Now that I’ve pissed off any potential SJW’s in the audience (thus making my day complete…) let’s look at some interesting thoughts on hate crime hoaxes. Here’s the excerpt I found compelling:
Long term cultural trends matter, too, and the third thing to know is that hate crime hoaxes thrive in a culture of victimhood. We use the term victimhood culture to refer to a new moral framework that differs from the older cultures of honor and dignity. Honor culture refers to a morality that revolves around physical bravery. In honor cultures one’s reputation is important, and it might be necessary to engage in violence to protect it. In the dignity cultures that replaced honor cultures, morality more often revolves around the idea that people have equal moral worth. Insults and slights don’t lower one’s status as they do in honor cultures, and people can ignore many minor offenses and go to the police and courts for more serious ones. Victimhood culture, which is in its most extreme form among campus activists, is different from both honor and dignity cultures. Its morality revolves around a narrative of oppression and victimhood, with victimhood acting as new kind of moral status, much like honor was a kind of moral status in many traditional societies.
Something like a hate crime hoax would make no sense in an honor culture. You might falsely accuse someone of insulting you so that you have a chance to display your honor, but you’d be trying to get them to engage in a duel or some other kind of fight. You’d be trying to demonstrate strength, to show you can handle your conflicts on your own. The last thing you’d want to do is claim to be a victim in need of help. Hate crime hoaxes make a little more sense in a dignity culture. Hate crimes are offenses against dignity, and perhaps you’d have something to gain by falsely claiming victimhood. But in a moral world less focused on praising victims and demonizing the privileged, the benefits are lesser and skepticism is greater.
Here’s what the author misses, though. In either an honor culture or a dignity culture – and between you and me, I’d prefer to live in the latter – there’s another compelling reason not to engage in hoaxes of this or any other reason, and that’s because both honor culture and dignity cultures tend to look down on dishonesty.
And that’s kind of the central point in a hoax, and there’s a word that I’ve not seen used nearly often enough in describing these kinds of hoaxers: Liars. They are lying about their supposed attackers, they are lying about why they were “targeted,” they were lying about the motivations of their non-existent aggressors, they were lying in an attempt to smear an entire demographic. They are liars, pure and simple, and if a person will lie about one thing they will lie about anything.
Liar is a word that is thrown around too casually in some contexts, where it is applied to mean “something someone said that I disagree with,” and not often enough in its true sense, “claiming as truth something that is demonstrably false.” Let’s fix that, and in so doing, not shy away from labeling actual liars as such.