The Year in Hate Crime Hoaxes

As far as year end wrap ups go in the right blogosphere, 2013’s dizzying number of hate crime hoaxes seem to be soaking up much of attention.  I of course honor the wacky left perpetrators of hoaxes who so believe in the ever present danger of racism, sexism, and homophobia that they deliberately went out of their way to create the fear of racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Oprah Winfrey at her 50th birthday party at Ho...

Oprah Winfrey at her 50th birthday party at Hotel Bel Air (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no good way to rank these in terms of “best hoax.”  But I thought I would list a few of my favorites.  These are the ones that tickled my fancy in some way, either through the oddness of the accusations or the gullibility of everyone involved no matter how unlikely the scenario of a “hate crime” these seemed to be.  This, of course is not an all inclusive list.  This year, that would be impossible as our hoaxers were out in full force, bringing attention to whatever their pet cause by the most logical means possible for leftists: fraud.  As always, read the comments to these linked stories.  Some people sniff these out as fakes immediately and others are totally incredulous.

Jenny Harding of Guernsey, NJ, claimed that her dog Alice was the victim of a homophobic attack (aimed at Ms Harding I presume, not the dog).  The dog was attacked with a hammer and lost an eye.   However after a little police investigation, “police said this morning that they were no longer looking for anyone in connection with the attack. “  And of course, the dead giveaway, “Ms. Harding tells us she wishes to withdraw her allegations and would like all donations offered by sympathizers to be returned.”  Apparently Ms. Harding is a serial hoaxer and has a record of making similar complaints.

Oleander Cuthrell, the minister of Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg, VA, was arrested on arson charges after setting both his house and car on fire after painting racial slurs on the side of his house.  The motive seems obvious in this case.  The good reverend’s parents named him Oleander.

A black high school student (unidentified due to age), running for Student President received racist text messages urging him to drop out of the race apparently was the one who sent those same text messages.  When you text yourself, would that be a “textie?”  Although the race for student President at Saint Peter’s Preparatory School didn’t work out for our aspiring candidate, it seems like a viable campaign tactic (Hillary take notice!)

Andrea Brazier, apparently spray painted the N word on her own house in order to (and the motive is just speculation at this point) pin the blame on football players at her son’s school who were bullying her son.  This generated a vigil of support and the cancellation of the football team’s remaining season.  Next time Andrea, be sure and get rid of the incriminating spray cans before calling the police.

This year there was not one but two hoax restaurant receipts. Toni Jenkins, a waitress at Red Lobster, posted a picture to her Facebook, showing a receipt with no tip but the N word once again scribbled on the receipt. Unfortunately the person who actually left the receipt took exception to being categorized as a racist, particularly after he began receiving threats when the story went nationwide. His attorney hired a handwriting expert that cleared him and his wife.  But racism pays, and Jenkins received $11,000 in donations.  With that sort of payday, it’s a wonder there isn’t more.

Well maybe there will be.  There was another restaurant receipt hoax immediately after the Red Lobster one.  Dayna Morales was a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in New Jersey, who also posted a receipt on Facebook showing no tip but a lesson in morality, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not approve of your lifestyle.” But just like the Red Lobster customer, people don’t like being smeared and the family in question contacted news media to inform them that they did tip, and provided the credit card charge to prove it.  In fact, the husband involved stated that he didn’t even vote for Chris Christie because of his lack of support for gay marriage.  Eventually Morales was fired from the restaurant.  Although she said that she would donate her donations (why are people sending money to these frauds?) to the Wounded Warrior project, I doubt Wounded Warriors will be holding their breath.

Charlie Rodgers (Charlie is a girl), an ex college basketball star who made the false claim that she was raped by attackers who carved anti gay slurs into her.  Under the slightest bit of police investigation, the story fell apart and wonder of wonders; she actually got jail time for it.  But I direct you to the dedication she showed to her craft:  she actually carved anti gay slogans into her own skin.  That’s dedication to the cause.  I’m not into giving awards or rating these hoaxes, but if there was a Tawana Brawley award for willing to go the distance to pull off a hoax, I believe Ms. Rodgers would make the short list for that.

But why, you may ask, not the winner?  Could there be another candidate with similar dedication?  You’re darn right!  May I present, Morgan Triplet.  She was determined to have the best presentation at the University of California-Santa Cruz Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues by announcing she was a victim of rape, a real one.  As reported:

“Prosecutors said Friday that Triplett allegedly placed two ads on Craigslist, one requesting someone to shoot her in the shoulder with a small caliber gun in exchange for sex. The second ad was a request for someone to punch, kick and bruise her in exchange for sex. In the ads, placed in the Santa Cruz County region of Craigslist, Triplett also stated that she would not file charges.”

That’s definitely being a good sport about the whole thing.

So she got her rape, but is it really rape when you volunteer for it?  Tricky legal issues, but what wasn’t tricky was that she filed a false police report.

This one gets an honorable mention, if only because we never get to a satisfying conclusion, we’re only left to go “hmmm…”

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most powerful women in entertainment in the world, recounted her heartbreaking tale of struggle of being beaten down by racism while shopping in Switzerland:

Oprah told Entertainment Tonight this week that while in Zurich, Switzerland for Tina Turner’s wedding in July, she walked into a shop and a handbag behind the counter caught her eye.

While many average shoppers might hesitate to lay hands on a bag with worth close to $40,000, Oprah says she asked to see it, but the shopkeeper said, “No. It’s too expensive.”

Oprah — who made $77 million in the last year alone, according to Forbes magazine – told ET’s Nancy O’Dell she asked to see the bag at least two more times, but the shopkeeper refused to take it off the shelf and suggested other, cheaper bags instead.

“One more time, I tried. I said, ‘But I really do just want to see that one,’ and the shopkeeper said, ‘Oh, I don’t want to hurt your feelings,’ and I said, ‘Okay, thank you so much. You’re probably right, I can’t afford it.’ And I walked out of the store,” Oprah recounted.

Normally that would be the end of the story.  Oprah said, it, it happened, get over it.  However this time, the powerless shop girl fought back, calling Oprah a liar.

 “This is not true. This is absurd. I would never say something like that to a customer. Really, never. Good manners and politeness are the Alpha and the Omega in this business,” the woman told SonntagsBlick.

“It is absolutely not true that I declined to show her the bag on racist grounds. I even asked her if she wanted to look at the bag,” the woman said.

“I didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV. … If it had all taken place as she claimed, why has she not complained the next day at the wedding of Tina Turner with Trudie Goetz, my boss? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest. I don’t understand it. … I spoke to Oprah Winfrey in English. My English is OK but not excellent, unfortunately. … I didn’t know who she was when she came into the store. That wouldn’t have made any difference if I had.”

So someone challenged the Oprah.  An American would know enough to realize that the only honorable course after displeasing The Oprah is Seppuku.  These primitive Swiss know nothing of honor!  Instead…Oprah apologized…sort of.  At least she backpedaled, making excuses for the shopgirl.   Naturally no media outlet wanted to follow up on this but given that she was telling this story while doing promotion for the movie, The Butler, one has to wonder if she was supplying a racial incident to complement a racial movie.  Eh, as I said, we are only left saying “hmmm…”

Again, I’m not giving awards, but if there was an Academy of Hate Hoaxes, it’s hard to imagine that the Oberlin College Race Hoax wouldn’t win hoax of the year.  A brief summary of the hoax is as follows:  On the morning of March 4th Oberlin student Sunceray Tabler saw, or thought she saw, a hooded KKK Klansman wandering the campus.  This is a fairly preposterous, but there was already agitation on the campus due to racist graffiti being found on various spots around campus.  The school handled things in a manner that only makes sense to the academic left.  They cancelled classes for the day and held teach in’s on the usual, diversity, racism, sexism, and homophobia.

But Oberlin was silent on the issue and it took reporters to pull the police report and find out that the student graffiti was committed by two committed student leftists.  The Police conclusion on the wandering Klansman was that it was just a student walking around wrapped in a blanket.  What makes this such a large issue is that the school administration knew who the culprits were early on, knew they were leftist nuts, and said nothing to the student body, allowing it to think the Klan had free reign over campus; walking around leaving racist graffiti in their wake.

The irresponsibility of the school administration boggles the mind, and I find it amazing that alumni weren’t outraged that the school decided to keep secret that there was no KKK and the students responsible for the graffiti were no longer on campus.  The school apparently  just wanted to keep the racial agitation to go on and on.

And that explains MSNBC!

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Marriage Means Nothing

Glancing at Drudge this morning I saw an article at Breitbart titled, North Dakota Allows Man In Same Sex Marriage To Also Marry Woman.

Huh?

Same Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well that made the short list of news articles to read:

While many wildly speculated that the legalization of same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy, they probably never thought it would be like this. Presented with a legal hypothetical, Attorney General Stenehjem answered three questions: whether someone in a same-sex marriage in another state can also receive a marriage license to someone of the opposite sex in North Dakota, whether they can file legal documents as “Single” when they possess a same-sex marriage license in another state, and whether this would open the individual up for prosecution under another state’s bigamy laws.

The answer to all these questions, essentially, is that a person can legally possess two marriage licenses in North Dakota, because a same-sex marriage license is not recognized. 

I felt like I was reading some sort of Harlan Ellison dystopian short story from the 1970’s.  But here I am, in a dystopian future.  I imagine what it would be like to go back in time to the 70’s and show this headline off, “Yep, this is your future folks!”  Quick, get me a DeLorean!

So our current legal environment is such that if you are in a gay marriage, you can move to another State where gay marriage isn’t recognized, and get married again, since, hey, the State doesn’t recognize your first marriage as legal.  But as soon as it does (and they all will eventually), bam!  You are a bigamist charged with a felony.  So if you are gay or, as the case with this guy, very confused, you better hope your State doesn’t recognize gay marriage, because as soon as it does, you’re in big trouble.  And as we’ve seen in other States, if your State doesn’t recognize gay marriage, you can’t get a gay divorce.  You can only get a gay divorce when the legal environment makes it too late to do you any good as far as avoiding bigamy charges.

So what’s our poor, multiple married guy going to do?  First, hope he has both an understanding wife and an understanding husband, but secondly, here come the courts to the rescue again.

A federal judge in Utah has struck down part of that state’s law banning polygamy, after a lawsuit was brought by the stars of the television reality series “Sister Wives.”

The ruling late Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups threw out the law’s section prohibiting “cohabitation,” saying it violates constitutional guarantees of due process and religious freedom.

I did in fact watch the first season of Sister Wives.  Unfortunately, I lost interest because the wives just were not hot enough to make the show interesting. But this goes back to the age old question, which is better, four just so so wives or one hot one?  Philosophers  debate… but as a show I lost interest. But the lesson of both Sister Wives and Brown v Buhman is maybe you don’t have to stick with just one spouse, regardless of sex.  Marriage must be an infinitely flexible institution.

So for all of the critics who thought gay marriage would lead to polygamy, congratulations, you were correct.  You still lost the argument.  Gay marriage, as an institution that will eventually cover all 50 States, is inevitable.

Of course, whatever you call it, whether it’s gay marriage, same sex marriage, marriage equality, or whatever new moniker is attached to it, it still won’t actually be marriage.

Marriage as an institution has existed for thousands of years, and probably precedes what we think of as recorded human history.  In that time it’s stretched and bended to accommodate a great deal of different cultures and various economic and social circumstances, including various forms of polygamy, but in all that time it’s never been stretched to include 2 people of the same sex getting together and calling it marriage.  Oh homosexuality has been around as long, if not longer, than the institution of marriage, but they’ve never really had anything to do with one another.

Or at least they didn’t until 2001, when The Netherlands became the first country to legalize gay marriage.  Since then, quicker than you can say Winston Smith, the definition of marriage has been changing in dictionaries all over.  Oceania would have loved the internet.  It makes re-editing language so much easier.  My old print dictionary says nothing about same sex marriages, however if you pull up an online dictionary you’ll see the definition of a man and wife receding in importance to other gender free terms, such as the mutual relation of married persons, or the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage.

Changing language doesn’t change the reality of the situation however.  Words mean something. A thing is a thing, regardless of what you call it.  Taking the name of a something, and changing its meaning, does not change the thing itself.  Two dudes or two chicks playing house may be a lot of things, but it isn’t a marriage.  Even with a legal, hot off the courthouse steps, marriage certificate.  It may be legal, but it’s not a marriage.

Saying that it is a marriage is an argument that wouldn’t have been taken seriously decades ago, because there was a cultural consensus, backed up by the entirety of human history on what a marriage is.  When the British took India, they found a lot of odd (to them) customs, but they also found marriage.  Captain Cook found little he recognized culturally in the South Pacific, but he found marriage. Where ever there have been humans, there has been marriage.

Now of course, that historical consensus has broken apart.  But it’s not the fault of gays or the political chase for gay marriage.  Marriage became a joke long before it became a political football to win the gay vote.  Gay Marriage is a symptom, not the cause, of a weakened concept of matrimony.  Why that is may be the proper subject of multiple posts, but I’m sure this won’t be the last time real concepts will be rebranded and renamed in order to meet the politically correct agenda of the day.

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What Passes for Racial Profiling in Miami Gardens

The New York Times reports on yet another example of sweaty southern law enforcement going after the black man. The charge?  Working While Black.

“The mayor and police department of a predominantly black Miami suburb have been hit with a federal civil rights lawsuit over allegations of aggressive police tactics, including stop and frisk searches and arbitrary arrests, targeting African Americans.

The lawsuit against the city of Miami Gardens, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court, alleges a long history of police abuse and racial profiling in the crime-plagued suburb on the northern outskirts of Miami.

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III, lead defendant in the lawsuit, did not immediately return phone calls or an email from Reuters seeking comment.

Another plaintiff in the lawsuit is identified as Earl Sampson, 28, an African-American and employee of the Quick Stop who was repeatedly stopped once a week for four years, or about 288 times, the suit says.

On numerous occasions, it said Sampson had been arrested for trespassing while at work stocking the shelves or taking out the trash at the Quick Stop store.”

Now it’s hard to argue that there might actually be legitimate law enforcement purpose in arresting someone 288 times for trespassing at your own place of employment while working.  So something has clearly gone off the rails in Miami Gardens, but is this a case of racial profiling as the New York Times thinks?

Looking at the defendants named in the case, I wonder…

The Mayor, Oliver G. Gilbert III

The former Mayor, Shirley Gibbons

Chief of Police Matthew Boyd

Deputy Police Chief Paul Miller

You get the idea.

I’m curious as to why this employee and this convenience store is being targeted and I think it’s clear that there is some targeting going on.  But I think it’s more complicated than just racial.  If the primary defendants in the lawsuit are black, it seems like calling this racial profiling is missing the boat.  But I guess when all you have is a racial hammer, everything looks like stop and frisk.

Walking Dead Mid Season Finale

I wasn’t planning on writing a review of this episode, the mid season finale (technically Season 4, Episode 8), so this comes a little later than the usual TV episode review, but I was inspired by another blog I read occasionally that absolutely trashed the episode!  Did we watch the same show?

Anyway, this blogger had issues with the following aspects of the episode (warning, all below is spoilerific so if you’ve not seen the episode yet, bail out now):

Is Rick’s prison the only safe place on Earth?       

And if so, why destroy it with an armored attack?

Can a corpse be bullet proof?

Rick’s babysitting arrangements

Everybody is both starving and chubby

Hershel

And of course; the car seat.

Is Rick’s prison the only safe place on Earth? 

I’m sure there are plenty of safe places.  Practically any place that is protected by either a wall or strong fence could be a safe place.  That could be anything from a National Guard Armory to warehouses.  But the Governor had unfinished business with Rick.  He needed a safe place for his new community, but he needed closure by getting rid of Rick’s group more.

And if so, why destroy it with an armored attack?

Although a compelling case could be made that the Governor was just crazy and didn’t see the contradiction of firing repeated 105mm shells at the place he hopes to call home, he may have reasoned that the prison was vast enough to sustain the damage and still leave plenty of undamaged living space for his little group.  One thing I’m sure of; the Governor would rather have destroyed the prison than leave it for Rick’s group.

Can a corpse be bullet proof?

As far as the bullet proof corpse goes, eh… it’s possible.  The M-16/M-4/AR-15 variants that the Governor’s group was armed with fires a 5.56mm round.  If my memory serves me from Basic Training, the round is supposed to hit the target and rotate, tearing up the human body along the way.  The purpose isn’t to penetrate and then exit the body.  So although I agree that a walker body might be a bit too squishy to provide the padding needed to protect someone hiding behind it, I could see that it might just be possible that bullets fired at it wouldn’t exit and hit Daryl, who was using it as a shield.  Since there was body armor at the prison, I think I might rather take my chances with that.

Rick’s babysitting arrangements

Agreed.  Rick is no father of the year.  I don’t recall a single scene this season where he has spent any one on one time with his daughter.  He’s basically farmed out the job of parent to Beth.  Maybe it’s because he suspects that Shane is Judith’s real father and he’s keeping emotional distance. The Governor’s sudden arrival prevented Rick from trying to keep tabs on Judith even if he wanted to and I suspect that he didn’t think of her once up until he saw the … but more on that later.

Everybody is both starving and chubby

One of this blogger’s oddest complaints is on how fat this starving group of survivors have gotten.  I admit, I didn’t even notice.  This may be strictly a woman thing where everyone’s weight is kept tabs on constantly.  But even if the group has put on some pounds, it’s perfectly reasonable.  They’ve been at the prison for months and that’s provided a safe location with plenty of room for food storage and ample kitchen facilities.  Rick’s vegetable garden, although healthy enough, probably provides only a supplement to the food consumed by the prison group.  The bulk of it would be stores of food that would still be good after almost two years.  That would be canned goods, and boxed goods like rice, and instant potatoes. Considering the haphazard lives they were living before the prison, it’s easy to see how they could put on a few pounds.

Hershel

When a cast member, particularly one as important as Hershel has been to the show, is killed off, you have to show the death.  All of it.  This blogger complained of the rather graphic nature of the beheading, and the clumsy nature of it requiring several tries.  Gruesome?  Yes, but also necessary I think.  What I didn’t like is that I knew Hershel was going to die, and I’d known it for over a month.  One of the annoying habits of the Walking Dead promotions is that a killed off character is sent to do promotion for the show, so when you see a cast member calling into radio shows, you know he or she is not long for this world.  So true to form Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene) called in to the Monsters In The Morning radio show last month, just to promote the show in general, I was sad since I knew we were losing him.  But that spoils the surprise.  Why couldn’t Carl have called in?

  And of course; the car seat

And of course, we get to the most disturbing part of the show, at least to parents.  First, I can understand this bloggers revulsion, and I shared it, but that only made the scene more powerful.  Towards the end of the firefight, during that transition between the human’s battle being decided one way or the other, and the true winners of any battle, the walkers, coming to take their gory prize, Rick and Carl, reunited, finally realize they don’t know where Rick’s daughter, Judith is.  Like I said; parent of the year.  So what Rick and Carl view is Judith’s care seat; her bloody car seat.  In that kind of world, Rick and Carl come to the obvious conclusion that the walkers have gotten Judith.

That was tough to watch.  But that’s why this is such a great show, they “went there.”  So the episode was an emotionally draining success.  The group went from relative comfort and security to being scattered out in a Walker filled world, suffering crushing losses.

I don’t know whether Judith is dead or not.  The ending was certainly open ended, but in the comics, Judith was killed.  Of course, this show has veered away from the comics time and time again so who knows.  But if Judith was killed, at least it was an off screen death.  People would lose their minds if the show actually showed a Walker chowing down on a baby.  The television audience, even a Walking Dead audience, isn’t ready for that.

Anyway, when the show returns in February, I’ll be there, and I hope this blogger has gotten over her disappointment and will ready to bear down on the show again like a Walker bearing down on a femur.

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