Another "hate crime that wasn't"
Posted by Jon Sanders at 12:16 PMAt the University of Florida, someone accidentally sent a strange message across the campus that "the monkey got out of the cage." The timing of the goof was bad: it was the night of Jan. 20, the day Barack Obama sort of took the Oath of Office to become president.
Naturally, this occurring at a major university,1 people immediately assumed the message was a racist hate crime.2 Apparently, it was just a mistake:
University of Florida police say a former Mobile Campus employee confessed Wednesday night to sending the cryptic “monkey” text message that thousands of UF students and employees received a day earlier. ...
The text message, which was sent about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, read, “The monkey got out of the cage.” Some students speculated that the message was a reference to the inauguration of President Barack Obama, which took place earlier Tuesday.
However, Baxley said the man told investigators the message was in no way meant to be racial in nature. In fact, Baxley said, the man told investigators he is an Obama supporter and voted for Obama in the November election. The man said he was “showing off” to two friends that he still had access to the Mobile Campus text messaging system and did not mean to send the message he had typed, Baxley said.
Even silly as this one is, rest easy, Swarthmore; your piece of chocolate cake that led to campus hysteria over someone deliberately depositing excrement at the campus Intercultural Center is still the silliest hate crime that wasn't.
1. If this were a UNC campus, the Orwellian speech crackdowns would already be under token discussion, being a fait accompli.
2. Now and only now that the "smirking chimp" or "Chimpy McBushitler" is out of office, any reference to the president in simian terms, however vague, it wrong and indeed even a "hate crime."
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