East Carolina University Student Arrested For Racist Fraternity Invitation Hoax

We recently discussed people arrested after trying to fuel racial unrest by posing as members of groups on the left and right. Now an East Carolina University student has been arrested after he allegedly sent a fake racist party invitation to a rush event hosted by a rival fraternity, Theta Chi. James Edwards, 19, is the the vice president of recruitment for Pi Lambda Phi. Edwards is African American but his motivations are not clear in perpetuating this hoax. What is legally notable about the case is the criminal charge: cyberstalking.

The police allege that Edwards posted an invite on Yik Yak declaring “Theta Chi rush party. PNMs (potential new members) and girls only. No blacks. Girls 5$ @door. Call or text.”

Edwards is also a political science major at ECU.

The charge of cyberstalking was notable since he did not allegedly target any individual. However, he was targeting a group, Theta Chi.

I do not have the charging sheet but only one cyberstalking provision came up on a search. The North Carolina cyberstalking law states in pertinent part:

It is unlawful for a person to:

(1) Use in electronic mail or electronic communication any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to that person’s child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.

(2) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing any person.

(3) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person’s family or household with the intent to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass.

(4) Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person’s control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(5) Knowingly install, place, or use an electronic tracking device without consent, or cause an electronic tracking device to be installed, placed, or used without consent, to track the location of any person…

I admit that I often look at these controversies from the bias of a criminal defense attorney but this law refers to targeting “a person” and “repeatedly” communicating “for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing any person.” There is no question that this is meant to harass or embarrass, but the “repeatedly” element is curious. Even if “a person” includes a group, the allegation is a posting on Yik Yak. Does a single posting on social media constitute a de facto repeated message?

The law also states in section (e) that “This section does not apply to any peaceable, nonviolent, or nonthreatening activity intended to express political views or to provide lawful information to others.” This is nonviolent but the list of exempted motives are all qualified by “intended to express political views or to provide lawful information to others.” This does not appear intended for a political purpose or providing such lawful information.

However, the limited exemption takes you back to the original element. This was an alleged hoax. Does the motive not matter? What if it was meant as an extremely poor joke? Sometimes stupid and thoughtless jokes are meant to embarrass. This student may claim that he was not trying to create racial unrest but was simply playing a prank on an opposing fraternity. Should that matter?

Again, I may be parsing the words too closely, but this seems a bit of a stretch on the elements. The other question is why something like this cannot be handled by the university as opposed to creating a criminal case. Suspension or expulsion would seem a pretty hefty penalty. While this crime is just a misdemeanor, this type of offense used to be addressed internally by universities rather than shift the matter over to the criminal justice system.

 

22 thoughts on “East Carolina University Student Arrested For Racist Fraternity Invitation Hoax”

  1. “Edwards is African American but his motivations are not clear in perpetuating this hoax.”

    Not clear? They receive praise and kudos from the love and tolerance crowd. And even after it is revealed to be a hoax (as the great majority are); we are told that even though it didn’t happen, it is a ‘teaching’ moment. Leftists really believe their own propaganda, don’t they?

    Ever hear of Tawana Brawley and Jussie Smollett?

    I want a divorce!

    antonio

  2. Jonathan: “Cyberstalking” seems like overkill in the charge against James Edwards for sending a fake racist party invitation to a rival fraternity. What was Edwards motive? Is Theta Chi a predominantly white fraternity? Would Edwards have been treated differently had he been white? There are a number of unanswered questions. Seems the university administration should have handled the problem without criminally charging Edwards. I never joined a fraternity when I was in college. At that time frat membership was restricted to the sons of former frat members or wealthy university donors. It was the well connected who got rushed. Besides, I didn’t like the secretive nature of fraternities–or their racist, homophobic and misogynistic practices. Of course, young women were often invited to Saturday night parties where they were plied generously with liquor–often resulting in sexual assaults. Just ask Justice Kavanaugh about life inside fraternities. He knows a lot about sexual assaults at Saturday night frat parties!

    1. Dennis:

      I don’t know what fraternity you’re talking about, but I’ve never seen those requirements during Rush week. I’ve known plenty of frat boys who were neither rich, nor the sons of former members, although coming from a family connection to the frat does give you a push. Greek is a way of life. Sororities and fraternities can create great and lasting memories of the college experience. Memories your kids will be raised hearing. When it’s time for them to go to college, they will be more likely to rush your sorority or fraternity, and as long as they are individually acceptable, those organizations will be more likely to accept them. But that’s not the only people they choose.

      If fraternities are secretive, and you never joined one, then why do you think they’re homophobic, racist, or misogynistic? How would you know?

      Guys like girls. They want to date girls. Get a fraternity comprised entirely of young college aged guys, and they’re totally not meeting and getting with girls. Girls are very into meeting cute guys, too. Just like spring break at Havasu, Miami, or Cancun.

      Today is a hookup culture, unfortunately. Combine that with alcohol, and there’s going to be irresponsible behavior, and sometimes worse. That’s not the particular purview of fraternities. Men and women 18-24 in high densities + alcohol = fun, trouble, irresponsible behavior, etc.

      I didn’t rush, but my roommate in college did. We used to go to frat parties all the time. Any girl could come, just no guys outside the frat. Just like if you were going out to a bar or a huge party, you stuck with your friends, limited your drinking, and didn’t leave a girl behind. Girl code. We usually didn’t drink the punch, because it’s too easy to drink too much of it. It’s not so much that they’re guys, as that they’re often total strangers. There could be great guys, or a predator, in any group of total strangers. Girls can be predators and psychopaths, too, unfortunately. While there are indeed assaults on college campuses, there are also regularly false accusations.

    1. I Bob, I love that movie. It wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting made today.

      The chemistry and comedic timing between Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder was fantastic. This reminds me. I should probably buy that movie before it gets banned.

      Another movie that pokes fun of cliches and bias is The Infidel, about a Pakistani who discovers he’s adopted, and that he was born Jewish.

      1. Karen: “This reminds me. I should probably buy that movie before it gets banned.”

        +++

        I have been buying a number of old movies for that reason. I don’t have The Infidel but I will look for it.

        One related real situation is funny. Turks beat their chests about their Turkic blood but when they started doing DNA tests they discovered they were mostly hated minorities, Greeks and Armenians. Erdogan was furious and claimed the tests were false. No, they aren’t. Live with it.

  3. I’d cut Edwards some slack. Then again I’d cut a lot of people some slack. Too many of us have thin skin and get offended at stuff that really doesn’t matter.

  4. There have been a great many racist hoaxes.

    Jewish people didn’t need to create a hoax to draw attention to the antisemitism and Holocaust in Nazi Germany.

    Black people did not need to perpetuate hoaxes when complaining about the KKK and Jim Crow in the past.

    We can set all the studies aside that indicate the US is one of the least racist countries on Earth. Just the fact that there are so many of these hoaxes is proof that racism against black people, especially rising to the level of threats or crimes, is quite rare today.

    On the other hand, white people don’t need to make up hoaxes to find myriad examples of racist language and crimes by blacks against whites. Black racism against whites and Asians has been normalized. It’s most unfortunate, as a laudable goal would be to reduce all racism. These hoaxes perpetuate this black on white racism, however, because it fuels the false narrative that white people are keeping black people down.

    It’s a shame that the Left has been so successful normalizing racist identity politics, and racist BLM rhetoric. Being a color blind society is now considered a bad thing. We’re all supposed to be hyper fixated on race.

    We’re raising our kid not to care about race any more than he would about hair color. He judges based on actions and character, as MLK, Jr would have wanted. Just like we do. The problem is how to keep the racist identity politics and rhetoric so common in schools from undermining that solid upbringing.

  5. DISCORDANT INTERMIXTURE

    “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

    – Alexander Hamilton
    ________________

    The American Founders precluded “discordant intermixture” through the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802 (four iterations), which denied all but “…free white person(s)…” citizenship, including the exclusion of freed slaves which must have been immediately deported upon the issuance of the emancipation proclamation in 1863.

    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln: The gift that keeps on giving.

  6. Madness: UCLA Suspends Professor for Refusing to Assign Grades Based on Skin Color
    By Robert Spencer Oct 05, 2021 3:09 PM ET (AP)

    This is the state of American academia today: Gordon Klein has taught courses in business law, tax law, and financial analysis at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management for no fewer than forty years. He is a respected academic who has been on CNBC and quoted in the Wall Street Journal for his economic expertise. But now, after being suspended, he has filed suit in California Superior Court against the university regents over his suspension. Klein has a good case: He was suspended from teaching at UCLA for the crime of refusing to discriminate and treat his black students differently from how he treated others.

    “I was suspended from my job,” Klein explained, “for refusing to treat my black students as lesser than their non-black peers.” His ordeal began on June 2, 2020, when “a non-black student in my class on tax principles and law emailed me to ask that I grade his black classmates with greater ‘leniency’ than others in the class.”

    In a sane society, a “non-black student” who demanded that black students be graded with greater “leniency” than others would be castigated as a racist. But in the Left’s funhouse mirror ethics, war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and treating students differently based on race is racial justice.

    – PJ Media

  7. Diversity racket. Unless his choice caused injury or abortive outcomes, this is an affair with a local scope, let him apologize and reconcile.

  8. OT: Of interest regarding former discussions:
    =====

    CORONAVIRUS
    Medical test sales spiked in Wuhan months before COVID-19 cases first announced: Report
    An Australian cybersecurity firm tracked the sales of PCR tests over the past several years, finding data to suggest that the virus was spreading sooner than previously believed.

    Sales for PCR tests—the gold standards for detecting COVID-19—skyrocketed in China several months before the virus was detected, according to reports.

    According to the Epoch Times, the discovery suggests the virus was spreading earlier than previously suspected.

    The Australian cybersecurity firm Internet 2.0 tracked the sales of PCR tests over the past several years, revealing that there was a 50% spike between 2018 to 2019.

    This new data challenges previous suppositions that COVID wasn’t detected in Wuhan, China until late 2019 and early 2020.

    In a report entitled Procuring for a Pandemic, firm assessed that it is highly likely that “the pandemic began much earlier than China informed the [World Health Organization] about COVID-19.”…

    Continued:

    https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/new-report-suggests-china-knew-months-covid-19-was-spreading-without?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter%20October%206%202021%2070000%20615d16c318f95&utm_content=Daily%20Newsletter%20October%206%202021%2070000%20615d16c318f95+CID_fde29329b18477644e34aed351bc4efa&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=Medical%20test%20sales%20spiked%20in%20Wuhan%20months%20before%20COVID-19%20cases%20first%20announced%20Report

    1. China must be sued by all nations in the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in the amount of $50+ trillion, for dereliction and negligence, or malice, causing global death, injury and mayhem, for the witting or unwitting release of “China Flu, 2019.”

      Alternatively, treaty modifications or other ad hoc measures must be taken to replicate a legal process resulting in damages being adjudicated, imposed and demanded.

      China is irrefutably either a statutory criminal or a war criminal.

      China alone is responsible for the accidental release of a virus, or the commencement of world war through deployment of biological WMD.

      The world is at an inflection point which will direct nations toward rationality and freedom or communist conquest.

  9. Should race have any part in the determination yet to be made? The mere mention of race at the beginning changes the mindset from viewing the law to viewing race.

  10. Professor Turley, If he were White…and did exactly the same thing to a Black Fraternity saying no White PNM’s….how would you respond?

    Would that be a Hate Crime

    If ECU allowed a Black only Fraternity….would it also have to allow a White only Fraternity?

    Let’s cut to the chase here….perhaps there was not a criminal violation of the Statute he was charged under….but the University should certainly take adverse administration action against him and his Fraternity as he was an Officer of that Fraternity.

    The fact he is Black is immaterial….anyone that committed the act he did as a representative of a Fraternity warrants punishment.

    I would refer readers to the North Carolina University Policy for guidance on what liabilities this Frat Boy can be facing in an Administrative action.

    ECU is part of the “North Carolina University System” and is located in Greenville, North Carolina.

  11. What if the invite said “No Irish”? Presumably that would be okay. I think the offense charged – cyberstalking – won’t stick, because the facts don’t meet up with the elements of the statutory crime. This appears to be another in a seemingly never ending incidents of fake “hate crimes.”

  12. I agree that it is a stretch. Will be interesting to see what position ECU takes on all this and whether the response is consistent with similar incidents

    1. The perp is black. The police are guilty. Cmon, get real

      “Edwards is also a political science major at ECU.”

      Biden approves of this thuggery just like he approves of female US Senators being harassed and stalked by Soros funded terrorists.

      1. And auntie maxine has encouraged this too, remember her vitriolic speech about getting in their face and pushing back etc.? The left sees no problem with harassments so this should have been a nothing burger but ECU has sent this to the police, we have to ask why?

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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