The LA Times reports this story out of Claremont-McKenna College. A professor of psychology gives a speech decrying racism, then allegedly returns to her car to find it vandalized, spraypainted with racist slogans. A clear example of a hate crime, right? Not so fast--police say two witnesses spotted the good professor vandalizing her own vehicle.
My favorite part, however, is this attempt by one of her colleagues to justify it:
Lee Ross, a social psychologist on the faculty at Stanford University, said that if Dunn is proven to have committed the vandalism, the professor may still have raised peoples awareness about racism. "One ironic thing is that doing this may actually have accomplished some of her goals, if her goal was to make people feel that racism was present and that there was danger of white backlash," Ross said.
Thats good. Whats important isnt whether racism actually exists, but whether "people feel that racism was present."