The 2016 year saw an explosion in “hate crime” accounts that turned out to be hoaxes. Many of those accounts were attributed to supporters of Donald Trump.
TheDC compiled some of the best — or worst — hoaxes of 2016.
Albany University Race Hoax Fools The Media — And Hillary Clinton
Three black women at the University of Albany earned media coverage from liberal outlets like CNN in February when they claimed a white mob followed them onto a bus, hurling racial slurs and later attacking them. The alleged attack even caught the attention of Hillary Clinton, who sent a personal tweet stating that “There’s no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus.” There’s just one problem: the students made the whole thing up.
BuzzFeed Falls For Hoax Cliven Bundy Story
Shortly after the Bundys seized control of a federal building in Oregon, BuzzFeed ran a story titled “Cliven Bundy Claims Obama Threatened Donald Trump In Bizarre Hand-Written Lawsuit.” According to the original story, Bundy filed a bizarre lawsuit claiming — among other things — that President Obama forced Bundy to perform oral sex on Obama’s dogs. As it turns out, Bundy never filed such a lawsuit. A prankster felon named David Rothrock who has nothing to do with Bundy filed the hoax lawsuit in his name in 2014, fooling BuzzFeed with it almost two years later.
Lesbian Professor Fakes A Hate Crime To ‘Raise Awareness’
A lesbian professor at the University of Central Michigan claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime at a Toby Keith concert in which a random man called her a “cross-dressing fag” before beating her up. The professor, Mari Poindexter, admitted in March that she had, in fact, punched herself in the face and invented the story. Poindexter claims she made up the story in order to “raise awareness about the social hardships of people in the LGBTQ+ community.”
Salisbury Hate Crime Involving Noose And Racial Slurs Turns Out To Be A Hoax
In April, ths campus police department at Salisbury University opened a “hate crime” investigation after a noose was drawn on a university white board, alongside the word “Nigger!” and the hashtag “#WhitePower” As it turns out, the “hate crime” was the handiwork of two black students (who were not charged).
Gay Man Fakes Whole Foods’ Anti-Gay Cake
Also in April, a gay Texas pastor named Jordan Brown sued Whole Foods claiming that he had ordered a cake with the words “LOVE WINS” written on it in icing, only to receive it with the words “LOVE WINS FAG” written instead. Brown later dropped the lawsuit and admitted Whole Foods “did nothing wrong” after the company filed a counter-suit and released footage showing when Brown picked up the cake, sans homophobic slur.
Student Loses Fight, Concocts Race Hoax To Cover It Up
A black student at the University of Iowa generated outrage in May when he claimed to have been attacked by three white men spitting racial epithets, sending him to the hospital. As it turns out, the black student’s facial injuries were the result of him starting a fight and then losing it. The student, Marcus Owens, reportedly made up the fictitious hate crime in order to cover up the truth about the original fight.
Black Activist Jailed For Hoax Racist Death Threats
In June, a black activist named Kayla-Simone McKelvey was sentenced to 90 days in jail for using a Kean University computer — her alma mater — to tweet death threats to black students, threatening to “kill all the blacks tonight.”
‘Racist Middle Schoolers’ Story Turns Out To Be A Hoax
Arlington, Massachusetts police opened an investigation in late June over a series of racist text messages allegedly sent by a 12-year-old girl to an Indian student. That, too, turned out to be a hoax.
Bisexual Student Fakes Trump-Inspired Hate Crime
The aftermath of Donald Trump’s election last month saw an explosion in “hate crime” reports supposedly inspired by The Donald. Many Trump-inspired “hate crimes,” however, turned out to be hoaxes. In one such instance, Taylor Volk, an openly bisexual senior at North Park University claimed to be the target of hateful notes and emails, telling NBC News that “I just want them to stop.” But the “them” referenced by Volk turned out to be herself, as the whole thing was fabricated.
Prankster Tricks Liberal Journalist Into Spreading Hoax Trump-Inspired Hate Crime
As tales of Trump-inspired “hate crimes” were spread far and wide by liberal journalists, one Internet prankster decided to test just how committed those journalists were to their narrative. The prankster sent Mic.com writer Sarah Harvard a fictitious story in which a Native American claimed to have been harassed by an alleged Trump supporter who thought she was Mexican. Despite no evidence backing up the claim, Harvard spread the fake story.
Muslim Woman Robbed Of Her Hijab And Wallet — NOT!
An 18-year-old Muslim woman in Louisiana claimed two white men, one of whom was wearing a Trump hat, attacked and robbed her, taking her wallet and hijab while yelling racial slurs. She later admitted to the Lafayette Police Department that she made the whole thing up.
Gas Station Racism Goes Viral, Is Later Exposed As A Hoax
In a Facebook post that went viral, a black woman in Philadelphia claimed she was harassed by white, Trump-supporting males, one of whom pulled a weapon on her. The woman, Ashley Boyer, claimed that the men “proceeded to talk about the election and how they’re glad they won’t have to deal with n—–s much longer.” Boyer deleted the post after it went viral, later claiming the men had been caught and were facing criminal charges, before local police debunked her account.
Anti-Muslim Hate Crime In Michigan Turns Out To Be A Hoax
A Muslim woman at the University of Michigan received national attention from liberal outlets like The Washington Post after claiming a drunk 20-something man threatened to light her on fire and forced her to remove her hijab. The university condemned the “hateful attack,” which turned out to be a hoax.
‘Drunk White Men’ Attack Muslim Woman In Story That Never Happened
An 18-year-old Muslim woman named Yasmin Seweid was the subject of breathless headlines after she claimed to have been attacked by a group of Donald Trump supporters on a New York subway while onlookers did nothing. She, too, would go on to confess that she made the whole thing up.
Trump-Inspired Racist Blaze At Black Church Was Carried Out By Black Churchgoer
A week before the election, liberal news organizations ran headlines like “A Black Church Burned in the Name of Trump” after a black church in Greenville, Mississippi was set on fire and spray painted with the words “Vote Trump.” The Washington Post’s coverage of the incident read in part, “Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the fire a ‘hateful and cowardly act,’ sparked by the incendiary rhetoric of GOP nominee Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.” But the church was burned down by one of the church’s own congregants, who is black.
Media Buys A Hoax From Muslim YouTube Star Known For Hoaxes
YouTube star Adam Saleh, who has a history of spreading racially inflammatory hoaxes, claimed to have been kicked off a Delta flight for the mere act of speaking Arabic. Media outlets around the world ran with Saleh’s story, which Delta and the other passengers said was false.
White Father Sets His Own Car On Fire, Paints Racial Slur On Garage
Denton, Texas resident David Williams set his own car on fire and painted “nigger lovers” on his home’s garage, in an apparent attempt to stage a hate crime. Local police investigated the arson as a hate crime. Williams and his wife, Jenny, collected more than $5,000 from Good Samaritans via a GoFundMe page after the couple said that insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of all the damage.