I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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This “it’s a hoax” crap has a long and discouraging history as a racist trope

I find it very depressing that, seeking someone to speak for the local community, the New York Times went with this:

“It’s a mistake to base any decision on this, whether it was done by white racists or whether it was a hoax,” said Frank M. Hurdle, an Oxford lawyer and blogger. “Now, if you can show me that several hundred students got together in a meeting and did this, then I will be the first one to say that we need to have some systemic changes made. But we all know that’s not what happened.”

One reason it is so depressing is the history behind this sort of thought.  When Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman disappeared but before the bodies were found, one of the favored responses by Southern racist politicians and newspapers was to pretend it was a hoax.  Mississippi Governor Paul Johnson said, “they’re probably in Cuba,” and shamed Mississippi when this comment was nationally reported.  Sheriff Raney in Neshoba County, who was a Klansman and knew damn well what had happened to the three civil rights workers joined in the suggestions of a hoax.

I’m not suggesting Frank is a Klansman, although it appears he is thinking like them.

On Anderson’s blog, posting as ColRevSez, Hurdle cited Michelle Malkin as his source that there was some sort of tidal wave of hoaxes faking bigoted attacks.  That’s right, Malkin is the source for something that found its way into the New York Times about Oxford.  Great.

Frank is now apparently surprised that the facts have caught up with his speculations.

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