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Campus Hoax Culture Alive and Well    

  By: Dr. Duke Pesta
   Published : May 12, 2017
In April, the bucolic campus St. Olaf, a Lutheran college in Minnesota, was rocked by widespread protests. An African-American sociology major named Samantha Wells found a typewritten note on her windshield that read “I am so glad that you are leaving soon. 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.”

Wells claimed to be “broken down” and “overwhelmed” by the message and posted it to Facebook, creating a firestorm. Within hours, students gathered in Buntrock Commons and forced the cancellation of classes. Protestors strong-armed school administrators to implement a number of initiatives benefitting minority students at the expense of others.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, news broke this week that the note was a hoax perpetrated by Wells herself.

American campuses are facing an epidemic of such fake hate crimes, all of which lead to vast and inequitable changes that segregate and privilege minority students, while simultaneously singling out and scapegoating white students for their “privilege.” Signage posted across St. Olaf campus carried such divisive messages as “I’m sick of white tears,” and “F*ck your white complacency.”

And why not? For decades, campus faculty and administrators have conferred absolute moral infallibility on minority students simply because of the color of their skin, and have caved in time after time to egregiously unfair and downright discriminatory accommodations for the aggrieved protestors. Further, when hoaxes result in campus tumult, the accommodations are never rescinded, and the liars face such negligible consequences that the benefits of lying far out way the negatives. And so Campus Hoax Culture continues to flourish

The made up of taunts in Samantha Wells’ letter, however, are more accurate than she knew. For it is indeed primarily white, conservative, republican, and Christian students who are being silenced and discriminated against on modern campuses. In Wells’ own words, they are being told to “shut up or be shut up,” that “they have spoken up too much,” and that their complaints and mistreatment will not change.

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