America’s political landscape is in a sorry state.
After predictions of widespread racist, homophobic, and sexist attacks in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election completely flopped, many chose to either fake hate crimes or blame everyday occurrences on a supposed hate crime wave.
The latter is apparently what happened to a South Carolina mayor in early February after a “grainy substance” was found on her car.
As Newsweek reports, the husband of Lamar Mayor Darnell Byrd McPherson first discovered the substance coating the couple’s cars and scraped it off the vehicles with the help of a neighbor. But the mayor’s suspicions didn’t go away.
“I likened it as a hate crime because No. 1, there’s a history in our town of Lamar,” McPherson said. Although there was nothing written in the substance, the mayor found it to be just as haunting.
“To me that was the message,” McPherson said.
The police were quickly called. Law enforcement began to investigate the supposed hate crime in the town, which Newsweek reported has a population of only about 980.
Deputies from the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office were the first to respond.
Despite the fact that the mayor had the cars cleaned and pressure-washed twice after the incident, so evidence was a little lacking, but investigators did some quick detective work and had a pretty good idea what the mystery substance was.
“We found it to be pollen,” DCSO Lieutenant Robby Kilgo told Newsweek. “There was no reason for us to collect a sample.”
The story of McPherson’s claim soon flooded Twitter.
South Carolina Mayor Darnell Byrd McPherson claims she was hate crime victim after ‘yellow, sticky substance’ found on car. But cops have simpler explanation. https://t.co/AFVamu1A6L LOL! #Pollen #FakeHate
— #ClearFlynnNow (@SweetFreedom29) March 5, 2019
McPherson was not entirely convinced by the investigation.
“It’s something. Something that’s sticky that’s stuck to my car and took two different solutions to get it off,” she said, according to Newsweek.
Because the mayor was so adamant that the substance was part of an intentional attack, the the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, was called. They weren’t buying McPherson’s claims either.
“We reviewed the incident report, but we did not open a formal investigation,” a SLED spokeswoman told Newsweek, also saying that the law enforcement group “did not believe a crime occurred.”
McPherson’s misidentification of pollen is definitely a head-scratcher. Assuming she’s a longtime resident of the southern United States, the yearly yellow dusting shouldn’t be a new phenomenon.
Perhaps fear got the best of the politician. The media climate isn’t exactly calming when it comes to covering alleged hate crimes.
The way the mainstream media covered Jussie Smollett, the Covington Catholic High School boys, and other instances of supposed hate crime shows the single-sided narrative and fear-mongering the news media can foster.
Whether it’s a case of nerves or a simple mistake, hopefully residents of Lamar, South Carolina, can sleep soundly knowing there’s not a serial car-coating vandal on the loose.
But spring is coming.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.