The media is breathlessly reporting on a supposed wave of violence perpetuated by supporters of Donald Trump–despite the fact that there is little evidence of this wave.
Time magazine is a prime example of this, as they reported on how the Southern Poverty Law Center–a leftist organization that demonizes those with views running counter to lefitst orthodoxy as racists–has received over "200 complaints of hate crimes since Election Day."
Time goes on to cite anti-Semitic graffiti, violence toward Muslims and a church that offered Spanish services which was vandalized with "TRUMP NATION WHITES ONLY" as some examples.
"Since the election, we've seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump's election," said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, to USA Today, per Time. "The white supremacists out there are celebrating his victory and many are feeling their oats."
Here's the problem with Cohen's statement: a substantial amount of the reported pro-Trump violence have appeared to be hoaxes.
Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown has a solid breakdown of the most notable incidents of supposed pro-Trump violence that have turned out to be hoaxes:
The first one to really go viral involved a Muslim female student at the University of Louisiana who claimed to have had her hijab ripped off and her wallet stolen the day after Trump's election by two white men wearing Trump hats. But on Thursday, local police announced that the young woman had admitted she fabricated the story. "This incident is no longer under investigation," the Lafayette Police Department said in a press release.
In another incident, this one in San Diego, a young Muslim woman's purse and car were stolen by one white male and one Hispanic male. While the men allegedly made negative comments about Muslims, it seems car stealing was more their motivation than harassment or intimidation—which is obviously shitty, but not necessarily a Trump-inspired act of bigotry.
And an alleged incident of a gay man named Chris Ball getting beaten up by Trump supporters in Santa Monica on election night seems to have not happened the way it was initially recounted, if the incident even happened at all. The Santa Monica Police Department posted a message to Facebook Thursday saying that neither the department nor city officials had "received any information indicating this crime occurred in the City of Santa Monica" and "a check of local hospitals revealed there was no victim of any such incident admitted or treated."
Brown later updated her piece to highlight two other alleged incidents that also appear to be hoaxes:
- A black woman identified as Ashley Boyer in Delaware claimed to have been threatened by a gaggle of white men when she voiced concerns about Trump. One allegedly said "How scared are you, black bitch?" and that he "should kill you right now. You're a waste of air." Another allegedly brandished a gun and warned that she's "lucky there's witnesses or else I'd shoot you right here." The lady claimed to have filed a police report and the perpetrators were caught, but there is no record of such a report being filed.
- Kathy Mirah Tu, an Asian student at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, alleged that a white man "yelled at me to 'Go back to Asia.'" When she ignored him, the man angrily grabbed her wrist for not acknowledging him, prompting her to punch him. Tu claimed the police "handcuffed her but eventually let her off with a warning," but the police have claimed that they don't have a record of such an incident occurring.
As for the graffiti of anti-Semitic and racist messages, Brown notes that most of them "have happened around middle- and high-schools, which doesn't make their messages any less hurtful, I'm sure, but does suggest a phenomenon driven by mean and immature kids rather than rogue bands of serious neo-Nazis."
Some of it may even be anti-Trump messages–Brown cites an incident in San Francisco where someone hung a Nazi flag after Trump's election as a means to compare Trump to a Nazi, not showing solidarity with Nazis as many initially thought. But it's hard to know the exact intent of such graffiti since "no one is taking credit for them."
Brown also points out that most of the alleged incidents of pro-Trump violence have been social media posts that are unsubstantiated, as well as incidents of people being subject to racial slurs–which is certainly disgusting, but's not evidence of a supposed pro-Trump hate crime wave.
The fact that a substantial amount of such hate crime reports are unsubstantiated makes the notion of a supposed pro-Trump violence wave seem rather dubious. But that doesn't matter to leftists, since they only care about blaming the right for violence.