Since president-elect Donald Trump’s surprising win last week, people have been coming out of the woodwork with tales about how Trump supporters have reportedly abused them. Many of the stories of alleged Trump supporters unleashing their fury on minority groups, however, have turned out to be exaggerations, incidents that have nothing to do with Trump, or plain hoaxes.
To mark a week since “Day 1,” the day many social justice activists have been using to acknowledge we are now in “Trump’s America,” MRCTV compiled five of the most prominent misleading news stories about Trump supporters committing heinous acts.
The highest-profile hate crime story that turned out to be a hoax is about a Muslim University of Louisiana at Lafayette student who admitted to police she made the whole thing up.
The student originally told police that two Trump supporters beat her, robbed her, and removed her hijab. One of the perpetrators, of course, was wearing a “TRUMP” hat in the process.
Major news outlets picked up the story as a definitive proof that Trump supporters are targeting Muslims in wake of his victory.
The Lafayette police later issued a statement saying, “During the course of the investigation, the female complainant admitted that she fabricated the story about her physical attack as well as the removal of her hijab and wallet by two white males.”
The 18-year-old attention-seeker now faces criminal charges for filing a false police report.
Text on a whiteboard that read “BYE BYE LATINOS HASTA LA VISTA” terrorized the Elon University community after Trump’s win.
It turns out, however, the writing was satire on Trump’s election—written by a Latino.
Elon News Network reports Smith Jackson, the vice president for Student Life, sent out an email on Friday confirming the message was a joke by a Latino student.
He allegedly said, “The message was written by a Latino student who was upset about the results of the election and wrote the message as a satirical commentary.”
Elon News Network states, even before the university’s admission of the identity of the culprit, they received multiple reports from sources confirming the perpetrator was Latino.
After the identity of the message scribbler was confirmed to be a Latino, University Police Chief Dennis Franks said there would be no criminal charges.
Franks wrote, “Since this was not a criminal incident, there is no need for Campus Safety and Police to be involved in the matter.”
It is unclear whether there would be criminal charges involved if the perpetrator was not Latino.
A California community was up in arms after a high school student was captured on video giving "deportation notices” out to his classmates. Rather than being a rabid Trump supporter who wanted to warn illegal immigrants about their future, the student actually was giving out the notices as pranks to his friends of different ethnicities.
The Redding Record Searchlight reports a Shasta High School student was recorded giving deportation notices to his friends. Still captures of the video reportedly shows the caption, “Got him” along with the name of a hoax courthouse frequently cited in pranks. Another still image allegedly reads, “another french [sic] one.”
Shasta High School principal Leo Perez told parents in the community, “the students involved are all friends and the act was meant as a joke.”
Superintendent Jim Cloney also confirmed the student said, “it was done to be funny.”
Despite admitting the deportation notices were meant as a joke, Cloney said, “It goes without saying, we don’t think this sort of behavior is funny nor reflective of the culture at Shasta High and behavior that is racially or culturally insensitive will not be allowed to go on at any of our schools.”
Cloney also said the school will “apply appropriate consequences depending on the severity of the situation to ensure that the behavior is not repeated” since they “take issues around racial and cultural insensitivity very seriously.”
Even though the student repeated over and over the stunt was part of a joke between friends, that didn’t stop people from taking the act seriously and blaming it on Trump.
Out of Santa Monica, a tale emerged that a group of Trump supporters brutally beat a gay man “because he’s gay” the night of the election. As evidence, a person claiming to be Chris Ball’s friend posted an image of a man covered in blood.
Ball, the alleged victim in the incident, happens to be a filmmaker who specializes in special effects and makeup. The story was so suspicious from the beginning that even Pride LA revoked the original article about the incident.
After the story went viral, the Santa Monica Police Department posted on their Facebook page that the “Santa Monica Police Department and the City of Santa Monica have not received any information indicating this crime occurred in the City of Santa Monica.”
They also stated, “A check of local hospitals revealed there was no victim of any such incident admitted or treated as well.”
Ball, however, provided various news outlets with documents he alleges are release forms from when he was treated at the hospital for the incident.
While it’s possible the incident did happen (despite the police not receiving any indication an individual was treated for the injuries he describes), Ball even told Calgary Metro News he doesn’t believe the incident was related to Trump or even politics.
The day after the election, Mic reporter Sarah Harvard took to Twitter to share a personal anecdote about an incident that allegedly happened to her friend’s sister. In her tweet, Harvard claimed her friend’s sister, a Muslim, had a knife pulled on her by a Trump supporter while riding on the bus at the University of Illinois-Champaign.
The tweet went viral, even though the UIUC police department quickly noted they have not received any police report about the incident:
Harvard defended the lack of a police report by claiming Muslims are afraid to report hate crimes to the police because “no one fcking trusts them.” To support her claims, Harvard used Facebook statuses posted by people at UIUC.
However, the UIUC police spent most of the next few days taking to Twitter and Reddit to confirm that student safety is their top priority, and if the incident did in fact happen, it needs to be reported it to the police.
On Reddit, the UIUC PD wrote, “We checked with our county dispatch center, and no calls or reports were made to suggest anything like this happened.”
Harvard then claimed her friend wouldn’t talk to the police because the police allegedly said the investigation would take over a month. She also doubled down on the rhetoric that Muslims are afraid to talk to the police because of “retaliation.”
A New York Post reporter tried to ascertain the veracity of the story by reaching out to Harvard to talk to the alleged victim, but a story has yet to be published.
Harvard later called making false accusations “abhorrent,” but said “the threat of white supremacy/nationalism is far more dangerous” than lying and making a scene over something that never happened: