Reporter Andy Ngo: The list of fake hate crimes is pretty long (Update)

The Jussie Smollett investigation seems to have turned a corner over the past few days, but police haven’t issued a definitive statement yet. Regardless of what happens next, now seems like a good moment to remember that high-profile hate hoaxes have become a fairly common occurrence in the Trump era. Reporter Andy Ngo started a list on Twitter over the weekend and continued it this morning:

Surely, we’re near the end of this list by now? Nope. We’re only halfway.

What’s really amazing about this long list is that it’s still not complete. Remember the Air Force Academy prep school where racist graffiti was found? That was big news when it happened. That incident also turned out to be a hoax. The person responsible was one of the black students who was supposedly targeted by the graffiti.

How about the Odessa, Texas waiter who claimed someone had written “We don’t Tip Terrorist” in lieu of a tip on a $108 tab. It later turned out he wrote the note himself.

There was also a fake anti-Muslim hate crime last January in Canada. An 11-year-old girl in Toronto claimed someone had cut off her hijab as she walked to school. The attack was quickly condemned by the Mayor and the Prime Minister. Police eventually revealed it never happened. A very similar hoax took place in Virginia a few months later. This time the girl was 13-years-old and claimed someone had grabbed her, threatened her with a knife and ripped off her hijab. Police concluded that never happened either.

And who can forget the Whole Foods hoax? A pastor in Austin claimed Whole Foods had written a gay slur on his cake. He filed a lawsuit and the media was all over the story. Everything changed when Whole Foods revealed they had the whole thing on video. Suddenly the pastor apologized and admitted the company “did nothing wrong.

Let’s wrap this up with the three black students at SUNY in Albany who claimed they’d been victims of a hate crime by white people during a ride on a bus in January 2016. The University President published a letter expressing his concern over the attack. A rally was held on campus which drew as many as 300 people to support the victims. Even Hillary Clinton tweeted about the incident. After reviewing video from the bus, police concluded the three young women were not victims of a hate crime but had instead instigated a racial incident against a white student on the bus (who they referred to as a “white b*tch).

Obviously, I’m not saying that there aren’t real hate crimes taking place out there. But there’s no doubt that in the last three years we’ve seen quite a few high-profile hoaxes which, at the time they happened, were embraced by people on the left as a sign that a climate of hate was sweeping the nation. Some people, and maybe Jussie Smollett is one of them, seem so eager to prove their political opponents are villains they’ll stage a hoax to prove it. That’s a shame because a) they are smearing a lot of innocent people and b) they make it harder on the next person who reports a real hate crime.

Update: I didn’t include it above but the Covington Catholic story pretty much fits this list too. Nathan Phillips’ account of what happened was that this was a racist mob about to enact a hate crime. either against him or the Black Hebrew Israelites. In fact, most of what he said about the incident was a lie. His group and the Black Hebrews were the aggressors, not the other way around.