News & Politics

If You #BelieveVictims Without Question, You'll Get More of Them

Now that Jussie Smollett is in jail for faking at least one hate crime, probably two, we’re entering the “Yabbut” stage. When you point out that Smollett lied and took advantage of everybody who believed in him, and that he and his defenders smeared millions of people in the process, the response is: “Yabbut he’s starting a conversation!” Or: “Yabbut we can’t ignore real crimes just because this is a fake one!” Yabbut, yabbut, yabbut.

So we see things like this, from a “journalist”:

Imagine being so arrogant that even falling for a hoax doesn’t stop you from scolding people.

Notice how you never hear this crap when somebody is falsely accused of, say, murder? “Sure, maybe he didn’t really kill that guy. But murders still happen!” Nobody would claim that murder doesn’t exist just because a particular person wasn’t guilty of it. And pointing out that a particular hate crime is a hoax is not denying the existence of hate crimes.

This keeps happening, over and over and over. If you were skeptical when Jackie Coakley claimed she was gang-raped on broken glass at a UVA frat party, or if you doubted Mattress Girl’s story, you were a “rape denier.” Then feminists were furious that it didn’t happen. The skeptics were hurting actual victims, they claimed. We were denying that rape ever happens, they lied.

It’s not about helping crime victims. It’s about pushing a political agenda. They need a constant supply of victims and oppressors, they need to keep the outrage stoked up, and they don’t have time to worry about whether or not it’s true.

If you want us to believe a crime is serious, then it should matter whether or not a particular instance of that crime actually happened. If committing a crime has consequences, then so should faking that crime. We shouldn’t incentivize hoaxing. And that’s exactly what you’re doing if you try to dismiss or downplay Jussie Smollett.

I realize that if you’re one of the people who should learn a lesson from this, there’s no reason for you to try. It’s not as if your fellow libs are going to hold it against you. But there’s no harm in maintaining a stance of polite skepticism when you hear an outrageous story like this. If a story perfectly aligns with your preexisting biases — black and gay people are victims under any circumstances, Trump supporters are violent bigots, etc. — that’s all the more reason to take a minute before you react to it. Being skeptical isn’t “denying” anything.

Just look at all the Democrat politicians who exploited Smollett’s story for their own ends. Now they’re saying, “I’m going to wait for the facts to come in.” Well, if they’d waited for the facts to come in, they wouldn’t need to explain why they were so eager to believe it in the first place. They wouldn’t embarrass themselves like this:

A guy named Aesop once wrote about this phenomenon. It’s a quick read and it might give you something to think about.

And Aesop didn’t even have Twitter!

I leave you with some words of wisdom from Very Serious Journalist Don Lemon, who earlier this month claimed he texts Jussie Smollett every day. Lemon knows who the real victim is:

That’s a lot of lunches. Let’s hope those guys like tuna subs.