The name Nikki Joly won’t ring a bell with you the same way that Jussie Smollett’s does. However, what he’s accused of doing is even worse than what Smollett is charged with.
Joly, according to the Detroit News, is a transgender man who hails from Jackson, Michigan. In the fishbowl of Jackson, Joly was kind of a big deal when it came to LGBT rights. That’s why he said that people were after him.
And when his house was burned down in August 2017, it might have seemed like that was happening.
“When the home of Nikki Joly burned down in 2017, killing five pets, the FBI investigated it as a hate crime,” the Detroit News reported Monday.
“After all, the transgender man and gay rights activist had received threats after having a banner year in this conservative town.
“In the prior six months, he helped open the city’s first gay community center, organized the first gay festival and, after 18 years of failed attempts, helped lead a bruising battle for an ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gays.
“For his efforts, a local paper named him the Citizen of the Year.”
In September of 2018, 13 months after the blaze, authorities made an arrest in the case: Nikki Joly.
‘17 MI: Nikki Joly allegedly targeted in anti-trans attack that burnt the activist’s home, killing all 5 pets. Joly later arrested after investigation. Gasoline found on his clothes. Colleagues said he was unhappy LGBT issues weren’t controversial anymore. https://t.co/LdYpREQ3kc pic.twitter.com/2G03u6aZcF
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) February 25, 2019
While Joly’s lawyer claims there’s a lack of motive — evidence in his favor, of course — authorities say that Joly had a sinister reason behind the blaze: attention.
“Two people who worked with Joly at St. John’s United Church of Christ, where the Jackson Pride Center was located, said he had been frustrated the controversy over gay rights had died down with the passage of the nondiscrimination law, according to the report,” the Daily News recounted.
“The church officials, Barbara Shelton and Bobby James, when asked by police about a possible motive for the fire, said Joly was disappointed the Jackson Pride Parade and Festival, held five days before the blaze, hadn’t received more attention or protests,” the News added.
“Contacted by a reporter, James declined to comment. But Shelton quibbled with the way police characterized her remarks, saying she had no idea if Joly was frustrated by the lack of controversy.”
While the public’s suspicion had originally fallen on an opponent of the LGBT rights campaign, law enforcement believed Joly, who had recently married his longtime girlfriend, Chris Moore, was responsible for the blaze.
“Joly told them that, on the morning of the fire, he bought $10 of gas at a Marathon station so he could cut his grass. He began to mow, but it got too hot so he stopped with the backyard half done,” the Daily News reported.
“He went to work at the church and got a call from Moore at 1:02 p.m., said the report. Moore had forgotten to pack her lunch so asked Joly to bring it to her at work. The couple share one car.
“Joly returned home, which was two miles away, went inside for a minute or two, and left, he told police.
“The fire was reported by neighbors at 1:16 p.m.,” they continued. “The sequence of events would have made it difficult for anyone but Joly to set the fire, (Detective Aaron) Grove said in the police report.”
Two dogs and three cats perished in the blaze, in spite of the best efforts of neighbors to save them. For whatever reason, PETA hasn’t jumped on top of this one.
A hearing on the case is set for March 8, the Daily News reported.
Both Joly and Smollett are innocent until proven guilty, of course, but both are accused of hate crime hoaxes and both did it in the name of discrediting their opponents; both also apparently had attention on the brain when they orchestrated the crimes they’re accused of.
I’m trying to think of analogues among conservatives, but the closest thing I can think of is that time incoherent loudmouth Morton Downey Jr. (almost certainly) falsely claimed he was ambushed by three skinheads in a San Francisco International Airport bathroom back in 1989, who drew a swastika on his face and chopped his hair off.
This 30-year-old hoax, ironically, was regurgitated by KCBS Radio in San Francisco as a parallel to the Smollett case, as if conservatives had invented the genre. Whatever takes the attention off, I suppose.
The point is, where are the analogues? Where’s James Woods falsely claiming he’s been attacked by antifa? Vince Vaughn alleging elderly members of the Weather Underground knocked him out and told him that the pigs are going to get what’s coming to them?
That’s not happening. Instead, what we’re getting are hoaxes that seem designed to speak to Who We Are In 2019, only to later find out that, no, that’s not who we are. This is an overwhelmingly liberal phenomenon, which is something the mainstream media will go to some pains to avoid admitting.
Yes, crimes of hate happen. These alleged hoaxes are no excuse to discount them.
However, when we see an alleged crime that seems designed to fit a narrative that America is a place fraught with violent bigotry, perhaps we ought to think twice before taking the claims as gospel.
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