The 21 Club

When the national press trumpets its tales of white hate crimes, are the underlying realities more likely to turn out to be genuine examples of white racist criminality, Jussie Smollett-like hate hoaxes, or something in between?

I’ve finally come up with a fair methodology for answering this question that’s at the heart of the National Conversation we are finally having on just how honest is the purported White Terror we’ve been hearing about since 2016.

The New York Times, for example, in a rare admission that fake hate even exists, recently reassured its shaken readers:

Despite the headlines that have dominated the news cycle since, fake hate crime reports are uncommon. Hoaxes are not tracked formally, but the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said that of an estimated 21,000 hate crime cases between 2016 and 2018, fewer than 50 reports were found to be false. The center believes that less than 1 percent of all reported hate crimes are false.

In other words, the Times assumes, the burden of proof should be on their skeptics, not on them. Amazon.com $50 Gift Ca... Buy New $50.00 (as of 02:55 EST - Details)

On the other hand, those of us of a less credulous turn of mind long ago noticed that a striking percentage of the hate stories that the national media obsesses over don’t quite pan out. Many aren’t full-blown false-flag conspiracies like Jussie’s, but the facts, when finally revealed, often don’t support The Narrative of White Hate.

Hoaxes as elaborate as the Empire TV star’s are rare, but it’s hardly uncommon for, say, the perpetrator to turn out to be nonwhite, or the act, such as posting a flyer mentioning “It’s okay to be white,” to be not (yet, at least) a crime, or for the motives to be murkier than you’d imagine from reading Southern Poverty Law Center fund-raising junk mail.

Egged on by the moneyed SPLC (endowment recently up to $432.7 million), the prestige press in late 2016 launched a vast campaign of hate about how hateful straight white male Trump voters were carrying out countless hate crimes against minorities.

But what percentage of these press allegations have since been validated?

The methodological issue is, how do we keep advocates from memory-holing contrary data?

My solution is to use The New York Times’ own “This Week in Hate” columns. I let the pinnacle of Establishment respectability take their best shot, curating their own list of hate crimes from across the country. I then evaluate how The New York Times did.

On Nov. 29, 2016, the NYT began running “This Week in Hate” under the announcement:

This Week in Hate tracks hate crimes and harassment around the country since the election of Donald Trump. The Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups are keeping detailed counts of harassment and abuse. We will regularly present a selection of incidents to show the scope of the problem.

Keep in mind that The New York Times didn’t try to be fair in selecting items for its “This Week in Hate” column. For example, the mob of leftist ski-bum Middlebury students who attacked Charles Murray and put a woman professor in the hospital didn’t qualify. Nor did the Berkeley Antifa assault on a female fan of Milo Yiannopoulos. And philosophy instructor Eric Clanton banging seven Trump supporters on the noggin with his heavy bike lock never made “This Week in Hate.” Amazon.com Gift Card i... Buy New $15.00 (as of 09:30 EST - Details)

No, the contents of “This Week in Hate” were instead chosen to make it appear that pro-Trump whites were running amok.

With the advantage of hindsight, how well did the NYT do at its self-assigned task?

For the purposes of this essay, I analyzed all 21 incidents in the second (12/6/16) and third (12/13/16) weeks of “This Week in Hate,” looking for pro and con evidence that has accumulated in the 26 months since on the validity of the NYT’s accounts. (I skipped the first week, assuming it was better to let the NYT get into its stride. I encourage other researchers to check out the rest of “This Week in Hate,” which finally petered out in July 2017.)

How many of the 21 incidents have resulted in hate-crime convictions? How many have been shown to be a complete hoax? How many are unconfirmed by the justice system but seem plausible? How many unconfirmed occurrences are dubious?

I shall count through the 21 cases from the most valid to the most embarrassing for the NYT.

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