• Adam LeDuc

OPINION: Yet Another Hate Crime Hoax

Jonathan Lopez, the former candidate for Commissioner of Umatilla Country in Oregon, has recently been exposed as writing a racist letter to himself to stage the latest hate crime hoax.

On June 23, Lopez “received” a letter in his mailbox in which various racial and bigoted slurs were directed at him. Lopez took a photo of the letter and shared on his Facebook (which has since been deactivated) to show the world how racist America is. The letter concludes:

Don’t waste your time trying to become anything in this county we will make sure you never win and your family suffers along with all the other fucking Mexicans in the area! … Sincerely, America!

Despite this horrible letter, Lopez maintained a relatively positive attitude by writing, “I hold no resentment for whom ever wrote this; I’m just simply heart broken for the lack of knowledge, education and respect missing. I pray for you and wish you prosperity in your life. God bless us all!”

Wow, so strong and so brave! Except Lopez wrote this letter himself.

His Facebook post was shared countless times and generated a social media buzz. He even filed a report with the local police to inform them of the threatening letter he received. Unfortunately for him, however, Hermiston Police Chief, Jason Edmiston concluded:

From the onset, this alleged incident has been thoroughly investigated…Our investigation has shown that Mr. Lopez wrote the letter himself and made false statements to the police and on social media. The end result is a verbal and written admission by Mr. Lopez that the letter was fabricated.


Chief Edmiston further said that he was forwarding further information to the District Attorney’s office regarding additional fraudulent claims by Lopez in May 2020, in which he lied about his background and education. Lopez had previously claimed he served in the U.S. Coast Guard but failed to provide any documentation when it was asked of him.

Chief Edmiston further expressed his frustration:

This investigation is particularly frustrating as we are in the midst of multiple major investigations while battling a resource shortage due to the current pandemic…The time spent on this fictitious claim means time lost on other matters, not to mention it needlessly adds to the incredible tension that exists in our nation today. As a lifelong resident of this diverse community, I’m disgusted someone would try to carelessly advance their personal ambitions at the risk of others.

Of course, hate crime hoaxes are nothing new. We witnessed another just a few weeks back with NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace (the only black driver) claiming he found a “noose” in his garage and that it demonstrated a hate crime. But this was later determined simply to be a pull-string that had been in his garage since last year.

We also have the case of Jussie Smollett, the gay black actor who was allegedly attacked by two white men in MAGA hats, who beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured bleach over him. But this incident was also fake; no white men attacked Smollett at all. In fact, Smollett paid two Nigerian friends of his—one of whom he had sexual relations and frequented a gay black club with—to stage this fake attack and rough him up.

And of course there’s the famous Covington Catholic incident in which high school student Nicholas Sandmann and his classmates were accused of threatening Native American Nathan Phillips. But in reality, Sandmann and his classmates had just returned from a March for Life rally and were confronted by a group of Hebrew Israelites and Black Supremacists who began yelling racial slurs at them. Phillips then confronted Sandmann personally and began banging his drum and chanting in his face, hoping to escalate the conflict. Despite this, Sandmann remained still and silent throughout the chanting, and was guilty of nothing other than a smile. It was later discovered Phillips is a known activist who deliberately attends rallies to provoke people and has a criminal past. Sandmann’s family proceeded to file a lawsuit against the media for deliberately altering video footage to portray a false narrative and tarnish the family name.

And the list of hate crime hoaxes goes on and on…

One cannot help but ask, if our nation really is so systematically racist and oppressive, then why do hate crimes need to be fabricated to prove the narrative?


Adam LeDuc is the Executive Editor for The National Times