The year 2015 saw an absolutely bumper crop of fake hate crimes, fictional racist events, bogus claims of anti-gay animus and comically sad misunderstandings about innocent symbols.
It’s hard to know where to start. America’s precious-snowflake college students and various hangers-on came up with so many incidents ranging from definitively fake to almost certainly fake. The best thing to do is just kick back, relax and enjoy 2015’s greatest hits of hoaxes in all their dumb glory.
1. Delusional students at the University of Missouri were so dizzy with racism they saw imaginary Ku Klux Klan hoods. In November, following the forced resignation of the university president, an attack on student journalists attempting to cover protests, a poop swastika, a brief strike by 32 football players and a six-day hunger strike by the fancypants-rich-boy son of a millionaire railroad executive, hysterical students created a bogus rumor that the Ku Klux Klan was roaming campus. It was a Tuesday night. Twitter began to explode with students and others claiming that KKK members had been spotted walking around Mizzou’s flagship Columbia campus. The rumors appear to have been given major life after the student body president, Payton Head, made a Facebook post declaring that the KKK sighting had been confirmed and that he was actively working with police and even the National Guard on the matter. (RELATED: Mizzou Students Hallucinate KKK On Campus)
2. A Columbia University student pitched a fit and cried racism because she couldn’t get into a Yale frat party. A Halloween party thrown by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapter at Yale University caused a huge fracas after a Columbia student visiting campus claimed she was denied entry because it was “white girls only.” The Columbia student, Sofia Petros-Gouin, said an SAE member repeatedly declared “White girls only” and only permitted white women — specifically blonde white women — to enter. “I was shocked,” Petros-Gouin told gullible Washington Post reporter Susan Svrluga. “I was disgusted.” Later, the fraternity’s president said another Yale student hocked a loogie on him. Also, Yale students insulted black SAE members by calling them “Uncle Toms.” Yale officials opened an official investigation. They conducted scores of interviews. About a month later, school officials concluded that exactly no racism had actually occurred at the frat’s Halloween party. “Before the party became crowded, all students — including men and women of color — were admitted on a first-come, first-served basis,” a Yale dean wrote. Later, when the party was hopping and people started queueing outside to get in, frat members began turning people away with “harsh language” — but no racism.
3. Students at the University of Delaware freaked out because they thought the remains of lanterns hanging from a tree were nooses. Pandemonium struck students and administrators alike at the University of Delaware in November after students claimed they discovered at least three nooses hanging from trees after a Black Lives Matter rally. The alleged nooses were found dangling from a tree on the quad. A police investigation was rapidly launched. Once police officers actually took a close look at the “nooses,” they “determined that the three noose-like items found outside Mitchell Hall were not instruments of a hate crime, but the remnants of paper lanterns from an event previously held on The Green,” as the president of the public school duly explained. After the “hate crime” was exposed as a total non-event, school officials doubled on the necessity of fighting hate on campus. (RELATED: University Of Delaware Outraged Over Non-Existent Hate Crime)
4. A foreign student hung a noose at Duke University for totally non-racial reasons but the school collectively cracked up, anyway. An incident similar to the one at the University of Delaware occurred in April at Duke University when a foreign student left what appeared to a noose hanging from a tree. The student had acted out of “ignorance and bad judgment,” school officials said. The unidentified student was punished in an unspecified way. The student also publicly apologized. “[S]omething that I made out of a piece of yellow cord I found, for what I considered at the time to be innocent fun, was instead taken for something so terrible,” the student wrote. “My purpose in hanging the noose was merely to take some pictures with my friends together with the noose, and then texting it to some others inviting them to come and ‘hang out’ with us — because it was such a nice day outside. If there was ever a pun with unintended consequences — this was certainly one.” (RELATED: Noose Found Hanging At Duke University)
5. Someone slapped easily-removable black tape over portraits of black professors at Harvard Law School. In November, some unknown person went to Wasserstein Hall at Harvard Law School and carefully placed strips of very-easily-removable black tape over portraits of black professors. Naturally, many Harvard students quickly labeled the incident as a savage hate crime showing the horror lurking beneath the surface at the venerated Ivy League bastion. However, several aspects of the “hate crime” suggest it is likely a big hoax. One particularly noteworthy red flag is that the black tape used to deface the portraits appears to be identical to tape previously used by activists affiliated with a group called “Royall Must Fall” to tape over a Harvard Law seal. The Harvard Law Record’s write-up of the kerfuffle indicates the taped-over seal was noticed the same morning as the taped-over faces, suggesting that the alleged hate criminal either retaliated extremely quickly, or else was responding to something so obscure it had gone unnoticed thus far. (RELATED: Harvard Students Decry ‘Hate Crime’ After Tape Found On Black Profs’ Portraits)
6. Two students at Calvin College used snow to draw swastikas and the words “white power” on cars. In late November, Calvin College — a small liberal arts college in Michigan — endured a small scandal when swastikas and the words “white power” were found written on several cars using snow. Two students confessed to the deed, but their names, motivations and punishments haven’t been revealed. In all likelihood, the stunt was either a hoax intended to show evidence of intolerance or a poorly conceived prank rather than an act of hate. The tempest in Calvin College’s teapot caused Joseph Kuilema, a social work professor at the school, to pen a column in the school newspaper accusing his students and fellow faculty members of being white supremacists for failing to accept the notion of “white privilege.” Kuilema also charged that the school itself and, in fact, the entire state of Michigan only exist because of white privilege. (RELATED: Professor Blames White Privilege For The Existence Of Michigan)
7. A gay man falsely claimed fraternity members kicked him out of a party because he is gay — and choked him and stripped him. In August, an 18-year-old gay man alleged that members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at the University of North Dakota threw him out of a party because he is gay. The man, Haakon Gisvold, also claimed that Lambda Chi members beat him, choked him, stripped him and robbed him — all while shouting anti-gay insults. He said he hid in some bush wearing only his underwear until some kind soul came along with some clothes. “I just want those guys to learn from this,” Gisvold said at the time, according to a comically naive Huffington Post story. After an investigation that included identifying 150 possible witnesses, investigators concluded that exactly zero evidence exists to support any of Gisvold’s hate-crime allegations. In reality, a frat member explained, Gisvold became belligerent because he was asked to leave. Investigators asked the county prosecutor to file a criminal charge against Gisvold for providing false information to police. (RELATED: SURPRISE! Another ‘Anti-Gay’ Hate Crime Turns Out To Be A Big Hoax)
8. A black student threatened to murder 16 “white devils” at the University of Chicago. In December, University of Illinois at Chicago student Jabari Dean was arrested for allegedly threatening to murder 16 white people at the University of Chicago. Police say Dean promised in a screed on the website worldstarhiphop.com to show up on the University of Chicago quad “with a M-4 Carbine and 2 Desert Eagles all fully loaded” to “execute aproximately (sic) 16 white male students and or staff” in response to the shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago cop. “This is not a joke,” Dean wrote, according to investigators. “I am to do my part to rid the world of the white devils.” Officials at the University of Chicago cancelled all classes for a day after the threat. U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox later discharged Dean, 21, into his mother’s custody. (RELATED: College Kid Who Said He’d Kill 16 ‘White Devils’ At U. Chicago Released To His Mommy’s Custody)
9. A black student threatened to ‘shoot every black person’ on campus on Yik Yak. The same basic story which unfolded in Chicago also occurred at Saginaw Valley State University in central Michigan. In November, black student Emmanuel D. Bowden took to Yik Yak to declare: “I’m going to shoot every black person I can on campus. Starting tomorrow morning.” Upon receiving highly negative feedback on the social media app, police say, Bowden backtracked with messages saying “I’m black” and “I was going to give it an hour to see how you all would react.” Bowden was charged with making a false report on a threat of terrorism and appears to have experienced some difficulty getting bailed out of jail. (RELATED: Guy Who Threatened To ‘Shoot Every Black’ Kid On Campus… Is Black)
10. Rachel Dolezal’s son concocted a fake hate crime to avoid getting in trouble for accidentally breaking wine bottles at a grocery store. In February, one of Rachel Dolezal’s two sons claimed to be the victim of menacing racial harassment. The son and his friend claimed to have been walking down the aisles of an Albertsons supermarket when two men accosted them, yelling, “Hey you nigger.” The boys were scared, they said. They fled. In the process, they claimed, they knocked over some wine bottles. “I did request and receive security video from Albertsons,” the investigating officer explained. “The video shows [redacted] walking into the store through the north entrance. No one is seen following them into the store. Cameras do show them casually walking around in the store. They are not running and do not appear to be upset in any way. [Redacted] is playing with a basketball as they walk around the store. As they walk down the wine aisle, [redacted] is still playing with the ball… They appear extremely calm. They appear to be playing around, and [redacted] can be seen jumping into the air pretending to dunk the basketball. When he lands, he appears to lose his balance and he falls into a wine display. Numerous bottles of wine fall to the ground and break.” After this accident, the officer said, the two boys reported the problem to a store employee and quickly left, still showing no signs of flight from menacing white men.
11. A black graduate student posted “White Only” and “Black Only” signs near bathrooms and water fountains. Students at the State University of New York at Buffalo expressed outraged after what appeared to be a “hate crime” turned out to instead be an art project intended to “expose white privilege.” On a September morning, students awoke to discover “White Only” and “Black Only” signs posted near bathrooms and water fountains around campus. The signs were almost immediately torn down by students, but the incident stoked outrage among the school’s black community. The police were summoned, and over 100 students showed up to a meeting that night to discuss the signs. Turns out, black graduate student Ashley Powell admitted she had posted the signs as part of an “art project.” (A similar incident occurred in December at a small public high school in Indiana.) At the University at Buffalo, Powell, the black artist, later submitted a leviathan 2,145-word statement to the student newspaper justifying her action and attributing it to “white privilege.” (RELATED: Read A Student’s Absurd Justification For Her ‘White Only’ Art Project)
12. A black graduate of Kean University used a school computer to threaten to “shoot every black woman and male” on campus. The 24-year-old graduate, Kayla-Simone McKelvey, was charged with creating a false public alarm after reportedly making death threats and bomb threats against black students and professors. The arrest occurred in December. Police say McKelvey, who is black and a self-described race activist, used Twitter and a computer at the taxpayer-funded New Jersey school. McKelvey reportedly chose the Twitter handle @keanuagainstblk (Kean University against black) to make the threats, which included a promise to “shoot every black woman and male.” Police said McKelvey also tweeted: “kean university twitter against blacks is for everyone who hates blacks people.” Kean University is famous for its $219,000 table made in China and for openly advertising a preference for hiring members of the official Communist Party for jobs at its satellite campus in China. (RELATED: Black Activist Made Death Threats To Black Students, Faculty)
(Photos: Creative Commons/Image Editor, YouTube screenshot/YaleCampus, YouTube screenshot/GASP ! HOLLYWOOD, YouTube screenshot/Duke University, YouTube screenshot/WCVB Channel 5 Boston, WOODTV screenshot, Getty Images, Getty Images/stevegeer, YouTube screenshot/NEWS News, YouTube screenshot/MSNBC, Getty Images/Buyenlarge, YouTube screenshot/KeanStudentMedia)