smolett
© Getty Images/Ringer illustration
If you've been following the Jussie Smollett story, you'll know most of the details but for those of you who missed it let me give a brief overview. On Jan. 29, Smollett claimed to have been attacked, at 2am in very liberal Chicago, by two men wearing MAGA hats who wrapped a rope around his neck, beat him and yelled racial and anti-gay slurs and "this is MAGA country". To anyone with two firing neurons, this sounded more like something out of a Hollywood script than real life. The Chicago police department took the claim very seriously however, probably because of the national attention the story garnered, and conducted a very detailed investigation.

The result was that Smollett's claims were exposed as entirely false, as was the testimony of the two "attackers", who were revealed to be acquaintances of Smollett's and whom he paid to perpetrate the hoax. Smollett allegedly concocted the plan after previously sending himself a racist and homophobic letter using letters cut from a magazine. The letter failed to get much attention, presumably leading Smollett to decide that a more theatrical act was required.

The Chicago PD gave the evidence to a grand jury which indicted Smollett yesterday. He turned himself in to authorities today, where he was arrested for felony disorderly conduct for filing a false report of a crime.

The Smollett story is a perfect example of the apparently powerful drive by those on the 'Left' to portray America during Trump's presidency as inherently racist, sexist and xenophobic. While Smollett was the architect of his own hoax, many on the Left have tolerated being the target of this kind of hoax because it's "worth it" in order to highlight the bigger societal issues. This is wrong on many levels, not least because the increasing number of these kinds of hoaxes serves to cast preemptive doubt on the legitimate claims of real victims of real hate crimes.

There have been a number of very good writers and journalists who have collected news stories since 2016 detailing all the false reports of Trump-infused hate crimes in America, including author Noah Rothman in his excellent new book Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America, along with freelance journalist and writer Andy Ngo who collected many of the reports I've outlined below.

So for those who think the Smollett story is just a flash in the pan and not symptomatic of the much larger problem in Western society of the appeal to victimhood and its disingenuous exploitation, you should reconsider. Here are just a few very similar stories that have been covered in the media over the last 2 years.

One week before the presidential election, a black church in Mississippi was burned in an arson attack. "Vote Trump" was written on the building. An investigation revealed that the man responsible was a church member, Andrew McClinton.
vote trump
Right after Donald Trump's election, a pro-gay Episcopal church in Indiana was vandalized with "Heil Trump," a swastika, and an anti-gay slur.
heil trump
© Provided by Kelsey Hutto
St. David's Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom was vandalized sometime Saturday night, with tags depicting a swastika, "Heil Trump" and an anti-gay slur.
It turned out that the gay church organ player did it. He was only charged with a misdemeanor. His reasoning behind the hoax? From the article:
He said he did not vandalize the church out of hate, but rather, out of a misguided attempt to spur people to action after the election left him afraid for his future.

"Over the course of that week, I was fearful, scared and alone, too, in my fear," Stang told IndyStar. "I guess one of the driving factors behind me committing the act was that I wanted other people to be scared with me."
  • In Nov. 2016 a Muslim student at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette said two white racist Trump supporters brutally assaulted her, ripped off her hijab, & robbed her. She also claimed one of the males was wearing a "Trump" hat and they both yelled racial obscenities at her, police said.The story went viral. It was a lie. She was charged with filing a false police report but her identity was never revealed by the press or authorities.
  • In late 2016 Trump & his supporters were blamed for a spate of anti-Semitic, KKK & Nazi graffiti on the campus of Nassau Community College in Long Island. The student responsible was Jasskirat Saini, who was reportedly motivated by perceived slights of the Jewish community in his neighborhood.
  • In Nov. 2016 a Philadelphia neighborhood was rattled when property was vandalized with pro-Trump and anti-black messages. A black man, William Tucker, was identified as the vandal through CCTV footage
  • In Nov. 2016 a bisexual student at North Park University in Chicago, Taylor Volk, said she received hateful pro-Trump, anti-gay messages. "This is a countrywide epidemic all of a sudden," she said at the time. The investigation found that she fabricated the story.
  • In Dec 2016 a Muslim woman said she was attacked by 3 white Trump supporters in NYC on the subway. She said they tried to rip off her hijab. The woman, Yasmin Seweid, lied and was charged with filing a false police report. She reportedly made the story up to get attention because of problems she was having with her family
In April 2017, an immigrant business was set on fire and a note was left that read:
"Our newly elected president Donald Trump is our nation builder for White America. You all know that, we want our country back on the right track. We need to get rid of Muslims, Indians and all immigrants."
When CCTV showed that the perpetrator was black, some anti-Trump web sites went as far to suggest it was a white Trump supporter in disguise.

In June 2018 a Jewish Israeli-American, Michael Kadar, was convicted for making hundreds of violent threats to US Jewish organisations, schools, & community centers. Trump was blamed for 'the culture of anti-Semitism'.

Less than a week after 11 people were shot and killed inside a Pittsburgh synagogue in Oct. 2018, Trump supporters were blamed for Nazi vandalism at a Brooklyn synagogue and fires in a Jewish community. The perpetrator was revealed to be a gay black man who had worked with city council on an initiative to fight hate crimes.

Of course the most recent and prominent hate-crime hoax is the Covington Catholic scandal that occurred in Washington DC in Jan. 2019. Native American activist (and proven liar) Nathan Phillips claimed the Catholic students attacked a group of Black Israelites who were surrounding them and that he decided to intervene:
The crowd of students, some of whom wore MAGA caps, mocked Native Americans while chanting "Build the Wall" and using derogatory language, he said. The students had a "mob mentality" that "was scary," Phillips said. "It was ugly, what these kids were involved in. It was racism. It was hatred. It was scary."
The media lapped it up as another sign of how Trump has turned America into a racist country. But after video of the incident went viral and people actually studied it, a very different story appeared. Phillips himself is shown to have initiated the confrontation, while the young man he confronted merely stood there and smiled, which the Left somehow found to be a "violent form of behavior".

There is no video or audio where anyone can be heard saying "build the wall", nor is there any outward signs of "hatred" or "racism" or mocking of Native Americans. Phillips made it all up. The mainstream and social media pundits who viciously attacked and called for physical violence against children were forced to backtrack. The young man at the center of the controversy, Nick Sandmann, endured a campaign cyber-assault and cyber-bullying along with death threats against him and his family as a result of the media coverage and has since sued The Washington Post for $250 million in damages.

These events serve as the backstory to Jussie Smollett, and make clear that Smollett's case is not an isolated or aberrant incident. There are apparently people all across America who have a very deep desire to make sure people are aware of how racist the US and its elected president are towards minorities, so deep that they decide that making up stories of hate crimes is kosher since it's "highlighting the problem".

The fact that most of the mainstream media appears to be as ideologically blinded and driven as the perpetrators of these hoaxes, and unquestioningly disseminates them far and wide, merely provides motivation for more people to fabricate similar stories. At least 12 establishment journalists actively fueled the flames of the Jussie Smollett farce, and Smollett himself received direct support from the Democratic establishment. Those who tweeted in his support include Kamala Harris, Adam Schiff, Corey Booker and Nancy Pelosi - a veritable who's who of Democrat politicians. Hollywood liberals also took to Twitter to denounce the attack.

Although Smollett did a disastrous job of making his hoax look credible, that didn't stop the Left from instinctively supporting him and denouncing the supposed rampant Hate In AmericaTM. While victims of real hate crime will now be more likely to have their claims doubted or dismissed, the people who propagate these hoaxes will also find it more difficult to force external reality to conform to their inner world. While race relations in the USA are never going to be perfect, it should be clear that America is not the racist, sexist and hate-filled wasteland that some people apparently desire it to be.