Note: this column contain language that may be offensive to some readers.
Ever since self-defacing teenager Tawana Brawley smeared feces all over herself, scrawled "KKK" and "nigger" on her skin, climbed into a trash bag, and blamed it on racist cops in New York, America has been victimized by wannabe victims -- warped publicity-seekers so desperate for attention that they'll fake the hate by any means necessary.
Brawley (who now calls herself Maryam Muhammad) is all grown up. But her psychologically stunted heirs continue to soak up public sympathy and squander police resources. Recent media attention has focused on the pathetic case of Audrey Seiler, a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who reportedly faked her own abduction and sent 150 cops on an intensive manhunt. The search ended when law enforcement authorities discovered Seiler in a marsh two miles from her home. A store surveillance tape revealed that Seiler herself had purchased a knife, duct tape and rope found at the "crime" scene.
Experts have compared Seiler to Brawley, but the analogy does not quite fit. There will always be lone troubled hoaxers like Seiler who abuse a community's compassion for bizarre personal gratification. What made the Brawley case truly distinct and despicable, however, was its underlying political agenda. Brawley and her race card-playing patrons, Al Sharpton, Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason, maliciously smeared innocent white men to falsely reinforce the notion of America as an unredeemable oppressor of females and minorities. This vicious strain of Tawana Brawleyism is alive and well on college campuses. In these educational temples of the perpetually aggrieved, rationality and truth have been recklessly sacrificed at the altar of diversity.