Today’s paragraphs come to us from the latest commentary by Daniel Payne, writing for

After first detailing a number of specific instances where racist events on college campuses around the country were eventually found to be hoaxes, Mr. Payne has this to say:

There is a reason that this kind of behavior is so common at American colleges. Much of our country’s institutions of higher learning have placed a high premium on victimhood status. Higher education is supposed to be both democratic (everyone is equal before authority) and meritocratic (one can advance oneself based on hard work and diligence). Modern college activists have flipped these considerations on their head: nowadays the greatest boon for a college student is to be victimized by some slight—real or fabricated—and the quickest way for a student to rise up the college ladder is to assert one’s special status based on skin color, sexual orientation, “gender identity” or some other consideration. (At Clemson University, for instance, a diversity training program cautions people to recognize that “[a diferent] cultural perspective regarding time is neither more nor less valid than any other.” Not showing up to an appointment on time is apparently now a civil right.)

In such an environment, it is hardly unsurprising that students would compete for the prized status of “victim,” going even to such lengths as making up hate crime incidents out of whole cloth. Colleges and universities, to be sure, have some ability to roll back this poisonous social tide: by punishing perpetrators of fake crimes, for instance, and refusing to indulge in victimhood culture. But all signs at the moment point toward American higher education continuing to support and encourage such madness.

It will hardly be a surprise when, a few days or a few weeks from now, a new college hate crime emerges that is shortly revealed as a hoax—nor will the next one be surprising, nor the one after that.


My only “disagreement” with this analysis is that, I suspect, the problem is even worse than Mr. Payne intimates:  especially regarding the willingness of spineless and/or sympathetic college administrations to knuckle under when these staged events are used to make demands – which are often far more racist than the hoax “events” which precipitated them.

I award Donald Payne Paragraphs Of The Day honors for having the courage to state this new, ugly, academic reality so clearly.

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