Fake Hate Crimes: Michigan / Brexit / Women's Literature Edition
Yet another one:
ANN ARBOR, MI -- A 21-year-old Ann Arbor woman pleaded guilty as charged to one count of false report of a misdemeanor in 15th District Court on Monday, March 6.So...nobody believes that story about depression and whatnot, right?
Halley Bass admitted in court that she fabricated a story about a strange man scratching her face in downtown Ann Arbor on Nov. 15.
"I was suffering from depression at the time," Bass told Judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines. "I made a superficial scratch on my face. It was visible and I was embarrassed about what I'd done. So I made up a story and told a friend that a stranger had done it while I was walking. I was encouraged to report it to the police. I made the mistake of doing that."
At the time, Bass claimed her attack was part of the surge in hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump a week earlier. She told police she was targeted for wearing a solidarity pin connected to Great Great Britain's "Brexit" vote.
Bass admitted to scratching her own face with the pin after becoming upset during a Woman's Literature class at the University of Michigan, according to the Ann Arbor Police Department report.
Bass and her Ann Arbor-based attorney, Douglas Mullkoff, requested that she be sentenced through the 15th District's mental health court. Hines said if court officials determine Bass is eligible...
More likely is: this was a deliberate, politically-motivated act. It's a part of a pattern on the left about which generalizations (and even some predictions) can be made. Perhaps something like depression played a role, but Bass seems to be trying to claim that there was little or no political motive--her action is to be explained mostly or entirely in terms of psychological problems.
I do think it's complicated because I do think that political correctness (or whatever we want to call this extremist phenomenon on the left; 'alt-left' is another suggestion in the air) is basically a kind of political cult. So it involves a lot of beliefs and actions that seem to be somewhere in the twilight zone between sanity and insanity. Bass's action obviously raises questions about irrationality...but the strategic, political purpose of the action can't be ignored. Bass's action was a token of a type: people, often students, on the far left, fabricating "hate crimes," allegedly perpetrated by people on the right. The goal is, without a doubt, to trick people into thinking that the right is hateful, bigoted, violent, etc. (A more neutral formulation would be: ...that hate, bigotry and violence are more prevalent on the right than they actually are.)
I usually crankily refuse to add: obviously none of this suggests that there aren't actual problems with hatred, bigotry and violence in politics, nor that no so-called hate-crimes are actually being committed, nor even that there is not an "epidemic" of them currently. (I doubt the latter, but only tentatively.) But the PC left has a problem with hate-crime hoaxes. And, IMO, this problem confirms something important about that movement--though something that will not seem surprising to anyone who's familiar with it.