Our readers may remember the September incident at the Air Force Academy Prep School involving racial slurs written outside the dorm rooms of five black cadet candidates. The Superintendent released a stern statement denouncing racism and commenting that “there is absolutely no place in our Air Force for racism.”
News agencies and social media snatched up the story with coverage as disparate as the political leanings of those publications. Internet outrage, as per usual, abounded. It now appears, however, that the investigation into the incident has concluded with, well, surprising results.
The Incident and the Investigation
Threats and racial slurs were written on the chalkboards outside the rooms of five black cadet candidates at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) Prep School, a ten-month program allowing those who would not have received automatic acceptance to USAFA a chance to train up and potentially become cadets the following year. Cadet Candidates include prior enlisted troops, recruited athletes, or those whose academics need a little extra work.
Condemnation was swift, and both parents and lawmakers called for quick action. Adam Smith, Democrat Representative from Washington and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, called for action:
“The Air Force needs to investigate this incident thoroughly and take appropriate action. There is no place in the military for these kinds of acts. Incidents like these, even if they are performed by a single individual, offend our moral sensibilities and they can undermine the morale of service members and cadets. It is a bedrock principle that everyone in the U.S. military should be treated with dignity and respect.”
Upon further investigation, it was found that the racist messages were written by none other than of the “victims” himself! That individual is no longer a cadet candidate, and the Superintended emphasized that the incident, regardless of who is responsible, represents actions unacceptable for the Air Force and the United States Military at large.
Crying Wolf Hurts the Cause
These revelations are just one in a number of “hate crime hoaxes.” This unnamed former cadet candidate is not the first person to claim that were assaulted or discriminated against when, in reality, no such thing happened. These instances undermine the cause of racial harmony and do more harm than good.
Make no mistake, racism exists. Racially motivated acts happen. The scars of Jim Crow run deep, there is still work to be done, and there are many great Americans fighting to close whatever gaps in racial harmony remain. They are champions for a noble cause, and incidents like this undermine their efforts.
We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. After the village sprang into action, only to find there was no wolf. The village eventually stopped responding, and the boy was eaten. This foundational children’s story teaches us the importance of telling the truth lest unbelief has dire consequences.
Such is the case with crying “racist” when none exists. One need look no further than the election of President Trump. His election was the natural progression of eight years of the “village” growing tired of reading the “Leftists Who Cried Racist.”
There is still work that needs to be done in this country to truly bring an end to racial disharmony and injustice. Fabricating a hate crime is not how to do it.