Fabricating hate

Classes were canceled at all five Claremont colleges to protest a hate crime against a Claremont-McKenna psychology professor. Kerri Dunn’s car was vandalized and painted with anti-black and anti-Jewish slogans. She told students it was a “well-planned act of terrorism.” Now police say Kerri Dunn faked the whole thing.

Kerri Dunn, who spoke at a free speech seminar March 9, reported to police after the lecture that her car had been vandalized – tires slashed, windows broken and spray painted with racial epithets. Police, however, say two witnesses have come forward claiming they saw Dunn vandalizing her own vehicle.

The incident prompted all five of the Claremont Colleges to cancel classes March 10 for teach-ins and rallies against hate crimes. More than 1,000 people attended an evening rally at Claremont McKenna, where students pushed for racial and ethnic tolerance and Dunn was one of the speakers.

Dunn denies she vandalized her own car.

She is likely to be charged with filing a false police report. She claimed $1,700 in personal property was stolen when her car was vandalized. However, it’s not a hate crime since she doesn’t hate blacks and Jews. (She’s a white Catholic planning to convert to Judaism.)

Her teaching contract ends June 30. The college, which is paying for her rental car, hasn’t announced whether she’ll finish out the academic year.

Update: Dunn has been suspended from teaching while the college investigates the allegations she vandalized her own car.

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  1. Dave Dahlke says:

    The students will probably be instructed on how to accomplish such acts without being being caught. The school might think of offering a new course, How to Incite Racial Violence 101, since it doesn’t sound as if they are very upset at the professor.

  2. Mike Roemer says:

    It was reported last night that Claremont College is paying the “professor’s” rental car bill and for the repairs!! The “outrage” expressed in the college community when this happened (the original incident) is mocked by the stunning silence of the same community when confronted by the apparent fraud committed against them all. They seem more disappointed than angry.

  3. Robin Roberts says:

    Disappointed at the professor or disappointed at their apparent lack of real bigots to dance about. That would be the question.

  4. Give her credit for accurately describing it as “well-planned”. Or at least “planned”. In that sense, there’s no hoax!

  5. This has been covered at other blogs and the essential idea is that actually this type of hoax has become quite a trend over the last ten years.

    In the case of Claremont, it seems the Administration barely heard about the alleged “hate crime” before they were already firing up a “hollywood extravangana” of protest.

    Related at BrotherJudd was the question of whether all psychologist are nutbags. I make no comment on that.

  6. D. Cooper says:

    Smells like that Twana Brawley thing years back … wonder if Rev. Al is going to report in on this one. But, alas if true, he’s a bit late … besides she’s a white Catholic/Jew gonna be … he’d not be interested.

  7. John from OK says:

    Who keeps $1700 of personal property in there car? Maurice Clarret?

  8. John from OK says:

    Sorry for the misspelling above, I wasn’t a Stanford basketball player.

  9. Laura (southernxyl) says:

    “However, it’s not a hate crime since she doesn’t hate blacks and Jews.”

    I think maybe it was a hate crime. What was her motivation? It sure wasn’t insurance fraud.

    Dunn’s hoax was designed to create fear, distrust, and resentment, and it succeeded. If we’ve got to have such a flawed concept as “hate crimes” at all, I’d say this one fills the bill.

  10. John from OK;

    My laptop is worth more than $1700 and I sometimes leave it in the car. What about a $700 digital camera in a $400 jacket with a $600 1G memory card?

  11. Michelle Dulak says:

    My understanding is that Dunn first claimed $1700 worth of stuff was missing, but later said that she had mislaid it and it had turned up. This was evidently one of the “inconsistencies” that made the police suspicious.

  12. John from OK says:

    Annoying Old Guy:

    What kind of camera is that, and where did you say you parked?

  13. They paying for her car and her rental?


  14. Richard Brandshaft says:

    Every institution has people go bad. The important thing is what they do about it. Let’s give it a little time and find out. Or do you expect them to fire people the same day on the basis of police accusations and news reports?

  15. Walter Wallis says:

    Were the sin a right wing sin, the sun would not set on her on campus.

  16. Alene Berk says:

    Maybe Claremont should use this incident to consider the nature of mass hysteria, to which they fell victim. THAT would adress a real issue, while taking nothing from “hate crimes=bad”. I suspect they prefer to wallow in self-flagellation and self-congratulation wrt the asserted underlying bigotry, even though the ‘evidence’ for that has evaporated.

  17. Can her synagogue pre-emptively excommunicate her?

  18. I’ve posted lots of good stuff on Claremont’s Reichstag Fire in my right hand column at http://www.iSteve.com, including amusing email exchanges with the presidents of two of the Claremont colleges.

  19. PJ/Maryland says:

    With a name like Kerri Dunn, why weren’t the slogan anti-Irish and/or anti-Catholic? Besides the fact that such slogans wouldn’t lead to classes being cancelled and a multi-campus rally, I mean.

    I note a major contrast between this post and the next one up on the NCAA’s “privacy” claims in not publishing black basketball player graduation rates. I would have thought that whether a given person had a degree or not was public information, but the NCAA says otherwise, and that they can’t publish some group statistics because I might calculate whether certain players got degrees. But here’s a college lecturer accused of committing a misdemeanor, and we’re told by the local paper about crimes she was arrested for (not even convicted of, mind you) four years ago in Nebraska.

    By the way, the latest is that Dunn has been placed on paid leave pending a school investigation. And there’s this cartoon in today’s Daily Bulletin.

  20. Follow the link on my name for good info on fake hate crimes:

  21. The saddest part is that the students were conned. I live close to the colleges. During the rally, there were some fairly distraught students. Perhaps they will be less likely to respond the next time a true victim cries out…
    As for the colleges paying for the rental car, I am surprised that someone who was convicted of shoplifting would not have raised an eyebrow in a conservative institution like CMC during the application process.

  22. Cousin Dave says:

    Alene wrote: “I suspect they prefer to wallow in self-flagellation and self-congratulation…”

    I doubt that any of the flagellation was “self-“. I’m sure that it was all directed at a certain segment of the student body. You don’t really need me to say who that segment is, do you? Other than that, Alene was right on the money.

  23. SoCalBoomer says:

    If this had happened in a vacuum, the colleges would probably have not reacted as strongly. But with a cross being burned in January and racial slurs being painted across posters and pictures in February, the vacuum in which people believe this incident occurred was just not there.

  24. canuckfan says:

    Wouldn’t it be prudent to doubt the veracity of the previous hate crimes on campus. How do we know that it wasn’t Dunn writing the racial slurs?

  25. El Castigador says:

    This is a serious case. It proves the need for government intervention and funding to research and find the cure for what Kerri Dunn is suffering from. She should be placed on a “suicide watch”
    What you experienced here is what a frustrated, low self-stem, rejected and under-sex lesbian in a pre-menopausal stage can go through.
    Poor Dunn! Imagine, all that education under her belt and still an idiot! Not to mention the idiots who followed her teachings!
    Ten years from now she will still be an unemployed idiot! People like her will never make it outside the walls of academia.


  1. An Alumnus Responds

    Several readers have asked for my comments on the alleged hate-crime hoax at my alma mater, Claremont McKenna College. In all honesty, because I’ve been scurrying around Cambridge, I’ve given it very little thought, and I doubt that I’ll have…

  2. An Alumnus Responds

    Several readers have asked for my comments on the alleged hate-crime hoax at my alma mater, Claremont McKenna College. In all honesty, because I’ve been scurrying around Cambridge, I’ve given it very little thought, and I doubt that I’ll have…

  3. The Beat Goes On: Liberals spin Kerri Dunn fiasco

    Professors and administrators were quick to believe that the very students that they are entrusted to educate were, in fact, the ones to blame.

    I wonder when the finger pointers will apologize to the whole student body.