The jury in the trial of Mighty Ducks star Jussie Smollett, who clearly faked a racial hate crime in 2019, is currently deliberating the facts of the case.

As the jury continues to debate the merits of the charges against Smollett, seeking to determine whether he did indeed stage the moment he was supposedly assaulted by Trump supporters near his apartment in Chicago, now is a good time to remind everyone these hoaxes harm most the communities to which the hoaxers belong.

That the people who perpetuate these deceptions are either too stupid or selfish to see this will never cease to amaze.

In 2019, for example, an Ohio University student claimed to have received three threatening anti-LGBT letters. Law enforcement officials said later she authored the messages herself, charging her with three counts of making false alarms.

A former student at North Park University in Chicago was likewise caught fabricating a story about receiving threatening, slur-riddled notes mentioning then-President-elect Donald Trump. Like the aforementioned Ohio University incident, the North Park student posted the messages, some of which contained anti-gay slurs, herself.

Earlier, in 2016, a former employee of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom, Indiana, was discovered to have vandalized his own place of employment following the election of Trump. The former employee, who is gay, defaced the church with an image of a swastika and the words “Heil Trump” and “Fag Church.”

Elsewhere, a Muslim student at the University of Louisiana said two white men wearing "Make America Great Again" hats ripped her hijab from her head the day after Trump won the election. She admitted later she concocted the story from thin air.

In 2013, white supremacists supposedly vandalized Oberlin College with a Nazi flag and a "whites only" sign above a drinking fountain. A student admitted later the vandalism was really a hoax meant to "get an overreaction."

Earlier, in 2011, a lesbian couple in Colorado claimed someone spray-painted "Kill the Gay" on their garage door. The supposed vandals also left a noose on the couple's door. The FBI determined later the women had spray-painted the message themselves. They were charged with criminal mischief and false reporting.

These are just a handful of examples. There is much more where this comes from. Much more.

As I’ve said before, there are so many immediately obvious reasons why one shouldn’t fake a hate crime.

First, lying is wrong. Let’s get the obvious out of the way.

Second, these hoaxes undercut the credibility of genuine hate crimes. Good luck getting anyone to take the real ones seriously when they’ve been conditioned by all the fake crimes to ignore credible and genuine allegations of racially and sexually motivated violence.

Third, fake hate crimes cause other people to live with unjustified fears. If you are Jussie Smollett or a former church employee in Indiana, you are terrifying your own people!

Lastly, there’s enough crime right now in the United States. Please stop eating up police resources with your phony victimization.

This trend of hate crime hoaxes, which is real, is toxic. It’s not just Smollett, though he is obviously guilty of adding to the problem.

Please, for the sake of your own communities, just stop. You’re making things worse, not better.