Before it drops down the memory hole, let’s remember the hate hoax of 2012:
On Saturday afternoon, President Falk informed the College via an all-campus e-mail that a resident of Mission found the words “All beaners must die” written on the whiteboard outside of her room.
Cancel classes! Organize a march! Claim Williams! We must stop at nothing to root out white racism from the College!
Or, we could just remember that many/most of the “hate crimes” at elite colleges like Williams are actually “hate hoaxes,” staged events designed to create controversy and not evidence of actual animus.
On Sunday afternoon, the student who wrote the statement admitted to his actions; as such, while the incident was originally classified as a hate crime, that classification may ultimately change as the investigation revealed that the statement was not a targeted threat.
Huh? As a matter of law, is it really true that hate crimes are not hate crimes if there is not a “targeted threat?” Not according to the FBI:
A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
Vandalism is a crime, so writing “Go Amherst!” on a Williams door (without their permission) is a crime. Writing “All Beaners Must Die” is vandalism with bias, so it is a hate crime. Whether or not the vandalism is “targeted” has nothing to do with it. I think that the Administration cynically spun a naive Record reporter.
But I welcome comments from Eph lawyers! Does the hate crime classification require looking into intent? That is, does someone need to have a heart filled with anti-Mexican sentiments to be prosecuted for a hate crime in this scenario? Just writing the words is not enough, if the person really loves Mexicans? Back to the article:
On Sunday afternoon, students received another all-campus e-mail from Falk. According to the e-mail, the student wrote the phrase on the victim’s door after entry snacks on Nov. 4 following a conversation about the hate crime committed on Nov. 12, 2011. According to Bolton, the student and the people with whom he was conversing were attempting to figure out how someone could think that writing “All n****rs must die” was acceptable.
Ask Jess Torres ’12! Her legacy of pot-stirring lives on.
On Tuesday afternoon, Bolton sent the campus an e-mail with an apology from the perpetrator. The e-mail expressed the student’s sincerest apology, clarified the events that led to the writing and affirmed that there was no malicious intent behind the writing. In particular, the student, who self-identified as being “of Mexican descent,” confessed that he chose to write the word “beaner” because it was a racial slur that had been used against him in the past. “Because the word is used to describe the Mexican culture, I was more comfortable writing that word than any other possible identity group,” the student wrote.
I suspect that a white student would not have received such sympathetic treatment from Bolton.
The senior administration and Security determined that the writing posed an immediate threat to campus and chose to notify the campus via e-mail as quickly as possible. “When the wording contains an explicit threat, then we treat it as an immediate threat; we don’t try to judge differently from the outset,” Klass said. “Part of the protocol is not questioning that aspect of the evidence. If something contains an explicit threat, we deal with it as an explicit threat and then see where our investigation takes us.”
That is a good way to encourage more such nonsense! If every troublemaker can cause Klass and the rest of the Administration to dance the protocol dance, then he is just asking for more dancing. Whatever happened to common sense?
As a result of the incident, Security also increased its patrols and presence on campus. “We assigned an officer at the scene and in Mission Park until 8 a.m. the next morning,” Boyer said. “We significantly increased our campus coverage by calling off-duty dispatchers and officers. At the same time, we extended shifts beyond the normal eight hours and moved officers from athletic events and parties to campus coverage. By doing this, we were able to double and triple our normal campus coverage at times.”
What an absurd waste of money! Although none of us like unwanted graffiti, there is no evidence that any Williams student has ever been at risk of physical harm because of racial animus, much less anonymous scribbling. By the way, what sort of incentives is Williams creating for security officers looking for some more overtime?
After the initial investigation was begun, the senior administration also contacted the FBI officer who investigated last November’s hate crime to share details of the incident.
Isn’t anyone else embarrassed by this sort of wolf-crying? There might be a day when Williams really needs the help of the local (?) FBI. Bothering them with this tripe makes that help less likely.
“We shared the evidence [with the FBI officer] in case he had an immediate insight,” Bolton said. “He hasn’t physically come to campus. They’ve been in conversation with him about the evidence that appeared on Saturday, and of course, they’ve also let him know what happened on Sunday.”
Ha! So, you called up the FBI on Saturday, crying about the racists over-running the Williams campus, and he tells you to stop being such a baby. Then you have to call him up on Sunday and admit that it was another stupid hate hoax.
Prior to the perpetrator coming forward on Sunday, the senior staff held a gathering for members of the community on Saturday at 6 p.m. The gathering was originally intended to be held in Hardy House, but was moved to the Jewish Religious Center (JRC) to accommodate more students. Over 200 students and faculty attended the gathering.
Two hundred people gathered to worry themselves about a hoax! Should we laugh or cry about the state of Williams?
The rest of the article is so hilarious that I ought to spend a week making fun of everyone involved. But not this week! Kudos to reporter Nicole Smith for an excellent job.