Jussie Smollet has done us a favor. Fake hate crimes have polluted our campuses and have been largely ignored. A few high-profile cases have been uncovered after a painful process. The Duke-lacrosse gang-rape hoax of 2006 and the University of Virginia gang-rape hoax of 2014 were considered isolated incidents. Fake hate crimes have become far more numerous but rarely make national news. A brief list since the Trump inauguration here.

Smollet has brought national attention to the problem of fake hate crimes. National leaders and celebrities were quick to believe the worst because it fit their vision of American as an oppressive and racist nation. The demand for racism was greater than the supply, so they created a greater supply with incredibly elaborate lies. If racism was as bad as contended there would be no need for so many fake hate crimes.

Smollet has stunned leftists asking why? Those of us long tired of the politically correct, illiberal identity politics are not surprised. It is time to recognize the causes of this disturbing trend.

A culture of rage justified an ‘ends justify the means’ mentality, even if it meant lying to the police and making fools of gullible supporters.

This is a result of identity politics that values victimhood over truth and understanding. This is the result of hate crime legislation that worries more about  hate  than crime, and values virtue signaling more than justice.

Fake hate crimes make real hate crimes suspect. Penalties should be severe enough to dissuade consideration of lying as a means of achieving social justice.

But the real lesson is to be skeptical of stories that are meant to inflame emotions. Question your narrative that so desperately want to believe the worst about us. Due process and the truth take time. Rage makes us stupid.