Old-fashioned peckerwood-trash racists are in short supply (and very much out of fashion) today, especially on college campuses. When they do show up, the response of college administrations is generally swift and severe: The drunken idiot kid at Mizzou who used a racial slur to refer to some of his fellow students was immediately banned from the campus “pending the outcome of the conduct process,” and it’s unlikely he’ll ever be permitted to return. (Which is fine by me, incidentally: Colleges ought to expect a certain standard of behavior from their students, and expulsion is a perfectly acceptable means of enforcing those standards.) When a student at another college made a racist threat on the messaging app YikYak, University of Missouri police had him behind bars the next day. Compare that with the treatment of Professor Melissa Click, who assaulted a student journalist (the crime is caught on video) on the campus and attempted to arouse protesters to mob violence against him but remains comfortably ensconced in her professorship rather than in jail, despite the student’s having filed a police complaint. Anything with a hint of bigotry to it is prioritized.

(Some bigotry, anyway: Casual black anti-Semitism is generally permitted to fly under the radar.)

In an environment like that, the racial-grievance entrepreneur is reduced to making things up: A racist death threat similar to the one made at the University of Missouri was made at a college in Michigan — by a black student, as it turns out. Phony acts of racist vandalism and manufactured hate crimes on campus are common, probably more common than actual acts of racist vandalism. Missouri students rage about the Ku Klux Klan, whose most prominent act in Missouri in recent memory was adopting a stretch of Interstate 55. The new enemy is attested to by spectral evidence: privilege, invisible but pervasive white supremacy, patriarchy, microaggression.