by Andy Nowicki
With the University of Virginia frathouse gang rape story officially unraveling, we see yet another iteration of what has become a new American tradition: the campus hate crime hoax.
Technically, I know that rape is not a "hate crime" (a dubious designation in itself), but this case was already being predictably treated as such by prominent feminists and entrenched academic activists, who generally like to bray about "toxic masculinity" and "rape culture" whenever possible.
As with the Duke lacrosse case several years ago, the pieces were all in place here: the alleged rapists were rich, Southern white frat boys, a group which checks off all boxes in the Cult-Marx manual of easy vilification of the so-called "privileged." In the wake of one girl's lurid and generally incredible (and, as we now are finding, thoroughly non-credible) account of events concerning said incorrigible racist-sexist-homophobic-Southern-preppy-whitebread ritualistic rapists, on a campus moreover condemned in a breathlessly credulous Rolling Stone article as "overwhelmingly blond" (boo! hiss!), a massive reeducation campaign had been readied, the better to indoctrinate anyone with the temerity to hold out against the mandated ruling ideologies, which after all require supine allegiance at the cost of one's livelihood, reputation, and future. Our rulers are jealous gods, indeed.
In other words, the usual people were up to the usual shit. And they likely aren't going to stop with their shit, even though, as at Duke, it is now clear that the "facts on the ground" aren't in their favor. What really matters, we are now being told, isn't the specifics of this case, but the fact that women do indeed, on occasion, get raped on college campuses (and elsewhere). Therefore, in the minds of the would-be opinion shapers, there is still every reason to press forward with their agenda. The claims of this "Jackie" personwere only an excuse to act up, and plenty more excuses can always be concocted.
There may be more to say about the saga of "Jackie and the preps" (which sounds a bit like an Elton John song), but I find that investigation of this matter, and numerous other scandals which have also turned out to be frauds and hoaxes in collegiate settings, put me in mind of what might have been the first, the progenitor of this trend. I was, after all, there when it happened, and it was a huge deal at the time, though a quarter century later, it has been largely forgotten.
It was the fall of 1989, and I was a freshman at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. One night, returning to my dorm room from class, I met my cultivatedly scruffy, collegiately goateed neighbor outside my door.
"Hey, man," he said, looking glumly pensive. "Didja hear about Sabrina?"
I told him that I hadn't. I wasn't quite sure to whom he was referring, though later I recollected that I'd met Sabrina Collins a couple of times before at residence hall gatherings. She was, I vaguely recalled, a pleasant, soft-spoken, somewhat diminutive, coffee-complexioned black girl.
"She found all this racist graffiti scribbled with lipstick on the wall of her room," he said, ruefully. "They called her the N-word. Definitely not cool."
I agreed that it definitely wasn't cool, not at all. Indeed, I was shocked and appalled. Still, I figured that it would get sorted out, that the perpetrator would be found out and punished, and that, shameful as it was, nothing massively scandalous would come of the matter.
As a dutiful liberal, I of course deplored use of the "N-word," regardless of the circumstances. Clearly, as this case with Sabrina showed, racism was still alive and well in the American South, and this saddened and angered me. I recalled the outrage I 'd felt seeing the movie Mississippi Burning the previous year, and reading To Kill a Mockingbird in tenth grade English class.
And now — my liberally-indoctrinated mind boggled to think of it — something very like these events had taken place, not in 1959, but in 1989, on a major college campus, during my very lifetime! It was terrible, terrible, terrible! It needed to be publically condemned! Just the same, even I —credulous and naive teenage left-wing socialist though I then was — never expected how deep and resonant would be the forthcoming outcry over the Sabrina Collins affair, and the wild, M. Night Shayamalan-like twist the story would finally take.
There was no possibility of an incident "going viral" back then, as the Internet didn't yet exist. Still, Emory students marveled as the story of poor Miss Collins and her racist, vandalizing harasser went from being a local news story, to a national sensation, to an international phenomenon. When I saw that Sabrina had become a fixture on CNN, I recall being overtaken by puzzlement. Yes, it was really bad, but wasn't this just a bit of... (dared I say it, even to myself.?) well, overkill? I mean, really: somebody could obtain worldwide notoriety by writing "Nigger" on someone else's dorm room wall with a case of lipstick? Sure it was awful, but... (dared I admit it?)... were there not a great many worse things going on, much more worthy of the world's attention, than this?
Then again, I cautiously hedged, maybe it was disrespectful of me to feel that way. Perhaps, as the T-shirts many people were wearing at the time had announced, this was a "black thing," and I just didn't understand.
In time the story took another abrupt left turn. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation had looked into the matter, and they revealed to the press that they believed that Sabrina had written the incriminating graffiti herself.
Responses to this solemn announcement proved to be mixed. Some suddenly admitted that they felt such a scenario to be credible. Others, however, only doubled down on their outrage against what they felt was surely another clear-cut sign of institutionalized prejudice. Looking for guidance, I remember asking a friend what he thought.
"Ahh, the GBI are a bunch of racists. I don't believe them," he declared flatly. He sounded so confident about the matter that I felt sure he must have had a point, although looking back now he clearly knew nothing.
A few days later, Sabrina gave an interview to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in which she vehemently maintained that she hadn't perpetrated any hoax. Yet the more information that came out, the more it became apparent that the scandal had been self-inflicted, both in examination of the weight of the evidence and with regard to motive. Apparently, the furtive, "Die, nigger!" lipstick dorm room wall scrawlings had been Sabrina's attempt to draw attention away from an honors code investigation concerning an incident where she had allegedly cheated on a chemistry exam.
As the accumulating evidence came to be known, Sabrina grew increasingly isolated. Soon few, if any, actually believed her account of victimization. Yet she was never charged with any crime, and even Sabrina's accusers generally took an indulgent view of her, viewing her as a psychologically scarred person who needed help, not as a manipulative, scheming liar who had purposefully perpetrated a massive hoax for utterly self-serving reasons.
And those who had defended her at first began to take a different tack; even if her story wasn't true, it was still true in a more profound sense, since it helped draw attention to the pressures faced by black college students, or something. As this New York Times story from June 1990 reveals, the NAACP was unwilling to give up on something that made for good propaganda for their cause, though it had no bearing in reality:
Otis Smith, president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who earlier assailed Emory, said the new findings were largely irrelevant. ''It doesn't matter to me whether she did it or not,'' he said, ''because of all the pressure these black students are under at these predominantly white schools. If this will highlight it, if it will bring it to the attention of the public, I have no problem with that.''And a 2009 piece released by Emory University actually exults in the fact that Sabrina helped to "raise awareness" of racism,... or something:
"A statewide investigation deemed the alleged hate crime a hoax a few months later, but its impact on the Emory community was anything but inauthentic. In the wake of that incident, students banded together to raise cultural awareness on campus."
Sabrina left Emory after 1990, and seems to have kept a low profile since then. But though details of the scam she ran has been dropped down the Orwellian "memory hole," her efforts, we can see, have been anything but ineffective. Indeed, they have spawned a continual wave of copycats, students who fabricate scandals designed to trigger the left-liberal ideological elites who own the American academy and who are hard at work remaking the West to suit their extensive social-engineering goals. The fact that the hoaxers are...well, liars, ends up mattering little to those who attempt to exploit their lying shenanigans. If Sabrina made it all up in 1989, it "doesn't matter," and if "Jackie" has fabricated her gang rape in 2013, this is surely beside the point, such people maintain.
But what then is the point, to them? Clearly, it is this: we (i.e., the defiantly "unenlightened") must bow the knee to our ideological overlords (i.e., the truly "privileged" ones), merely because our overlords and their ambitious lackies want us to do so. They are powerful, and we are not... Still, our refusal to conform greatly vexes them — they are jealous gods, after all — and if the truth cannot be corralled to coerce and intimidate us into recking their rod, then lies will surely suffice. "Shut up," they reason, and dare us not to comply.
(originally published at Alternative Right, December 2014)
Andy Nowicki, co-editor of Alternative Right, is the author of eight books, including Under the Nihil, The Columbine Pilgrim, Considering Suicide, and Beauty and the Least. He occasionally updates his blog when the spirit moves him to do so. Visit his Soundcloud page.