A week ago I predicted that an online threat of racial violence that resulted in the shutdown of Charlottesville public schools would prove to be a hoax, possibly perpetrated by an activist trying to bring attention to racial injustice. Well, the incident did turn out to be a hoax, although I was wrong about the motive. The perpetrator, a 17-year-old white male, either (a) was making an immature “joke” (if you believe him) or (b) was seeking attention (if you believe local prosecutors). The key point is that the kid was not a white supremacist and the threat was not serious.
The “joke,” if truly meant as one, was truly unfunny. Posting anonymously online, the teenager threatened an ethnic cleansing and a school shooting, telling white students at Charlottesville High School to stay home, reports the Daily Progress. However, prosecutors said there was no evidence the teenager intended to carry out the threat. Police found no weapons at his house and found no evidence that he associated with white supremacist groups.
The “joke” was wildly irresponsible, all the more so when committed in a community where, a year and a half after a violent white supremacist rally, racial tensions remain frayed. The kid should be chastised and receive an appropriate punishment, and then everyone should chill out. Minorities are not under threat. White supremacists are not running amok in Charlottesville.
Let’s all move on… to the latest racial controversy, in which, after a precipitating incident that remains unclear, a white Richmond policeman, caught on video, yelled at a group of black middle-school girls, “Wait until your asses turn 18, then it’s mine!”
Or, for a change of pace, we can opine on the sexual-harassment accusation lodged by a Virginia Commonwealth University office assistant against L. Douglas Wilder. The 88-year-old former governor allegedly took the young lady out to dinner, plied her with alcohol, took her back to his condo, sat down on the couch, put his hand on her knee, and kissed her on the mouth. When she responded negatively to his advances, he drove her home.
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