Fake It

About a month ago, an acquaintance emailed me about a hate crime in Lincoln, NE. His only commentary was, “when are you going to wise up?” That remark was followed by a link to a blog post about the attack, including photos that couldn’t be posted by major news outlets. According to the story, an unnamed 33-year-old woman was viciously attacked in her home as she slept by three masked men who stripped her naked, bound her hands and feet with zip-ties, carved homophobic slurs into her arm and her stomach, spray-painted similar slurs on the walls, poured gasoline on the floor and lit the house on fire.

As soon as I read the story, I smelled a stage act. I didn’t want to immediately post about it because there wasn’t much info in the news reports I was able to find. The spray-painted slurs were on the inside of the house, not the outside – in the basement, no less. The slurs cut into her skin were on her stomach and arm, places she can easily reach. I’ve studied the psychology of people who commit hate crimes, and none of that makes any sense.

A person who would go so far as to attack a person for their sexual orientation or their race or religion is doing so in an attempt to humiliate and intimidate that person AND all of the people in the vicinity who are associated with that person. When a hate crime involves defacing property, they’re trying to publicly identify that person as gay, lesbian, black, Hispanic, Jewish, whatever the bias may be against. They want everyone in the neighborhood to know what they see that person as being. When a hate crime involves arson, they’re usually trying to destroy evidence; whether it be DNA, footprints or blood spatter, there’s a purpose to trying to burn the home down and they make sure that the fire gets rolling (meaning they don’t just pour gasoline on the Formica in the kitchen and run away). Hate crimes rarely involve mutilation – that’s typically something that a jilted lover does when they’re killing the object of their affection, and it’s not usually superficial. It’s brutal.

If this were a genuine hate crime, any of these things could potentially have been done. All three together, and all very superficially? Extremely unlikely.

Today, it was announced that 33-year-old Charlie Rogers, formerly #33 for the Nebraska Cornhuskers women’s basketball team, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of false reporting to the police. Among the evidence police released were inconsistent statements from the victim, gloves (with Rogers’ own DNA inside them – she told investigators they were not hers and were left by the perps), zip ties and a utility knife, and no blood on the bedspread where Rogers was allegedly attacked.

At first, Rogers didn’t want her name or face publicized. Then, when a handful of people questioned whether the attack might have been staged – it was never questioned by the MSM, and the major players in the conservative blogosphere still haven’t picked up on it – she suddenly decided to talk to the press. In the entire interview, I didn’t hear her talk about herself once. She makes statements about “my world” and feeling like “a pawn”, but she largely only talks about everyone else.

According to Lincoln police chief Jim Peschong, Rogers had written the following online: “So maybe I’m too idealistic but I believe way deep inside me that we can make things better for everyone. I will be a catalyst. I will do what it takes. I will. Watch me.” Beth Rigatuso, the president of Heartland Pride, said, “If in fact she did do this to herself, it points to a much larger issue of self-hatred. It doesn’t diminish the fact that hate crimes happen all the time all across the U.S.”

Rigatuso is wrong on both counts. This had nothing to do with self-hatred, and to claim that kind of thing is an enormous cop-out. She’s making excuses for Rogers’ behavior in the hopes of not having to accept responsibility, and the gay community should take some. She’s not the first to stage a hate crime or falsely claim a hate crime took place, yet the gay community, rather than calling these people out, pretend the incidents didn’t happen.

Joseph Baken claimed that he was attacked in the street outside a gay bar, even posted photos of his facial injuries – except he got the injuries while trying to do a back flip off of a curb outside the bar. Aimee Whitchurch and Christel Conklin called police over the words “kill the gay” being spray painted on their garage door and a noose being hung on their front door, but it was determined they did it themselves. Quinn Matney claimed that a complete stranger walked up to him on his college campus, said “here is a taste of hell”, called him a derogatory name and then branded him, leaving third- and fourth-degree burns on his hand – but he did it to himself. Ryan Grant Watson claimed he was attacked by a black man who called him a homophobic slur, but it was invented, too. Alexandra Pennell claimed that someone was stuffing anti-gay threat letters under her dorm room door at Central Connecticut State University, but that was also determined to be a hoax.

Rigatuso is correct – hate crimes do happen. Only it seems that these days there are far more fakes out there. We all know the stories of Mathew Shepard, Brandon Teena and Gwen Araujo, but here in the United States those stories are few and far between. In the interim, we’ve just had a major upheaval over comments made by Chick-Fil-A CFO Dan Cathy – I think that has a lot to do with this recent spate of staged anti-gay hate crimes. The purpose of these incidents, I think, is twofold: first, these are people who want attention. Second, they want to find some way, any way, to prove that we need to put a stop to these right-wing hatemongers.

They think if they have to fake it, the ends justify the means. The problem with that belief is that none of the people involved in beating, raping and killing Mathew Shepard, Brandon Teena and Gwen Araujo ever claimed to be Christians or right-wingers.

I’m at a loss as to how we’ve determined that Christians and conservatives are responsible for crimes committed largely by non-religious rednecks. I’m at even more of a loss to excuse the intolerance of the gay left; of the Quinn Matney incident, Jeff DeLuca said, “He still needs our support. It’s a different kind of support than we originally anticipated having to offer. He’s still a valued member of our community and we want to make sure his health, safety and peace of mind are at the forefront of what we’re doing for him.”

When was the last time a gay leftist was so compassionate to any conservative, let alone a gay conservative?