Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Elizabeth Nolan Brown: There Is No Violent Hate-Crime-Wave In "Trump's America"

You know how I hate to say I told you so...but...
Seriously, what is it about the left that is responsible for this? 
This seems to be a real, persistent property of the left--the leftier-than-liberal left, it seems to me, but that may just be me no-true-Scotsmanning again.
What is it about the left that drives them to fake hate crimes? This is a serious and important question. This could really tell us something enlightening about this movement. I'm tempted to say that, if social psych were worth a damn, it'd be working on this.


Anonymous Lewis Carroll said...

I don't know about "Trump's America", but last year there was an increase in hate crimes:


10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article only discredits a very small number of the total reports. It doesn't demonstrate the broad conclusion you're drawing. I'm not sure what the truth is, but assuming all the accusations are made up seems a little extreme.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, nothing anywhere in there says that they're *all* fake. The ENB piece says that there's no *wave* of such things.

It's not that the left makes them *all* up...it's that it makes up an astonishing number/proportion of them.

The right, for all its flaws, doesn't have *this* flaw. Why not? What explains the difference?

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I will revise my claim: nothing in that article supports the conclusion that *most* of the 300 plus reports since election day are fabricated, or that there has not been an increase in Trumpist violence and threats against minorities since the election. I mean if you have evidence for your claim of mass fabrication show it but otherwise this is kind of unfair.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, how about:
No reason to believe in a crime-wave of "hate-crimes"?

The majority of the incidents listed in the Post story have either been debunked, or are indeterminate, or were done by kids.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the examples ENB refers to, the San Diego State University incident, looks like it may be a hate crime. I just gave her the benefit of the doubt that it was bogus before I read more about what happened. The police are investigating, but ENB is wrong to conclude that she already knows what the motivation of the car theft was. I guess this would count as indeterminate, but in a sense all of the allegations are indeterminate until prosecutors have brought a case and proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has taken place. So that's not persuasive to me that we shouldn't be concerned about what appears to be a spike in *alleged* hate crimes in the week after election.

Also, even if only a small number of violent incidents since the election have been reported, the number of incidents involving racist and bigoted graffiti has exploded since Nov. 8.


Police in multiple jurisdictions are investigating these incidents as hate crimes. That's why I don't think it's fair to point to the one fabricated case in Louisiana and conclude that most of the incidents are either fabricated or allegations by kids.

I would also argue that this post-election data needs to be contextualized within the broader pattern, as the FBI has found a significant increase in hate crimes in 2015. Trump's rhetoric during the campaign also would naturally make minorities feel especially on edge now that he has won the election, even apart from evidence of a rise in hate crimes.

And just to be clear, I also recognize the violence committed against Trump supporters recently and this needs to be taken into consideration as well. Political violence may be on the rise, and that's very troubling.

I understand that some on the left are hysterical and cry wolf about racism at every opportunity. And of course there will be false allegations. But it seems to me that the rise in hate crimes recently is a big problem that appears to be getting worse.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

All very reasonable, A, and the point is taken.

However, let me also point out:

1. The SPLC is nutty. They used to be great. Now they're nuts. So I don't take them seriously anymore.

2. The graffiti incidents...I'm not sure how to count those. Many of the messages are ambiguous, e.g. "Black lives don't matter and neither does your vote," invariably reported as "hate graffiti" or whatever, is, to my mind, more likely to be a message from the left than from the right. Similarly: "Heil Trump." Even the stuff that *does* express clearly bigoted ideas could have been painted straight, or could be aiming to make Trump et al. look bad. I expect it's a mix.

3. Then, of course, a lot of the reported incidents that we *do* know are for real are by kids. Still bad, but a different category to my mind--and that goes both ways. We've seen two bona fide incident of beatings of Trump supporters of late, but both by teenagers. Bad...but kids are stupid for many reasons.

Also it matters to me that, so far as actual, witnessed incidents go, the violence mostly seems initiated by anti-Trump folks against pro-Trump folks.

Furthermore, the left is known to fake "hate crimes", and has an extensive history of it.

Add all of these things together...and I'm skeptical.

And I'm also skeptical that there's been a spike in "hate crimes." My guess is, if we look into those incidents, we'll find the same ambiguities and other unclarities...but maybe not.

Of course, if I'm wrong about this, I'm an asshole... So I'm more than a bit worried about overstating my position here.

I'm not thinking about this diligently enough to deserve much of an opinion about it all. I'm largely operating at the level of hunches.

You and I could largely both be right. Perhaps there's a spike in these incidents, both real and fake.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well your posts have led me to look up fake hate crimes and there are quite a few. It seems plausible that false reports are more widespread than many may realize, and so there needs to be more caution about these stories. That's certainly something I will need to keep in mind. Of course there's always a general rush to judgment about alleged crimes when the media reports them, but there may be an extra assumption of veracity on the the part of the accusers with hate crimes which may not be merited. We all have our biases though, and this goes both ways, so it's probably hard for many to be objective in this area.

1:24 PM  

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