Hierarchy of violence
People were furious that Breana Harmon Talbott was raped by black men.
She actually wasn't, but we'll get to that. For now, let's concern ourselves with the way some folks responded after the then-18-year-old white girl from Pottsboro, Texas, stumbled into a church last March clad only in bra, shirt and panties, bleeding from cuts and claiming to have been abducted by three African-American men in ski masks.
"This is going to be a brutally honest post," her mother wrote on Facebook. "Today my daughter, Breana Harmon Talbott, was taken by force by 3 black men. 2 raped her and she is cut head to toe by a knife."
The "brutally honest post" struck a chord with the far right. Social media lit up with angry demands for vengeance upon the nonexistent black men.
"Lord find these animals give them what they deserve," said one.
Said another: "IF THE RACES WERE REVERSED, THIS WOULD BE NATIONAL NEWS. THESE MEN DESERVE TO BE HANGED."
One railed about "black thugs," another mused, "Whites need a mafia ... so if you want to rape a white girl like Breana Talbott, the white mafia finds you and your family and puts you down."
Actually, they tried that idea already -- it was called the Ku Klux Klan -- but leave that aside. Instead, let's confront the glaring moral hypocrisy at the heart of all this outrage.
Meaning that these people were angrier at the idea that the girl was raped by black men than at the idea that she was raped. Again, she wasn't actually raped at all. Rather, she staged a crime -- complete with abandoned car and self-inflicted cuts -- after arguing with her boyfriend.
Police doubted her tale almost from the beginning. She was arrested two weeks later. Last week, she pleaded guilty to multiple felonies stemming from tampering with or fabricating evidence.