Contributor, The Volokh Conspiracy

So reports Samantha Schmidt at The Post:

In late September, five black cadet candidates found racial slurs scrawled on message boards on their doors at the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School. One candidate found the words “go home n‑‑‑‑‑‑” written outside his room, his mother posted on social media, according to the Air Force Times.

The racist messages roiled the academy in Colorado Springs and prompted the school to launch an investigation. They led its superintendent to deliver a stern speech that decried the “horrible language” and drew national attention for its eloquence.

But on Tuesday, the school made a jolting announcement. The person responsible for the racist messages, the academy said, was, in fact, one of the cadet candidates who reported being targeted by them….

Sources … told the [Colorado Springs] Gazette the cadet candidate “committed the act in a bizarre bid to get out of trouble he faced at the school for other misconduct,” the newspaper reported.

The announcement thrust the Air Force Academy Preparatory School onto a growing list of recent “hate crime hoaxes” — instances in which acts of racism or anti-Semitism were later found to be committed by someone in the targeted minority group.