Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

False charges make real victims

“Hey pretty girl, do you want to take a drink of this?” Those are the words Bethany Storro claimed a black woman said to her before throwing acid on Storro’s face Aug. 30 in Vancouver, Wash. Storro said she luckily had on her brand new sunglasses, which protected her eyes from the caustic drain cleaner, but the rest of her face suffered from second-degree burns down to her chin.

Sad story, huh?

Apparently not. After collecting over $28,000 in donations and starting a widespread manhunt for a crazed, black acid tosser, Storro admitted the incident never happened. She then told police that she had, in fact, splashed the acid in her own face in an attempt to kill herself.

“Then, when I realized it wasn’t killing me, I thought maybe this was the answer to all my problems. To have a completely different face,” she said.

I guess I understand the acid, but how was wrongly incriminating a fabricated black woman the answer to all her problems? How was that going to help her image issues or how was it going to work out well at all?

As an ironic cherry on top, this chick was about to talk with Oprah, one of the wealthiest and most influential black women in the world, and sorrowfully discuss this hateful act against her and the power of Jesus.

With everything coming out about the event, I’ve yet to hear about an apology made by Storro for setting this ball rolling in the first place. I’ve heard a lot of explanation and backtracking, but nothing even close to being remorseful for anything but getting caught.

There’s no doubt that Storro is a sick woman. You can’t exactly be right in the head to permanently damage yourself with extremely painful acid. However, I don’t really believe that this was because of a depression from which she might be suffering.

She was completely aware of her actions. She knew exactly what she was doing when she identified her “attacker” to a T. In the end, she has had no response other than, “whoops.”

Storro may have expected the money, but what she was truly after was the “aww, poor woman” attention and rallied support around her. She needed to be the victim and needed a scapegoat.

It bothers me though that she didn’t even take into account what she could have started and what she did start in some respect.

One commenter on the initial accusation said, “An eye for an eye I say. It is clear that this was done out of jealousy… because this lovely white girl was better looking and more intelligent than this inferior and worthless female afro-bozo.”

Another stated, “This is a hate crime. Hang the baboon from a tree.”

Maybe she is actually sad and was unhappy with herself, but there’s a not-so-fine line between doing harm to yourself and potentially causing a race war.

A Vancouver woman who matched the description of the assailant had to go into hiding due to threats and dirty looks every time she left her house. Where’s her fanfare and attention?

Heaven forbid someone decided to take revenge for this wronged, white woman and place justice in his own hands. All for nothing, mind you.

Over the years, criminal fabrication has known no race boundary and can be clearly remembered by the Duke University Lacrosse player accusations in 2006. A black student at North Carolina Central University falsely claimed that three white lacrosse players from Duke had raped her at a party. The men were vilified in the press, especially around the Durham area, which is where Duke is located and where they were most involved. Then to top it all off, the New Black Panthers held a protest against the three in front the campus… for something that never happened.

What about the student, you ask? No charges were ever brought against her because of a discovered history of mental illness. Prosecutors stated, “She may actually believe [the stories] she has been telling [and that] it’s in the best interest of justice not to bring charges.”

Ok, so where was justice when this woman was ruining the lives and reputations of three other people? Where was it when she turned a community against innocent men?

All of this is the hate crime. The damaging back and forth, he-said-she-said ridiculousness at the expense of others is where the actual disgust and intolerance resides. All of this is an abuse of people’s inherent fears of those not like them and of a person’s need for 15 minutes of fame. It’s also a black mark on the strides we’ve made as a society and as a country to live with each other, not by each other.

Debra Flax is a junior majoring in journalism. Her columns run on Thursdays.

More to Discover