G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Commenter needname directs me to a piece at Salon on the latest hate crime hoax out of Louisiana which I covered earlier today. After acknowledging that the hoaxer in question made up the attack, Natasha Lennard writes:
It is not yet clear whether Moffitt will face any charges. While many questions remain over the incident and possible motives, the original reports of a hate crime did nonetheless confirm a recognition of persistent racism in the state. As Salon noted Tuesday, Otis Chisley, president of the local branch of the NAACP, said racism remained “prevalent throughout Louisiana”; his statement, and the extent with which a hate crime seemed plausible, remain important aspects of this shocking story.
This weasel-filled graf has to be dissected.
“Confirming a recognition of persistent racism in the state” by lighting oneself on fire and conjuring up images of white men in white hoods is like a teenage girl confirming that she met Justin Bieber by chopping off his head and showing it to her friends. Overkill, in other words. There are many less heinous ways of documenting the thing which you feel warrants documentation.
“And the extent with which a hate crime seemed plausible remain important aspects of this shocking story” – ah, so this was just a dry run. And since some gullible reporters and media activists were fooled by this story is sort of a test of whether or not it is plausible therefore it still has some credence. If, instead, the woman would have said that a group of racist Martians had captured her and set her on fire – no, that wouldn’t have seemed plausible because the media surely wouldn’t have fallen for it. And that wouldn’t have taught us anything about racism in our society. But since the journalists did fall for this fabricated story, that in itself is evidence enough that racism strongly pervades our society.