Why Racial Hoaxes Like This One Hurt African Americans
Here we go again—another racially charged hoax.
The story had all the right details to provoke the left: an attack by white boys at a prep school against a black girl, calling her names while cutting off her dreadlocks, and telling her she didn’t deserve to live.
The school itself was the perfect backdrop: a Christian school that had already received negative coverage for its biblical view of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. As icing on the cake, Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, teaches art classes there part-time.
The media descended on Springfield, Virginia, last week to cover the alleged incident.
The New York Times quoted the girl’s account: “They put me on the ground. One of them put my hands behind my back. One put his hands over my mouth. One cut my hair. They were saying that my hair was ugly, that it was nappy.”
In addition, she also appeared to have pity on her tormentors, per the Washington Post: “I felt hurt and angry, but I also felt compassion for them because something must have happened to them and that’s why they bully.”
Yet within one week, the girl admitted that her story was a lie. The boys didn’t do what she alleged.
Fortunately, the three boys’ names have not been revealed. Hopefully, they will never have to face the merciless glare of the media lights. Hopefully, they will never have to read the threats of violence that were tweeted against them. Let’s pray they are not scarred by this experience.
History records a time when young black boys suffered greatly from being falsely accused of attacking a girl of the opposite race. That pattern must not be allowed to continue in any form.
The 12-year-old girl says she has been the victim of bullying, even though this allegation was false. If that’s the case, she needs help. It’s been reported that she will soon undergo counseling for her mental health.
But let’s be clear: Her mental health did not cause last week’s media frenzy. That was caused by journalists who salivated over this scandalous story and published it for a national audience based on little more than an accusation.
The girl’s guardians also failed her. They should never have let her take this story to the national stage before they were certain of the facts.
The damage in this story extends well beyond the three white boys who were falsely accused. The damage will touch very black American who is an actual victim of a hate crime.
Just as we saw in the Jussie Smollett case, the true danger of crying wolf is that those who bring legitimate accusations will be taken less seriously. And be assured that legitimate victims exist, because racism still exists.
We regret that this hoax will give white nationalists ammunition to say that hate crimes are not real, that blacks face no problems in America. Racist crimes are real, which is why hoaxes like this are so tragic.
Let’s hope the media will finally learn its lesson: to tread carefully when explosive claims rest on a mere allegation. The stakes are high, and we all stand to lose from irresponsible reporting.