.

-When four black teenagers kidnapped a retarded white boy and tortured him live on Facebook in Jan 2017 while saying he was was paying for being a white Trump supporter, this is how CBS radio described this (Jan 7), so it would look like four whites attacking a black kid: “The viral video of a beating and knife attack in Chicago suggests the assault had racial overtones. CBS’s Dean Reynolds tells us the victim is described as a mentally-challenged teenager. In the video he is choked and repeatedly called the n-word. His clothes are slashed and he is terrorized with a knife. His alleged captors repeatedly reference Donald Trump. Police are holding four people in connection with the attack.”

-In March17, The Intercept published this: “We were horrified to learn this morning that Juan Thompson, a former employee of The Intercept, has been arrested in connection with bomb threats against the ADL and multiple Jewish Community Centers in addition to cyberstalking. These actions are heinous and should be fully investigated and prosecuted. We have no information about the charges against Thompson other than what is included in the criminal complaint. Thompson worked for The Intercept from November 2014 to January 2016, when he was fired after we discovered that he had fabricated sources and quotes in his articles.”

-On 25.2.17, the Daily Caller reported that a black waitress who received thousands of dollars in donations after she claimed she received a racist note and no tip from a patron last month fabricated the incident, the customer claims. Kelly Carter, a waitress at Anita’s New Mexico Cafe in Ashburn, Va., claimed that a white man stiffed her on his $30.52 restaurant bill and wrote “Great service, don’t tip black people” at the bottom of his receipt.

-A 21-year-old Ann Arbor woman pleaded guilty as charged to one count of false report of a misdemeanor in 15th District Court on Monday, March 6. Halley Bass admitted in court that she fabricated a story about a strange man scratching her face in downtown Ann Arbor on Nov. 15… At the time, Bass claimed her attack was part of the surge in hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump a week earlier. She told police she was targeted for wearing a solidarity pin connected to Great Britain’s “Brexit” vote. Mlive, March17

-Vandals not responsible for dozens of tipped graves at Jewish cemetery in Brooklyn, management says. Police and the general manager of a Jewish cemetery in Brooklyn said that 42 fallen headstones were not caused by vandals, saying Sunday that the memorials had naturally tipped over due to age — though some elected officials were calling for an investigation, anyway. “It definitely was not vandalism,” Marisa Tarantino, general manager of the Washington Cemetery on Bay Parkway in Midwood, told reporters. New York Daily News, 5.3.17

-The day after Trump won the 2016 election, a University of Louisiana Lafayette student who said she was physically attacked and robbed of her wallet and hijab made up the story, according to the Lafayette Police Department. Public Information Officer Karl Ratcliff told media police were reviewing the possibility of charging the 18-year-old student with filing a false police report. The young woman filed a police report claiming two white males approached her near the campus, in the 100 block of Smith Street, around 11 a.m. The 18-year-old woman told investigators she was walking near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s campus Wednesday morning — hours after Donald Trump’s presidential victory — when she was accosted by two white men who drove up in a gray sedan, Lafayette police said in a statement. The student said the men struck her with a metal object, knocking her down, and stole her wallet and the headscarf, known as a hijab. She also said the men shouted racial obscenities as they struck her several times in the back. She also claimed one of the males was wearing a Donald Trump hat and they both yelled racial obscenities at her, police said. As police began to investigate the student’s claims they did not locate any witnesses or surveillance video to corroborate her story. The story of her false attack went viral overnight, gaining the attention of national media outlets.

-All of this reported by media 21.12.16, a Mississippi man arrested in the burning of an African-American church that was spray-painted with the words “Vote Trump” is a member of the congregation, the church’s bishop said. Andrew McClinton, 45, of Leland, Mississippi, was charged Wednesday with first degree arson of a place of worship, said Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. McClinton is African-American. Youtube hoaxer goes viral by falsely claiming to have been kicked off a Delta flight for speaking another language.Ann Arbor police say a report of ethnic intimidation involving a woman wearing a hijab did not actually happen. According to police, a University of Michigan student told police on she was approached by a man who threatened to set her hijab on fire if she didn’t remove it. It happened on Nov. 11. She then said the suspect pulled out a lighter, so she removed her hijab before he ran away on foot. Police say detectives have been working with the U of M Police Department and the FBI. They have conducted multiple interviews and reviewed multiple surveillance videos. “During the investigation, numerous inconsistencies in the statements provided by the alleged victim were identified,” police said in a release. Detectives then determined the incident did not happen. Jasskirat Saini, of Souh Asian descent, was arrested Tuesday by Nassau County Police following an investigation into the drawing swastikas and writing of “KKK” on a college campus. ABC7 reports that the swastikas were first found at Nassau Community College on a men’s bathroom on Oct. 15 and later that month several more were found. In December there were two more incidents of swastika graffiti. Nassau County Police found Saini Tuesday writing two swastikas on the exterior of a building and “KKK” on the floor of another, ABC7 reports. Saini is being charged with Aggravated Harassment and according to ABC7 this charge is in connection with 110 anti-Semitic drawings. Initial media coverage of the discovery of swastikas tied it to the election of Donald Trump. The Long Island Press wrote, “Although three of the incidents occurred before Nov. 8, the latest discovery has further troubled minority and Jewish groups amid a surge of hate crimes across the country following the election of Donald Trump.” Babson College has cleared two students of any disciplinary violations stemming from their controversial drive through Wellesley College to celebrate Donald Trump’s victory the day after the presidential election, their lawyers said. The students, Parker Rand-Ricciardi and Edward Tomasso, faced accusations of harassment and disorderly conduct before the college’s honor board. The Nov. 9 incident sparked a post-election uproar, fueled by accusations on social media that the men spat on a Wellesley student and yelled racial and homophobic slurs while parked in front of Harambee House, a campus gathering place for African-American students. Rand-Riccardi and Tomasso denied the allegations, and an investigation by Babson found no evidence the men did anything other than drive through the campus waving a Trump flag out the truck window and yelling “Make America Great Again.” They are not facing criminal charges. On late Dec, NYPD was searching for a man who they believe committed at least two bias attacks in Bed-Stuy earlier this month, confronting his victims and asking about their ethnicity and religion before punching them in the face; he was caught on security cameras and turned out to be black. Also, history has taught us to be wary of “you won’t believe the offensive message written on this restaurant receipt” stories. The one in New Jersey was a hoax, the one in California was a hoax, and the one in Tennessee is sketchy, with a handwriting expert saying the writing on the receipt doesn’t match the customer’s. The gay slur on the cake from Whole Foods was a hoax. That “YouTube prankster” who claimed he was thrown off the plane for speaking Arabic? Other passengers say he was being disruptive and was only thrown off for repeatedly shouting. There are lesser-covered cases, too: Vincent Palmer, 27, told detectives he taped a note with racial slurs and the words “KKK” and “Trump” written on it to his ex-girlfriend’s mailbox early Saturday before throwing a brick through her car window and dousing the back seat in gasoline because they were having problems over the custody of their children, according to an arrest report. In South Philadelphia, a group residents found racist, Nazi and pro-Trump graffiti spray-painted on their homes and cars the morning after the election. The perpetrator was a 58-year-old African-American man. It’s not just the Left, of course; a New York City firefighter said his house was set aflame because he had a “Blue Lives Matter” flag outside. Earlier this month, he was charged with arson, setting his own house on fire. Jim Geraghty wrote a good summary of all this in National Review, 23.12.16.

-Arab NYC college student lied to cops, claiming racists abducted him in harrowing robbery: A Queens college student who told cops he was thrown into a van and robbed by three masked men yelling racial slurs made up the chilling attack, police said Saturday. Police declined to provide details about why Farooqi lied, but said he recanted his entire story. No word on whether [or] not he will be charged with false reporting. NY Daily News, 27.5.17

-St. Olaf College’s president told the campus Wednesday that a fellow student confessed to writing a note with racist and threatening content and admitted that it was “fabricated” as an apparent “strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate”… The students had been protesting racism at the school in Northfield, Minn., since the weekend, when a black student reported having found a note on the windshield of her car that read: “I am so glad that you are leaving soon. One less n—– that this school has to deal with. You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up.” Samantha Wells, the black student who received the note, is believed to have written it, together with other similar notes. Star Tribune, 10.5.17

-A 52-year-old black man is being charged with destruction of property after allegedly getting caught spray-painting a swastika inside campus living quarters, Fox5 reported Oct. 16., 2017, Officials for the school discovered the swastika on a trash cart inside the fifth floor of Hagerstown Hall.

-In the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017, the otherwise quiet campus of Eastern Michigan University was hit by three ugly incidents of vandalism targeting blacks that rocked the community…. “It really has rocked our community,” Judith Kullberg, an EMU political scientist and president of the faculty senate told The Washington Post. “In this whole context of a very tense presidential election it has raised anxiety here considerably.” In the spring, a third racist message was left in a men’s restroom stall. Coming as other campuses were being hit by similar acts of what appeared to be hate vandalism, the incidents sparked protests and made national news. On Tuesday, the university was shaken again when police announced that a 29-year-old black man, a former student, had been charged with all three crimes… Campus police noted that they had committed more than 1,080 hours of time to investigating the incidents, with the help of the FBI and the Michigan State Police, among others. Washington Post, 24.10.17

-On Nov 7, 2017, Denver 7 News reported: Air Force Academy Prep School: Black cadet admitted to writing racist remarks on dorm doors – One of the black cadets allegedly targeted by racial slurs scrawled on a whiteboard at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School was responsible for the incident, Air Force Academy officials announced Tuesday. Officials say the cadet admitted to writing the messages on the whiteboard outside the dorm rooms of five black cadet candidates. The cadet is no longer at the school… The episode prompted a quick response by academy officials, including superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, who gave an impassioned speech condemning racism. (The same day, a linebacker named Jelani Bland was transferred to a different team, from Air Force)

-‘Date Your Own Kind.’ Man Put Racist Graffiti On His Own Car, Police Say By Associated Press Nov 7, 2017 (MANHATTAN, Kan.) — A black Kansas man has admitted he put racist graffiti on his own car as a Halloween prank that got out of hand, police said Monday. Photographs posted on social media Wednesday showed the car covered with racial slurs against blacks and messages that included “Go Home,” ”Date your own kind,” and “Die.” The vehicle, covered in graffiti scrawled with washable paint, was parked Wednesday at an apartment complex near Kansas State University and the incident fueled racial tensions at the university and in the community. An emergency meeting of the Black Student Union called that evening drew concerned administrators and community leaders as well as students. Kansas State held a Facebook Live event the next day with worried parents. The university stepped up patrols on campus. The FBI opened a civil rights investigation into a possible hate crime. But on Monday the Riley County Police Department issued a news release saying the 21-year-old owner of the vehicle, Dauntarius Williams, had told investigators that he was responsible for the graffiti.

-In October, a Jewish ceremonial tent was destroyed (in Kansas State University). Initially, it was investigated as anti-Semitic vandalism. Authorities later concluded the tent was damaged during inclement weather. Topeka Capital Journal, Nov 9, 2017.

-The vandalism at five Morristown-area churches with predominantly black congregations that were attacked on November 2017 was not motivated by bias, the Morris County Prosecutor said in a prepared statement Sunday evening. The damage was allegedly caused by one man, who was a former congregant of one of the churches, Fredric M. Knapp, the Morris County prosecutor, said. “As a result of the investigation, no evidence was obtained that would indicate this was a bias incident which legally requires purpose to intimidate a person or group based upon their protected class,” Knapp said. Zuri C. Towns, 45, of Morristown was arrested and charged with four fourth degree counts of criminal mischief, and one third degree count of criminal mischief. Morristown Daily record, 27.11.17.

-A sailor who claimed someone scrawled racial slurs on his bed aboard an aircraft carrier —sparking a viral Facebook post in the process — staged the incident himself, the Navy said Friday. Marquie Little, a 27-year-old African American seaman, posted photos to Facebook on Nov. 15 under an alias that showed his rack on the carrier George H.W. Bush covered in trash and racial slurs… The sailor’s Facebook post had drawn nearly 20,500 shares as of Friday… The Navy incident follows another one this fall at the Air Force Academy preparatory school, where racial slurs were found written on the dorm message boards of five black cadet candidates. The Air Force later said that one of those five black cadet candidates had admitted to writing the slurs. US Navy Times, 8.12.17

-Toronto police say an 11-year-old girl’s report of having her hijab cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school last week did not happen. Police had been investigating the alleged incident (after which PM Trudeau tweeted in support) as a hate crime and now say their investigation is concluded. Toronto National Post, 15.1.18

-On April 10, 2018, the Washington Post reported: Police in Prince William County said Tuesday that a report of an attack on a 13-year-old girl who wore a headscarf in Woodbridge was false. In a statement, police said a school resource officer and the department’s detectives found that the girl last week had “falsely reported” the incident, which they were investigating as a hate crime. According to authorities, the girl said a man had cursed at her, grabbed her arm and showed a knife near Jato Court and Riverview Lane. She said the man was black and had also called her a terrorist. Police said that “no altercation had occurred” and that the girl is expected to be charged with filing a false police report.

-Apr 25, 2018 – Authorities said a 34-year-old Florissant man has confessed to vandalizing a Jewish cemetery in University City. Alzado Harris (who is black, as it’s obvious in the picture that comes with the story) is charged with institutional vandalism. He is accused of toppling more than 120 gravestones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in February 2017. Prosecutors told News 4 he was drunk and mad at a friend who had just dropped him off near the cemetery. Prosecutors said a coat with Harris’ DNA on it was left at the cemetery and recently was matched to a DNA sample given by Harris when he was sent to prison last December on an unrelated charge… There is no evidence that the crime was racially, ethnically or religiously motivated, University police said.

-May 24, 2018: Daily Mail, UK: Black former student at Eastern Michigan University is ordered to pay $2,000 for scrawling racist KKK and anti-Black graffitti on campus in Sep. 2016.

-June 5, 2018: Houston police say there is no evidence to support the claims made last month by a teenager that white supremacists abducted him, injured him and threatened him. 13-year-old Zavion Parker claimed he was grabbed by an adult and four young men after stepping off his school bus. Zavion alleges he was robbed and beaten, all because of his race. He also said he was held at a property at gunpoint until he was able to escape. Michelle Lee, the teen’s mother, told Eyewitness News her son managed to escape the gun-wielding kidnappers. “The reason why they got him was because they said he was black. ‘You deserve to die.’ Exactly his words,” Lee told ABC13 in May. “Saying the dad had, like, a white muscle shirt on, and you could see it, was right here big as day. ‘I hate black people.'” But after a thorough investigation, the Houston Police Department now says the events as described did not occur, that the property Parker described had nothing to do with any crime. (KTRK)

-Aug 27, 2018: A story about a white man urinating on a 5-year-old black child and calling her a racial slur was fabricated, police said. Grand Rapids police and prosecutors late Friday, Aug. 24 said they determined the story was not valid and said no charges would be issued against a 60-year-old man arrested following the initial report on Wednesday. Police said several children, all 7 or younger, were playing together sometime before 6 p.m. Wednesday when one of the children urinated on the 5-year-old girl. Kent County prosecutors said the parents of the children, in talking with them, ultimately determined the children “concocted the story to avoid trouble.” (Michigan Live)

-Nov 5, 2018: This man is arrested, accused of a number of anti-semitic, allegedly neo-Nazi incidents all across New York. His name is James Polite, Google him. (Various sources). The arrest came days after the New York Times very obliquely reported that, of all of the anti-semitic incidents in the city since Trump was inaugurated, none can be traced back to the far-right. As a matter of fact, it appears that ethnic tensions within the city, unrelated to the white, non-Jewish population, are driving the rising occurrence of such events.

-Nov 8, 2018: For the second time in two years, the person who reported a written racist slur found on or near Kansas State University has admitted that it was a hoax, police said. Officers on Monday received a report of “a note using a racial slur posted on a door in the Jardine Apartment Complex,” K-State police said Thursday in a news release on Facebook. “Upon questioning, the person who reported the incident admitted to creating and posting the note to their own door,” K-State police said. The case marks the second time that police in Manhattan determined the person who reported an incident involving the N-word admitted to investigators that they fabricated it. In November 2017, Riley County police said that a man admitted he painted racist slurs on his own car. Wichita Eagle.

-Dec 1, 2018: A black college lacrosse player has been arrested in connection with two incidents of racist graffiti found in a dorm on the Goucher College campus in Maryland. Fynn Ajani Arthur (who actually looks birracial), a 21-year-old from Brunswick, Maine, was charged with two counts of malicious destruction of property on Thursday night in Baltimore County. His arrest came after graffiti aimed at black and Latino students was found on the second floor of a campus dorm, one floor above where similar graffiti had been found on November 14, Goucher College administrators said in a statement. Both incidents that shook the Towson campus involved backward swastikas and targeted specific individuals, according to the statement. Daily Mail.

-Jan. 9, 2019: Capital murder charges were filed against a second black man in the drive-by shooting of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, authorities in Houston said. Larry D. Woodruffe, 24, could face the death penalty in the Dec. 30 tragedy. Jazmine’s mother was driving Jazmine and her three sisters when they stopped at a light. A car rolled up and someone began shooting, killing Jazmine and wounding her mother, LaPorsha Washington, family members told police. The case drew international attention when family members said they believed the shooter was a white male, raising the spectre of a racial hate crime. USA Today.

-Feb. 21, 2019: Actor Jussie Smollett, known for his role on the TV show Empire, has been arrested and charged for allegedly filing a false police report after claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime. In late January, Smollett, who is black and gay, claimed he was ambushed outside of a Chicago restaurant by two unidentified suspects who approached him yelling homophobic and racist slurs. Smollett said the two assaulted him, poured an unknown chemical substance on him, and wrapped a rope around his neck. But in the weeks since the story first made headlines, the narrative has taken a number of twists and turns — from assumed tragedy to suspected hoax. In a news conference following Smollett’s arrest, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the actor was allegedly unhappy with his salary and the attack was staged for his benefit. Police say Smollett paid two men, one of whom he knew from Empire, $3,500 to fake the attack. Smollett stands by his initial claims. Meanwhile, the producers of Empire have said Smollett will no longer appear on the show. Vox

-Feb 25, 2019: When the home of Nikki Joly burned down in 2017, killing five pets, the FBI investigated it as a hate crime. After all, the transgender man [i.e., ex-woman] and gay rights activist had received threats after having a banner year in this conservative town. In the prior six months, he helped open the city’s first gay community center, organized the first gay festival and, after 18 years of failed attempts, helped lead a bruising battle for an ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gays. For his efforts, a local paper named him the Citizen of the Year. Authorities later determined the fire was intentionally set, but the person they arrested came as a shock to both supporters and opponents of the gay rights movement. It was the citizen of the year — Nikki Joly. Detroit News.

-March 24, 2019: An African-American man who told police he toppled more than 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in University City in 2017 because he was drunk, on drugs and mad at a friend was sentenced to three years probation and a suspended sentence. Alzado Harris was charged with the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in University City in February 2017.  Harris confessed to toppling about 120 gravestones at the cemetery sometime between Feb. 17 and Feb. 20, 2017, according to University City police. The crime captured the country’s attention and drew widespread condemnation. The vandalism came at a time when Jewish community centers nationwide were getting a string of bomb threats — threats a different St. Louis-area African-American man, a former journalist, eventually got a 5-year prison sentence for making. St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

-April 18, 2019: A Jewish Uptown resident who was charged with a hate crime for drawing swastikas in his neighborhood before Election Day last November has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of knowingly damaging property. Heath A. Levey, 52, was sentenced to 153 days time served and released after rendering his plea to the reduced charge last week. Levey was charged with hate crime after neighbors identified him as the man who drew swastikas and references to the CIA on their property in the 800 block of West Eastwood and another nearby home on Nov. 2nd, four days before the mid-term elections. At the time of Levey’s arrest, CWBChicago reported exclusively that he had also been arrested in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election. An Uptown woman accused him of forcing open her front gate, “stomping hard on the ground while menacingly charging” toward her front door while shouting, “I’m going to rape you, you f*cking Republican! I’m calling the CIA! I’m going to kill all the women and children!” Levey reached a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to damaging the woman’s gate while the state dropped assault charges. He was sentenced to 18 months probation and fined $265. Friends of Levey on Facebook, contacted by CWBChicago in November, said he comes from a Jewish family and has been a professed Democrat for years. CWBChicago.

-April 24, 2019: An anti-Semitic attack originally called “the most brazen” the city had seen was staged by the owners of the restaurant that reported it, Winnipeg police say. All three members of the family that owns BerMax Caffé and Bistro on Corydon Avenue have been arrested and charged with public mischief since the incident was initially reported last week. The family, however, insists they didn’t fake anything. “We didn’t, because we don’t joke about swastikas on our walls,” OxanaBerent said in an interview with Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Manitoba’s afternoon radio show, Up to Speed. n Thursday evening, police responded to a report of an assault at the restaurant. A woman said she’d been assaulted, and the restaurant was spray-painted with hateful graffiti, police said. CBC News.

-July 12, 2019: Far-left (UK) Labour party MP David Lammy (who is black) has been accused of writing “racist hate letters” to himself. In a video from YouTuber “The Academic Agent,” he argued that several of the letters Lammy received have the same handwriting and it looks awfully similar to Lammy’s own. Information Liberation.

-July 23, 2019: A witness to a heated grocery store encounter between  (black) state Rep. Erica Thomas and a (white Latino) man she accused of uttering racist comments told authorities she didn’t hear him make those remarks, according to a Cobb County police report. A Publix employee told a Cobb County officer that she witnessed part of the conversation and heard Thomas “continuously tell Eric Sparkes to ‘Go back where you came from!’” but did not hear Sparkes utter those words to Thomas. In a tearful video, Thomas accused Sparkes of using that phrase, which echoes a tweet by President Donald Trump that sparked a national uproar. Her account quickly went viral and triggered a wave of support and backlash.Sparkes admitted to calling the Democrat an expletive during the run-in, saying he was upset she was at an express aisle in the grocery store with too many items, but he said he didn’t tell her to “go back” to where she came from. AJC.

-Sep 15, 2019: Ex-NFL player painted slurs on walls, staged fake hate crime at his business, cops say, to the point that he destroyed the business.

-Sep 30, 2019: A 12-year-old African-American girl who claimed three white classmates pinned her down and cut her dreadlocks has admitted the claims were fabricated, her school said. “We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false,” Stephen Danish, head of Immanuel Christian School, said in a statement Monday. Last week, the girl, Amari Allen, told CNN that three white boys at the school in Springfield, Virginia, pinned her to a playground slide. She claimed the boys held her hands behind her back, covered her mouth and clipped her hair, calling it “ugly” and “nappy.” New York Times.

-(Followup from Oct 2, 2019) Reporter Behind False Dreadlock Story Promoted Family’s Beauty Products Before Viral Hate Crime Allegation: Mikea Turner, a local TV reporter in Washington, D.C., was the first to report the discredited story of A* Allen, a 12-year-old black girl who said white classmates cut off her dreadlocks while calling her an “attention-seeker.” Turner spent the hours before the supposed attack advocating for a “natural” hair law that would criminalize discrimination based on dreadlocks, then used the incident as evidence for why such a law should be enacted. The Daily Caller.

-Nov 11, 2019 (Finland): Social Democratic Party politician and Helsinki city councillor Abdirahim “Husu” Hussein has admitted to fabricating a story about removing a passenger from his taxi after being verbally attacked. On Monday Hussein retracted his story and apologised for lying. He wrote in a tweet that as a decision-maker he should act honestly and acknowledged that he had betrayed voters’ trust. “I apologise for my actions and for lying. As a decision-maker it is my duty to be honest. I depend on my voters’ trust and I have now broken that trust. I shall do everything I can to restore trust in my actions,” Hussein said. “The [SDP] council group will decide on disciplinary action and I will accept the consequences,” he added. Yle was not able to reach Hussein for comment.

-Dec. 5, 2019: On the Sunday morning after the 2016 election, gay organist Nathan Stang had discovered the church’s walls defaced with black spray paint: a swastika, along with the words “Heil Trump” and “Fag Church.” The graffiti in rural Indiana became a national sensation, part of a string of high-profile hate crime reports in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. Late-night television host Stephen Colbert featured an image of one of the tagged walls during a monologue. The church’s priest, the Rev. Kelsey Hutto, appeared on CNN to champion the values of St. David’s, an island of liberalism in conservative Brown County. Turns out that Stang, who was mad about his mother voting for Trump, painted the graffiti himself. Washington Post. http://archive.is/2Gbx5#selection-2085.141-2089.411

-July 8, 2020: An Oregon politician has confessed to penning a racist letter to himself after he initially claimed it was anonymously sent to him, authorities said. Jonathan Lopez, who is Latino and was a recent candidate for Umatilla County commissioner, claimed he discovered the hate-filled missive in his mailbox on June 23, the East Oregonian reported. On his now-deleted Facebook account, he shared a photo of the letter, which said that Lopez and other “Mexicans” were “not welcome here,” according to local news station KEPR-TV. “Don’t waste your time trying to become anything in this county we will make sure you never win and your family suffers along with all the other f–king Mexicans in the area!” the letter said. Lopez wrote in the post that he “holds no resentment for whomever wrote this,” the outlet reported. New York Post.

-Oct 2, 2020: Madison police announced Friday they have not been able to corroborate allegations made by a biracial Monona woman that she was burned by four white men in Downtown Madison in June in what was initially reported as a hate crime and garnered national and international attention. Althea Bernstein, 18, told police someone sprayed lighter fluid on her and set her on fire in the early morning hours of June 24 after one of the men yelled a racial epithet. But on Friday, the police department said it was closing the case because “after an exhaustive probe, detectives were unable to corroborate or locate evidence consistent with what was reported.” The case was also investigated by the FBI and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and in its own statement Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin said that “after reviewing all available evidence, authorities could not establish that the attack, as alleged by the complainant, had occurred.” Wisconsin State-Journal.

-Dec 31, 2020: A 39-year-old Jewish man was charged with burglary and criminal mischief as a hate crime Thursday in connection with derogatory graffiti found on four Brooklyn synagogues, police said. Emil Benjamin of Brooklyn was accused of scrawling graffiti with a marker pen in the early morning hours of Saturday. Police said he also entered one synagogue, damaged two cabinets and stole $20. It was unclear if Benjamin has an attorney to comment. Benjamin was the victim of an anti-Semitic crime himself in 2011, according to the Daily News. He was stabbed after being subjected to anti-Semitic taunts on a Brooklyn subway train. Two men were charged with assault, but not a hate crime. Benjamin was charged in 2016 with stealing four Torah scrolls during a synagogue burglary, the Daily News reported. The scrolls were returned and Benjamin got a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to petty larceny. AP

-Feb 26, 2021: In midsummer of 2018, Oumou Kanoute, a Black student at Smith College, recounted a distressing American tale: She was eating lunch in a dorm lounge when a janitor and a campus police officer walked over and asked her what she was doing there. The officer, who could have been carrying a “lethal weapon,” left her near “meltdown,” Ms. Kanoute wrote on Facebook, saying that this encounter continued a yearlong pattern of harassment at Smith. “All I did was be Black,” Ms. Kanoute wrote. “It’s outrageous that some people question my being at Smith College, and my existence overall as a woman of color.” The college’s president, Kathleen McCartney, offered profuse apologies and put the janitor on paid leave. “This painful incident reminds us of the ongoing legacy of racism and bias,” the president wrote, “in which people of color are targeted while simply going about the business of their ordinary lives.” The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN picked up the story of a young female student harassed by white workers. The American Civil Liberties Union, which took the student’s case, said she was profiled for “eating while Black.” Less attention was paid three months later when a law firm hired by Smith College to investigate the episode found no persuasive evidence of bias. Ms. Kanoute was determined to have eaten in a deserted dorm that had been closed for the summer; the janitor had been encouraged to notify security if he saw unauthorized people there. The officer, like all campus police, was unarmed. Smith College officials emphasized “reconciliation and healing” after the incident. In the months to come they announced a raft of anti-bias training for all staff, a revamped and more sensitive campus police force and the creation of dormitories — as demanded by Ms. Kanoute and her A.C.L.U. lawyer — set aside for Black students and other students of color. But they did not offer any public apology or amends to the workers whose lives were gravely disrupted by the student’s accusation. The New York Times.

-April 9, 2021: Albion College and the Albion Department of Public Safety say a student is responsible for racist graffiti found in a dorm last weekend. Albion police brought the 21-year-old Black male in for questioning on April 6, according to Chief Scott Kipp. The student admitted to creating most of the graffiti, and video evidence from Albion’s Campus Safety Department confirms the statements made by the student, Kipp said. The student was released after questioning, Kipp said. Once the investigation is complete, the information will be submitted to the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office for any charges related to the incident, he said. The graffiti, which included racist epithets and multiple references to the Klu Klux Klan, was discovered in a stairwell inside Mitchell Towers on Friday, April 2, university officials said. Pictures of the graffiti were posted by City Watch NEWS Group on its Facebook page. In a series of tweets Wednesday evening, April 7, college officials said the student was acting alone and acknowledged responsibility for the incidents. The student was immediately removed from campus and placed on temporary suspension while the college conducts a full investigation as part of its student judicial process, college officials said. Mlive.

-April 17, 2021: A high school student from Minnesota has spoken out about being falsely accused of sending vile racist messages to black classmates, after the incident was exposed as a hoax. Avery Severson, a sophomore at White Bear Lake High School near St. Paul, was falsely accused of sending the racist direct messages, prompting outrage and a student walkout. But school officials said that an FBI investigation revealed that the female student who created the hateful messages wanted ‘to raise awareness of social and racial injustice’ by staging the stunt. They refused to name the true perpetrator. ‘I had an escort walk me to and from class. I just felt unsafe in my community. Adults were even posting the screenshots’ of the racist messages she was blamed for, Avery said. Avery explained that for about a year, she had been attempting to organize a campus chapter of Turning Point USA, the conservative youth group. School officials told her she needed to gather at least 20 students before she could start the club. ‘And the last couple of weeks, we got close to that number and then these rumors online started going around about me, accusing me of sending racist, terrible, hateful messages to a black student at my school with no evidence pointing to me,’ Avery said. Screenshots first published by WCCO-TV show the racist Instagram messages sent by the anonymous account @GoWhiteBear, a reference to the school name. Daily Mail.

-April 19, 2021: Viterbo student who reported racist incidents, an African American, accused of starting fire in residential hall. La Crosse Tribune. According to a later story on The College Fix, her name was Victoria Unanka.

-June 12, 2021: A black student who said she was the victim of multiple attacks because of her race has been identified as a primary suspect in the alleged vandalism, according to a police report obtained by The College Fix under the Freedom of Information Act. The Wayne State University Police Department said it spent “at minimum 200 man hours” investigating the alleged incidents that occurred in February and March 2021. Zoriana Martinez alleged that on February 16 and March 1 someone threw eggs at her residence hall door. She also said someone tore down her LGBT Pride sticker and stole a photo of her dog. This happened “all because [she was] a black person living in their space,” she said. The video appears to be created from several Instagram videos and the audio issues are from the original videos. But the police have concluded that she likely perpetrated the incident herself to obtain a leadership position in the Black Student Union. The College Fix.

-Aug 30, 2021: The president of Lyon College in Batesville, Ark., resigned in Aug. 2021 following outrage over an interview he gave to The Chronicle of Higher Education in which he discussed white supremacist activity in the area surrounding the college town. W. Joseph King characterized Lyon, a private liberal arts institution, and another college in Virginia where he formerly worked as “bubbles of inclusion and of diversity surrounded by a sea of angry, disenfranchised populations and a large white-supremacist population,” according to the July 26 Chronicle article. “Both colleges have had to deal with active Klan chapters in the area.” King is also is quoted saying that his home was vandalized with a spray-painted expletive following a meeting with students in which he told them to expect to find their political beliefs challenged. He also said that the Lyon campus had to go into effective lockdown after pro-Trump rallies in Arkansas during the fall of 2020 brought crowds bearing Confederate flags and neo-Nazi symbols. The article originally said King suggested that the Trump rally happened in Batesville, a fact disputed by the Batesville police chief, who told a local broadcaster the rally and the alleged vandalism at King’s house never happened. King said in an Aug. 21 statement that the Chronicle article, which had been published nearly a month earlier, had misquoted him as saying the rally was in Batesville, and that he was working with the article’s author on a correction. The Chronicle issued a correction Aug. 24 updating the record but denying any misquote: “A description by Lyon College’s President Joey King of fall-2020 campaign gatherings in support of Donald Trump refers to events elsewhere in Arkansas, not in Batesville, as King erroneously said earlier,” the correction reads. The Chronicle reported Friday that the article’s author had contacted King in May to fact-check the account and that King wrote to the article’s author last week to say he’d erred in not flagging the incorrect information during the fact-checking process. Inside Higher Ed.




About David Roman

Communicator. I tweet @dromanber.
This entry was posted in Bad Propaganda and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to On the Use of Racism as Propaganda

  1. Pingback: The 21st Century Dystopia & Its Defining Characteristics | Neotenianos

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