Even as we’re still digesting news of the Oberlin College hate-crimes hoax, news comes from NJ.com about another school racism hoax, this one perpetrated by a student at St. Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City. A black student running for president of the Student Council sent himself some ugly text messages, which he passed along to school officials as evidence of a racist conspiracy to force him out of the election. The police became involved, although there doesn’t seem to have been an explicit threat of violence in the messages:
“We have NEVER and will NEVER have an (n-word) to lead our school,” was one of the messages supposedly sent to the 16-year-old student, who at the time, was a resident in Jersey City.
The message went on to call President Obama by his middle name Hussein and used a racial slur in referring to Obama, a police report said. “We will never make that mistake again. Drop out right now . . .” it continued, a police report said.
A second message read “Whites! Your a waste on this earth, a waste at this school, and most importantly a Waste for this campaign.” That message called the student government candidate a “slave” and used a racial slur, a report said.
The third message texted to — and as it turns out from — the student, contained a warning to drop out of the race and the fourth read, in part, “COMEONE your black!!! lol your a joke for even trying to run,” according to a police report.
It took a while for the authorities to determine this student had sent the messages to himself, since he took steps to cover his tracks. As for the effect of his hoax on the student council election, NJ.com reports: “The 16-year-old eventually lost the race for student council president but was elected vice president. A source said he no longer attends the school.” Given that he’s a juvenile, and no longer attends St. Peter’s Prep, it’s not clear what consequences he might face for his hoax.
It’s interesting to note how carefully this fraudster pushed all the right buttons, playing the system like a Stradivarius. He tailored his phony threatening messages to make them look extremely plausible to school officials, perhaps underestimating the degree of police involvement that would ensue. His father was apparently either suckered along with school officials, or was in on the scheme:
In an interview with The Jersey Journal at the time the texts were sent, the boy’s father said his son was “extremely nervous and feels threatened” and did not want to be interviewed.
“He is the type of boy who does not want any kind of trouble,” the father said. “It’s so sad. He doesn’t want the image of the school to be tainted.”
“It is a predominantly white school and there may be a few sections of the school who are fearful of a new face trying to get in office,” the father said at the time.
Ah, so it’s a “predominantly white school” forced to look at “a new face trying to get in office.” Say no more. Guilty until proven innocent. You can see why the school wouldn’t want that image to be tainted.