Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Acid attack was a lie

If you haven't heard yet about this story, well here goes. A Vancouver, Washington woman named Bethany Storro, said an African-American woman threw a cup of acid on her face at a Starbucks which of course left her face scarred. She said the African-American woman said, "Hey pretty girl, do you want to drink this?" But as it turns out it was a hoax, she lied about everything, she threw acid on her own face. Why would you do this to yourself? Does she hate a race so much to permanently scar her own face? I don't think she should be allowed in public, she needs some serious help.

Storro was rushed to the hospital with second-degree burns. The community rallied around her, raising thousands of dollars in donations and demanding that police find the assailant in this bizarre case. Yet police had no leads, and could find no evidence of Storro’s attacker. After several weeks of fruitless investigation Storro admitted that it was all a hoax; she had thrown acid on herself.

By then the damage has been done—not only to Storro's credibility, and to the trust of her friends, family and supporters—but also to race relations. Commenters on white power Web sites jumped onto Storro's tragic story, viewing it through a racist prism: "This is a hate crime. Hang the baboon from a tree," one poster demanded. Another replied, "An eye for an eye I say. It is clear that this was done out of jealousy (most of these black on white crimes are about jealousy) because this lovely white girl was better looking and more intelligent than this inferior and worthless female afro-bozo."

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Ironically, Storro had been slated to appear on Oprah to discuss her attack ("to inspire people and tell them about Jesus" she said), but cancelled abruptly once questions were raised about her story.

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When looking for someone to accuse of crimes, hoaxers often exploit society's racist notions of who would be likely to commit the crime against the "victim." The news regularly reports on people who fake diseases, rapes, robberies, abductions, suicides, and crimes of all variety. When the hoax fans the flames of hatred, it is all the more reprehensible.
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