Why Do People Keep Falling for Campus Race Hoaxes?

It’s happened again, this time at Kean University in New Jersey. On November 18, an anonymous Twitter user (@keanuagainstblk) posted a series of tweets that included racist comments and a threat to “shoot any black person i see at kean university.” These are a couple of the tweets:

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The tweets had all the predictable consequences. Kean’s president, Dawood Farahi, called the tweets “despicably racist and unacceptable.”

Kean University President Dawood Farahi met informally with student protesters on campus this morning, voicing support and calling anonymous threatening tweets apparently aimed at them “despicably racist and unacceptable.”

“Hate will never succeed. It will always fail,” said Farahi, adding that the student demonstrators needed to know that the university “stands behind them when they peacefully use their constitutional rights.”

Demonstrators used the purportedly racist tweets to gin up more alleged incidents of racism at the highly diverse campus:

Green said the group walked and chanted “black lives matter.”

Among those in the group was Charles Curtis III, who graduated in May. He said when the group reached the quad, some students in the dorms began calling out racial slurs, and responding by yelling “white lives matter.”

According to Curtis, when they walked back to the clock tower, they learned abut the Twitter account and the threat, and immediately headed back to the quad, where a much larger group gathered.

The tweet stated: i will kill every black male and female at kean university

Others, however, questioned whether the alleged racial slurs were real:

Another student who observed the protest Tuesday, Cornelius Robinson, said he never heard racial slurs being yelled. He thought people were just shouting from the dorms because they were trying to sleep.

“They were just yelling to shut up and go to bed. No one cares,” he recounted. …

Robinson, who is black, said he had never experienced racial discrimination at Kean.

A few days later, the inevitable happened: the anonymous tweeter was revealed to be black activist Kayla-Simone McKelvey, who graduated from Kean in May:

A recent Kean graduate has been charged with being responsible for a series of tweets threatening black students at the school two weeks ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.

Kayla-Simone McKelvey, 24, of Union – a black alum who graduated in May – was charged by summons with third-degree creating a false public alarm.

Park said an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and Kean University police found that McKelvey, a self-proclaimed activist, participated in a student rally to raise awareness of racism on college campuses on Nov. 17, but left midway through and walked to a computer station in a university library.

Once there, McKelvey allegedly created an anonymous Twitter account – @keanuagainstblk – and began posting threats of violence against black Kean students. …

After making the posts, McKelvey returned to the rally and attempted to spread awareness of the threats, authorities said.

Kayla-Simone McKelvey

Kayla-Simone McKelvey

It should be noted that Ms. McKelvey, obviously a victim of systemic racism, was Kean’s Homecoming Queen last year.

Racial threats and “hate crimes” on campus almost always turn out to be hoaxes. (I say “almost” to allow for the possibility that there may be one, somewhere, that proved to be genuine.) I can’t imagine that anyone was surprised when Ms. McKelvey was unmasked.

These hoaxes are sad, but they can have entertainment value, too. One of the more entertaining ones is going on at Harvard Law School, where a group of leftists faked a modest “hate crime” that consisted of putting small pieces of black tape over the photographs of most of the law school’s black professors. The leftists have not yet confessed, and continue to try to use the episode to gin up racial controversy at the law school. You can read all about it at Royall Asses.