News & Politics

Navy Says Sailor Staged Fake Racist 'Hate Crime'

A sailor who claimed in a graphic Facebook post that he was the victim of racist vandalism has been discovered to have staged the incident himself. “Marquie Little, a 27-year-old African American seaman, posted photos to Facebook on Nov. 15 under an alias that showed his rack on the carrier George H.W. Bush covered in trash and racial slurs,” according to the Navy Times.

“I proudly serve the Navy and this is what I’m receiving in return,” he wrote in the post.

“It’s not my first time being called a word such as that,” the aviation boatswain’s mate airman said in a phone interview later that month. “It puzzled me as to who would do it and why they would do it.”

But on Friday Cmdr. Dave Hecht, a spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic, said “a thorough investigation” conducted with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service found inconsistencies in the sailor’s account.

“A NCIS-supported command investigation following claims of racially-motivated vandalism aboard the (carrier) has determined that the alleged victim staged the incident himself,” Hecht said in an email.

“The United States Navy does not tolerate racial discrimination of any form and the well-being of our Sailors is our top priority,” Hecht said.

Seaman Little denies he was the perpetrator:

Little denied staging the racist vandalism, and said Friday that NCIS had not done a proper investigation, but did not elaborate.

“And now I’m to be here looking like a bad guy for attention,” Little wrote in a text message. “I have nothing to gain from doing such an incident but I have everything to lose.”

Hecht said that, while the Navy had disproven the sailor’s claims, it used the incident to provide additional crew training and reemphasize that vandalism and racism would not be tolerated.

Of course they did. One wonders what they’d do if a real racist incident like this one happened. Scuttle the fleet? Confine every sailor in the Navy to quarters? That’s the kind of overreaction to fake hate crimes that is so inexplicable. Why address a phantom problem by treating it as real?

Something similar happened at the Air Force Academy last fall:

The Navy incident follows another one this fall at the Air Force Academy preparatory school, where racial slurs were found written on the dorm message boards of five black cadet candidates.

The Air Force later said that one of those five black cadet candidates had admitted to writing the slurs.

Some might question why we write about a fake hate crime. The answer is simple: the only way people are going to stop faking racist incidents is by exposing the perpetrator to shame and ridicule. Seaman Little was encouraged to fake a racist incident because of the overreaction to other such occurrences in the media and on the left. The attention draws widespread sympathy, as evidenced by the more than 20,000 Facebook shares, which is what Seaman Little was obviously seeking.

Little will not be disciplined. I’m sure the Navy has its reasons, but not paying any consequences for what amounts to a lie that damaged the good name of the Navy will only encourage others to follow Little’s example.