POLITICS

4 Actual Excuses For Racism So Dumb That Nobody Is Buying Them

It's all fun and racism until you get caught.

It used to be, you could hang up your Confederate flag and noose on the garage and you'd only get the neighbors talking.

Nowadays, the whole Internet knows. And when you go viral, you're faced with a decision: Own up to your egregious racism, or come up with a dumb excuse.

Perhaps not so shockingly, some people choose the latter option when they realize they've been exposed to a national audience.

Here are five real excuses people have given for racist incidents -- many of them crimes -- that will leave you with your head in your hands:

I just like tying knots, you guys

Jeffrey Tindle of Springfield, Missouri, apparently doesn't understand the problem with hanging a noose in front of a Confederate flag on his garage.

KSPR caught up with him on Dec. 7 to ask why he chose to display them together.

The flag, Tindle says, represents "my Southern heritage and my Southern pride,” and "does not stand for racism at all." 

He also just happened to be practicing knot-tying with his brother, and hung up the noose upon successful completion of their training, he said.

Oh, and just for good measure, he said he has "African-Americans in our family we don't hate them."

He took down the noose later that day, but the flag will stay.

I was drunk

Police in Pittsburgh arrested a man they say spray-painted racist graffiti on an African-American-owned barber shop downtown.

On Nov. 30, Robert Hapchuck, 60, of Export, allegedly sprayed "We are KKK," as well as "We kill n**gers" and other hate speech on VIP Styles barbershop, according to KDKA.

Officers tracked him down after an anonymous tip and confronted him last week. He told police he was "in a bad way" and wasted when he tagged the business, but cops and workers at the barbershop didn't think that was a very good excuse.

Hapchuck was charged with ethnic intimidation and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.

It wasn't racism; it was anti-religion

Look, we all know it's difficult to fill out a 24-hour news cycle. But when you run out of angles on a story, don't use the Fox News handbook.

Just a day after a white man shot and killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June, Fox News hosts raced to find a motive besides, well, race.

"Fox & Friends" pointed to anti-religious sentiment.

"Extraordinarily, they called it a hate crime," host Steve Doocy said in an interview with a pastor. "And some look at it as, well, it's because it was a white guy, apparently, and a black church. But you made a great point just a moment ago about the hostility toward Christians, and it was in a church, so maybe that's what it was about."

Earlier, Fox News host Heather Childers acknowledged that officials were calling the shooting a hate crime, but suggested, "Could the shooter have been motivated by pure hatred for religion?"

Most of the world disagreed, and Fox News ended up being wrong on that point. But they did have a certain demographic of people who joined their cause: You guessed it, the KKK. White supremacists immediately took to Stormfront.org to complain that the crime was likely anti-Christian in sentiment, and if it wasn't, their movement would suffer.

Our idea to duct tape a cross together and burn it into a black family's yard was totally random

The dumb excuse game isn't new. To get to the lowest rung on the racism totem pole, we take you back to 2004, when two teens in Arlington, Washington, were arrested for burning a five-foot cross into a black family's yard.

The 16-year-old cousins were caught shortly after what they called a "harmless prank," but their reasoning behind it raised eyebrows. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

[They] said they had a spur-of-the-moment idea to get some wooden pallets, duct-tape them into a cross, soak them in gas and light them on fire in the Martin's yard. They also admitted to driving a pickup through the Martins' lawn the week before the cross burning, according to charging statements.

If police found any semblance of truth in their confession, it was lost when they looked into the boys' records. They'd previously been caught at school scrawling Confederate flags and hooded KKK figures on the walls.

They teens apologized in court, admitted that they targeted the family because they were black, and were sentenced to 30 days in a juvenile facility.

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