Less than two months ago, a media storm followed reports that racial slurs were left on dorm message boards for five black cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School. The mother of one of the victims posted an image on social media showing her son was targeted with the words, “go home n—-” left outside his room.
An investigation was launched. Lt. General Jay Silveria addressed all of his cadets and gave a moving speech about how this type of sentiment must not be tolerated at the academy, in the military, or in their lives. It made its rounds on social media as an example of how to properly respond to such an event.
As it turns out, the messages were posted by one of the “victims” who had reported them in the first place. He was in trouble already for other forms of misconduct and attempted to play the race card in order to get out of the consequences that faced him. Now, he’s been removed from the academy. His name has not been released.
The cadet candidate accused of crafting the messages was not identified, but the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that the individual is no longer enrolled at the school. Sources also told the Gazette the cadet candidate “committed the act in a bizarre bid to get out of trouble he faced at the school for other misconduct,” the newspaper reported.
The announcement thrust the Air Force Academy Preparatory School onto a growing list of recent “hate crime hoaxes” – instances in which acts of racism or anti-Semitism were later found to be committed by someone in the targeted minority group.
Hate crime hoaxes have always been around, but there seems to have been an increase over the last few years. Is there racism in America? Of course. That’s why these manufactured racist events do so much damage. They take attention away from real crimes and make us question the validity of every instance. We have enough division in this country. We don’t need false claims to divide us even further.