The spate of fake hate crimes at America's universities makes going after these people and punishing them crucial. Truly malicious sorts, observing the big-time response of schools and media to nasty symbols and speech, are increasingly staging their own victimization.
Ramani Sri Pilla, a Case Western Reserve University statistics professor, will go to jail for six months and repay tens of thousands of dollars for having mailed racially-charged hate letters to herself and then claiming they came from various colleagues. For good measure, she sued the school for not protecting her.
But it is the schools which must protect themselves against sociopaths' exploitation of campus anxiety about hate speech. UD has chronicled on this page, and on her (just redesigned!) flagship campus, many instances of students as well as professors who, for obscure psychological or obvious professional reasons, attempt to destroy the lives of innocent people by setting them up to look like threatening bigots.
It's scary to consider how easily, but for their own stupidity, some of these people might have gotten away with it. In the case of Pilla, for instance, UD figures the FBI thought it mighty weird -- statistically significant -- that she kept getting letter after letter from so many colleagues... As this fool thought of more and more people on the faculty she wanted to destroy, she sent out more and more letters under their names, the very profusion of which must have interested investigators. Had she been smart enough to still her pen after one or two letters, she might have gotten away with it.