Say what you will about hate crime hoaxes, they aren’t usually dangerous.
A noose in the lavatory, some rebarbative slurs scrawled on the walls, a story about being jumped in the wee hours on a cold night in Chicago — they’re manipulative and unpleasant, they may be seized upon by cultural ambulance chasers, they may sow division, but they don’t threaten lives. Usually.
That can’t be said for what accused Viterbo University student Victoria C. Unanka is alleged to have done.
According to the La Crosse Tribune, Unanka was released on bail Monday after La Crosse, Wisconsin, police arrested her for starting a fire in a residential hall while most of her classmates were sleeping.
Unanka had been the target of two purported incidents of racism in the recent past and was apparently looking to frame the fire as a third one; a resident adviser told police Unanka had sent a friend a text in the wake of the blaze, saying that it was another potential hate crime because the fire was right next to her room.