The Daily Iowan

Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

Drake University student betrays legitimate hate crime survivors and is found responsible for creating racist messages found in residence halls.

Back to Article
Back to Article

Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

Who HD/U.S. News

Who HD/U.S. News

Who HD/U.S. News

Marina Jaimes, Opinions Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans were in their 20s when their lives changed forever. As players on the Duke lacrosse team, they were accused of raping an exotic dancer they had paid to perform at a house filled with their teammates. When DNA tests exonerated them and left the prosecuting attorney disbarred, many were left to wonder how a woman in search of a valid excuse for drunk driving was capable of completely concocting the allegations against the men.

They were the perfect suspects. White, rich, males who had recently consumed excessive amounts of alcohol. Numerous late-night hosts, activists, and journalists spewed those exact same descriptions as they painted three young men as guilty of a heinous sex crime. A trifecta of rape, racism, and affluence, their story shook the future of Title IX legislation and, unfortunately, increased suspicion of the legitimacy of similar crimes that followed the incident.

RELATED: IC police, FBI say Owens incident not a hate crime

A few years later, Rolling Stone magazine took heat for disparaging the men of Phi Kappa Psi at the University of Virginia by publishing an exposé on how the fraternity members allegedly gang-raped a female student as part of their initiation process.

The alleged victim later retracted her statement and said it was part of a plot to receive attention from a person she was romantically interested in at the time. Rolling Stone subsequently lost the defamation lawsuit brought by the University of Virginia for publishing an article with such erroneous claims. 

Along with the Rolling Stone controversy, the Duke lacrosse incident is one of few hoax cases that received national attention, yet instances of such falsities face many campuses, with one taking place just hours away from the UI at Drake University.

Last week, nearly 3,500 Drake students gathered in support of fellow students who had received racist notes in their dorm rooms. They listened to hear how students’ lives were at risk and that their mental health takes a hit when racist incidents occur. Painted Street, a street typically decorated in artwork celebrating Drake Relays, was painted black as well. 

If morality could not deter someone from faking hate crimes, the reminder of pain to legitimate survivors should.”

Police later investigated the incident and reported that four of the five notes found seemed to have come from an alleged victim, Kissie Ram, who was charged with making a false report for creating the frenzy. 

Ram not only diverted attention from police investigating the story but caused her classmates to fear for their safety. Ram even inspired a copycat, who has yet to be charged for committing a hate crime.

In a rush to be a victim, she minimized the harm of hate crimes in a failed effort to start a dialogue. She did just the opposite and betrayed the students who rallied in support for her — students who will be forced to question the validity of all crimes placed before them as a result of this incident. 

At the end of the day, there is an abundance of legitimate crimes to go around, but the victim-turn-suspect-actors in such events reveal that they believe hate is so minimal, it is worth creating. They’ve discredited the actual harm done to survivors, who did not ask to be victimized. It takes one person to create a hoax, but it takes a serious victim extensive time and effort to erase the lies reportedly created by those such as Ram if they seek actual justice. If morality could not deter someone from faking hate crimes, the reminder of pain to legitimate survivors should.

Comments

comments

About the Writer
Marina Jaimes, Opinions Editor

Email: [email protected]

Marina Jaimes has worked as an opinions columnist for four semesters and currently serves as the editor of the section....

Navigate Left
  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Opinions

    Miskimen: Reflecting on my time as editor-in-chief of The Daily Iowan

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Opinions

    Column: The memory of Mollie Tibbetts moves the UI community forward in gratitude

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Columns

    What to do when stranded on the side of I-80

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Opinions

    Baller: Kim Kardashian plans to become a lawyer without attending law school

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Opinions

    Banerjee: Rico Nasty is making music for the people

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Opinions

    Point/Counterpoint: Should we lower the voting age?

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Opinions

    Hegde: Saying ‘goodbye’ to Iowa is harder than I thought

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Opinions

    Helton: 20 Out of 20: Ryan and Swalwell and Moulton, oh my

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Opinions

    Tietz: The importance of leadership as a college student

  • Jaimes: Drake University joins other campuses faced with headlining hoax cases

    Guest opinion

    Guest Opinion: Elizabeth Warren has won me over

Navigate Right