A threatening, racist message left on an African-American student’s car windshield at St. Olaf College was a fabrication, according to the president of the Minnesota school.
The anonymous typewritten note found on April 29 read that “I’m so glad that you are leaving. One less [N-word] that this school has to deal with. You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up,” KMSP, Fox9 in Eden Prairie, reported. The student posted an image of the note on social media and contacted campus security.
The incident sparked protests by hundreds of students who called for the end of institutional racism at the Northfield, Minnesota, college because of prior alleged racist incidents on campus along with demands for a mandatory race and gender curriculum and other forms of sensitivity training.
St. Olaf cancelled classes on May 1 ahead of a planned student boycott over the incident.
Earlier this week, however, President David Anderson revealed in two campus-wide emails that after an investigation, it seemed that the campus had been hoaxed, The College Fix detailed.
“We’ve confirmed that this was not a genuine threat. We’re confident that there is no ongoing threat from this incident to individuals or the community as a whole…The reason I said in my earlier note that this was not a genuine threat is that we learned from the author’s confession that the note was fabricated. It was apparently a strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate.”
Anderson asserted that the identity of the person responsible for the racist message could not be revealed because of federal laws governing student privacy. The president also vowed to address the concerns of minority students on campus.
One student told the Minnesota Star-Tribune that the incident that occurred about 45 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul “started something good,” even if a hoax “was not necessarily the best way to get it started.”
Student activists apparently aren’t backing down from their demands.
Separately, in March, the Manitou Messenger, St. Olaf’s student newspaper, previously claimed that some conservative students on the overwhelmingly liberal campus had been threatened with physical violence after the presidential election.
Hate crime hoaxes, when they allegedly occur on or off campus, prevent law enforcement authorities from deploying resources to investigate real hate crimes. Although various media organizations claim a surge in hate crimes has occurred since the November 2016 presidential election in which Donald Trump emerged the victor, apparently, some of them appear to be fake, as the Inquisitr has chronicled.
For example, offensive graffiti that covered the exterior walls of an Indiana church days after the presidential election was the work of the church’s organist, authorities concluded after a six-month investigation into the potential hate crime. The graffiti included the words “Heil Trump,” a gay slur, and a Nazi swastika. The organist told cops that that he sought to “mobilize a movement” given his disappointment with or fear about the national election results.
Last month, for example, cops arrested an Indiana State University professor in connection with an alleged hate crime hoax. Authorities charged him with obstruction of justice (a felony) and harassment (a misdemeanor). Authorities indicated that the man made up anti-Muslim threats.
A Beloit College student was arrested in February on various charges for what police say amounts to an apparent or potential hate crime hoax involving anti-Muslim threats and symbols in his dorm that he had reported as a threat to his religion and ethnicity. Police say the student spray-painted the offensive imagery himself.
An anti-Muslim, headline-making hate crime in December 2016 against a University of Michigan student in which a suspect threatened to set her hijab on fire was allegedly made up, Ann Arbor police detectives concluded, after interviewing witnesses and poring over surveillance footage.
Following an initial complaint that generated national coverage, the NYPD charged a Muslim student, who claimed she was harassed by Trump supporters on a subway, with filing a false police report.
A Chicago college student allegedly faked an incident in which she claimed to have received anti-gay, pro-Trump notes and emails, according to the educational institution’s president, who also indicated that the student is no longer enrolled there.
As the Inquisitr also previously outlined, a University of Louisiana-Lafayette student acknowledged that she made up a story about being assaulted, robbed, and having her hijab torn off by two men, one of whom was wearing a Trump hat. The Lafayette Police Department later announced that it was no longer investigating after the alleged victim admitted to the fabrication. According to CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV, authorities plan to charge the woman, 18, with filing a false report.
Back in December 2015, an African-American Kean University graduate and former homecoming queen was charged by authorities with allegedly making fake Twitter death threats against black students on the campus in the midst of anti-racism protests during the previous month.
[Featured Image by Daniel Edwins a.k.a. Webmoof/Wikimedia Commons/cropped and resized/CC BY-SA 2.5]