At 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, thousands of students, faculty and staff at the normally sane Kansas State University walked out of their classrooms and dorm rooms and offices to “rally against racism.”

This was the first time in more than a century K-State officially closed its doors during the school year for something other than bad weather.

“This is overwhelming,” vice president for student life Pat Bosco told the Kansas City Star. “It is amazing to me to see the K-State family like this. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s beyond my wildest dreams.”

It was beyond the wildest dreams of most Kansas taxpayers as well. They paid for the rally and the various diversity initiatives that went along with it.

More problematic was that each of the four incidents that triggered this costly and counter-productive rally was provably bogus.

In its coverage of the rally, the Star reported the one most recent incident that prompted the rally as though it somehow made sense: “The unity rally comes nearly two weeks after an incident near the Manhattan campus in which a 21-year-old black man defaced his own car with racist graffiti.”

Now there’s a cause worth marching for!

The FBI and Riley County Police investigated. The perp disingenuously claimed he did it as a Halloween prank. Despite the resources that were poured into solving this presumed hate crime, the guy who did it went fully unpunished.

The other incident that stoked campus anxieties last month was even stupider. On Oct. 6, a storm swept through Manhattan, Kansas, blowing over a Jewish Sukkah, a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot.

A grad student who works on “diversity initiatives” conveniently found it wrapped around his car and was quick to cry “hate.” The police investigated and determined that the wind blew it over.

During the summer, a noose was found on campus among a scattering of ropes. “Due to the size, the material, and the placement, there’s nothing to indicate [racism] was the intention,” said a K-State detective whose common sense was as unwelcome on campus as head lice.

The Star also cited “white supremacist” posters found on campus. The posters read as follows: “20 percent of polled U.S. Muslims said terrorist attacks against civilians are justified in some cases. That’s 660,000 Muslims. How many is too many?”

The liberal Pew Foundation worded its survey a little tougher, but the results were equally disconcerting. According to Pew, “12 percent of American Muslims think targeting and killing civilians can be justified in order to further a political, social or religious cause.”

This means that roughly 400,000 Muslims in the U.S. are OK with “targeting and killing civilians.” To interpret a protest against potential Muslim terror as “white supremacy” defies all known rules of logic.

Islam is no more a race than Catholicism or Scientology. In reality, a majority of the Muslims in the United States are Caucasians.

As it happens, the fellow who painted his car with racists slogans did so on the same day a Muslim terrorist drove his truck down a New York City bike lane, killing eight innocents. The truck driver must have been one of the 12 percent.

It gets sillier. On many campuses, including the University of Kansas, improvised posters that carried the ironic taunt, “It’s OK to be white” were denounced as symptoms of “white supremacy.”

Never mind that all the K-State incidents were spurious, Black Student Union president Darrell Reese Jr. announced with as straight a face as he could manage, “We are hurt, discouraged and in pain. These incidents cause us to think we are not safe.”

One could write off Reese’s hysteria to youth and ignorance, but there is no excusing retired Gen. Richard Myers. The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sanctioned all this silliness.

“What do you want K-State to look like in the future?” Myers asked the crowd. “What will you commit to do to make it that way?”

One trembles at the answers Myers might have gotten.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.