Only God knows how much harm Wallace's false charge may have caused, but it is comforting that he never identified an imaginary culprit and his subsequent "embarrassment" was only "a little."
Fake news encompasses "false stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke" (dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/fake-news).
Fake news is used for sinister and/or selfish purposes and is the enemy of truth, justice and the American way.
The notorious Tawana Brawley case was fake news exploited in the name of civil rights.
"The case highlighted mistrust of legal institutions within the black community. Legal scholar Patricia J. Williams wrote in 1991 that the teenager 'has been the victim of some unspeakable crime. No matter how she got there. No matter who did it to her—and even if she did it to herself.' These comments aroused controversy as well; Suzanna Sherry responded to Williams in her book Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law, writing 'The radical multiculturalists seem unable or unwilling to differentiate between Brawley's fantasized rape and another woman's real one. Indifference to the distinction between fact and fiction minimizes real suffering by implying that it is no worse than imagined or self-inflicted suffering.' On May 21, 1990, Alton H. Maddox was indefinitely suspended by the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn after failing to appear before a disciplinary hearing to answer allegations regarding his conduct in the Brawley case.
"In 1998, Pagones [the man falsely accused] was awarded $345,000 through a lawsuit for defamation of character that he had brought against Sharpton, Maddox and Mason.... The jury found Sharpton liable for making seven defamatory statements about Pagones, Maddox for two and Mason for one... In a later interview, Pagones said the turmoil caused by the accusations of Brawley and her advisers had cost him his first marriage and much personal grief.
"Pagones also sued Brawley. She defaulted by not appearing at the trial, and the judge ordered her to pay Pagones damages of $185,000. The $65,000 judgment levied against Al Sharpton was paid for him in 2001 by supporters...., In December 2012, the New York Post reported that Maddox had paid his judgment of $97,000 and Mason was making payments on the $188,000 which he owed. Brawley reportedly had not made any payments. The following month a court ordered her wages garnished to pay Pagones.
"In a 1997 appearance, Brawley maintained she did not invent the story; she still had supporters. In November 2007, Brawley's stepfather and mother, in a 20th-anniversary feature for the New York Daily News, contended the attack happened. 'How could we make this up and take down the state of New York? We're just regular people,' Glenda Brawley said. They said they had asked New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Governor Andrew Cuomo to reopen the case...."
The case was not reopened, but there were subsequent fake news extravaganzas, like the Duke lacrosse case.
"The Duke lacrosse case was a widely reported 2006 criminal case in Durham, North Carolina, United States in which three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team were falsely accused of rape. The three students – all white – were David Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann. The accuser was Crystal Mangum, a black student at North Carolina Central University who worked as a stripper and dancer. The rape was alleged to have occurred at a party hosted by the lacrosse team, held at the Durham residence of two of the team's captains on March 13, 2006. The case's resolution sparked public discussion of racism, sexual violence, media bias, and due process on campuses, and ultimately led to the resignation and disbarment of the lead prosecutor, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong.
"On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges, declaring the three lacrosse players 'innocent' and victims of a 'tragic rush to accuse.' Nifong, who was labeled a 'rogue prosecutor' by Cooper, withdrew from the case in January 2007 after the North Carolina State Bar filed ethics charges against him. In June 2007, Nifong was disbarred for 'dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation,' making him the first prosecutor in North Carolina disbarred for trial conduct. Nifong served one day in jail for lying about sharing DNA tests (criminal contempt); the lab director said it was a misunderstanding and Nifong claimed it was due to weak memory. Mangum maintained her insistence that she was sexually assaulted that night. She faced no charges.
"Cooper noted several inconsistencies between Mangum's accounts of the evening, and Seligmann and Finnerty's alibi evidence. The Durham Police Department came under fire for violating their own policies by allowing Nifong to act as the de facto head of the investigation; using an unreliable suspect-only photo identification procedure with Mangum; pursuing the case despite vast discrepancies in notes taken by Investigator Benjamin Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb; and distributing a poster presuming the suspects' guilt shortly after the allegations. Seligmann, Finnerty, and Evans sought unspecified damages and called for criminal justice reform laws in a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Durham."
Supporters of the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players did not riot, vandalize, or kill police or Nifong.
Then Attorney General Cooper is now the Governor of North Carolina Later, a Michael Brown (NOT the former FEMA Director) assaulted a police officer and was killed in self defense. Nevertheless, the Lunatic Left made him one of their heroes, used the catchy slogan "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" to honor him and pretended that he had been murdered by a police office.
Even the Obama Justice Department rejected that conclusion.
"On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the city of Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown was accompanied by his 22-year-old friend Dorian Johnson. Wilson said that an altercation ensued when Brown attacked Wilson in his police vehicle for control of Wilson's gun until it was fired. Johnson claimed that Wilson initiated a confrontation by grabbing Brown by the neck through his car window, threatening him and then shooting at him. At this point, both Wilson and Johnson state that Brown and Johnson fled, with Wilson pursuing Brown shortly thereafter. Wilson stated that Brown stopped and charged him after a short pursuit. Johnson contradicted this account, stating that Brown turned around with his hands raised after Wilson shot at his back. According to Johnson, Wilson then shot Brown multiple times until Brown fell to the ground. In the entire altercation, Wilson fired a total of twelve bullets, including twice during the struggle in the car; the last was probably the fatal shot. Brown was struck six times, all in the front of his body.
"This event ignited unrest in Ferguson. A subsequent FBI investigation found that there was no evidence that Brown had his hands up in surrender or said 'don't shoot' before he was shot. However, protesters claimed that he had done so, and later used the slogan 'Hands up, don't shoot'. Protests, both peaceful and violent, continued for more than a week in Ferguson; police later establishing a nightly curfew. The response of area police agencies in dealing with the protests was strongly criticized by both the media and politicians. Concerns were raised over insensitivity, tactics, and a militarized response. Missouri governor Jay Nixon ordered local police organizations to cede much of their authority to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
"A grand jury was called and given extensive evidence from Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County Prosecutor. On November 24, 2014, McCulloch announced the St. Louis County grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson. In March 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice reported the conclusion of its own investigation and cleared Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting. It found forensic evidence supported Wilson's account, and that witnesses who corroborated the officer's account were credible. Witnesses who had incriminated him were found to be not credible, with some admitting they had not directly seen the events. The U.S. Department of Justice concluded that Wilson shot Brown in self-defense."
Tragically, this year George Floyd really was murdered by a police officer as video evidence shows. Black Lives Matters and Antifa seized upon this opportunity to try to remake America After the City of Minneapolis surrendered a police precinct to rioters perhaps in the vain hope that they would be placated, violent protest spread around the nation and Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington was transformed into an "autonomous zone" by the Loony Left.
Making matters worse, race car driver Bubba Wallace falsely claimed that a noose had been left to intimidate him. It was not a noose and there was no threat.
Earlier, actor Jesse Smollett had played the attention-getting noose card unsuccessfully but dramatically.
"On January 29, 2019, Smollett told police that he was attacked outside his apartment building by two men in ski masks who called him racial and homophobic slurs, and said 'This is MAGA country,' referencing President Donald Trump's slogan 'Make America Great Again' and used their hands, feet, and teeth as weapons in the assault. According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department, the two suspects then 'poured an unknown liquid' on Smollett and put a noose around his neck. Smollett said that he fought them off. Smollett was treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; not seriously injured, he was released 'in good condition' later that morning. The police were called after 2:30 am; when they arrived around 2:40 am, Smollett had a white rope around his neck. Smollett said that the attack may have been motivated by his criticism of the Trump administration and that he believed that the alleged assault was linked to the threatening letter that was sent to him earlier that month.
"On February 20, 2019, Smollett was charged by a grand jury with a class 4 felony for filing a false police report. The next day, Smollett surrendered himself at the Chicago Police Department's Central Booking station. Shortly thereafter, CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated that Smollett 'is under arrest and in the custody of detectives.' On March 26, 2019, all charges filed against Smollett were dropped, with Judge Steven Watkins ordering the public court file sealed. First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats said the office reached a deal with Smollett's defense team in which prosecutors dropped the charges upon Smollett performing 16 hours of community service and forfeiting his $10,000 bond.
"On April 12, 2019, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County against Smollett for the cost of overtime authorities expended investigating the alleged attack, totalling $130,105.15. In November 2019, Smollett filed a counter-suit against the city of Chicago alleging he was the victim of 'mass public ridicule and harm' and arguing he should not be made to reimburse the city for the cost of the investigation. On February 11, 2020, after further investigation by a special prosecutor was completed, Smollett was indicted again by a Cook County grand jury on six counts pertaining to making four false police reports. On June 12, 2020, a Judge struck down Smollett's claim that his February charge violated his right against Double jeopardy."
At least it appears that Wallace finally learned the difference between a drop down rope and a noose and backed away from his false charge.
"After 'an emotional few days,' NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace addressed his followers on Twitter Wednesday after the FBI investigation concluded that he was not the direct target of a hate crime.
"'First off, I want to say how relieved I am that the investigation revealed that this wasn’t what we feared it was,' Wallace said after NASCAR initially reported a noose was found in his team's garage at the Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. 'I want to thank my team, NASCAR and the FBI for acting swiftly and treating this as a racial threat. I think we’ll gladly take a little embarrassment over what the alternatives could have been.'"
Only God knows how much harm Wallace's false charge may have caused, but it is comforting that he never identified an imaginary culprit and his subsequent "embarrassment" was only "a little."When persons disregard the truth for the alleged sake of their "higher truth," they are on the road to hell and a grave danger to truth, justice and the American way,© Michael Gaynor
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.