A couple thousand years ago a Greek guy by the name of Aesop got famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) for his fables – short tales which ended with a ‘moral of the story’. One of these fables, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, ends with this moral:
"Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"Now, it used to be that most people had at least heard of this fable; many more had read or heard it and understood the moral of it. But lately, it sure seems folks have either never heard of it, or have forgotten it. And this has led them to spin fables of their own.
Alec Torres over at NRO Online, points out twelve examples of boys – and girls – and men and women – all engaging in ‘crying wolf’.
And beyond the obvious fact that lying is bad (mmmmkay?), and that it’s a sin (according to Judeo-Christianity), crying wolf causes a bunch of other problems.
One is that each of these ‘wolf-cryings’ – these hate-crimes hoaxes – ended up costing time, money, and effort which could have been better directed at more important things. While the taxpayer-funded police investigators were out hunting down an innocent person (or, in some cases, a nonexistent perpetrator), they could have been spending that time more fruitfully in investigating ‘real’ crimes – perhaps even ‘real’ hate-crimes.
Another is that hate-crimes hoaxes are extraordinarily unhelpful to ‘the cause’, whatever it might be – race, gender, sexual-preference, what-have-you – all these causes take a direct hit whenever one or two ‘bad apples’ join the bunch (contrary to the musical assertions of Michael and the Jackson 5, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch). Like the villagers in the story, after hearing ‘wolf’ and discovering it was a lie, eventually the villagers (read, society at large) will hear the cry, shrug their collective shoulders, and say, “Just another lie”. Even if, this time, it’s not.
Another fact is the old proverb, ‘You’re known by the company you keep’. If society in general sees members of any race, gender, sexual-preference, etc., acting like these hoax-crimers do, they will associate all (or at least the vast majority) members of that ‘cause’ with the same behavior. Whine about that if you like, it happens; suck it up and deal with it.
And finally, something that popped into my head while reading the second-linked article: are there really so few real and actual race/gender/sexual-preference/etc.-based hate-crimes out there that people actually think they need to fake them? Granted, every group has their attention-whores, and every group has its victim-card-throwers, and in some cases that probably was a factor in the hoaxes mentioned in the article. But if I came up with that hypothesis – that there ‘aren’t enough hate-crimes so we need to make some up’ – you can believe I’m not the only one thinking along those lines.
How do the spokes-folks of ‘the causes’ fight back against this kind of thing? Well, for one, don’t immediately jump on the hate-crimes bandwagon every time somebody hurls the accusation: sit back, investigate the claim, listen to the police and other investigators, and then (and only then), if the accusation has merit, put it on your banner as an example of oppression. Don’t ever be so quick to embrace an alleged hate-crime, because they can come back to bite you in the rear.
Second suggestion: whenever one of these hate-crimes turns out to be a hoax, publicly denounce the perpetrator of the hoax. By doing so you dissociate ‘the cause’ from that person. And if there are any spokespeople for ‘the cause’ who skip over Suggestion One up there and they get bit in the rear, publicly denounce them as well, this time for being stupid enough to fall for it.