Jussie Smollett and Justice
By: David S. Petolicchio
If you have been keeping up with current events this week, you’ve likely seen the infamous “Empire” actor, Jussie Smollett on the news.
Here’s a brief summary of what’s been claimed by Mr. Smollett:
“Mr. Smollett, who is black, gay and an outspoken activist on social justice issues, had told the police that the attack happened in the early morning of Jan. 29. He said that two men taunted him with homophobic and racial slurs and yelled “This is MAGA country,”
a reference to President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. The assailants, according to Mr. Smollett, tied a rope around his neck and poured a chemical substance on him. He was briefly treated at a hospital that day.” (Jussie Smollett’s Charges Are Dropped, Angering Mayor and Police)
This narrative, unfortunately for Mr. Smollett, was proven false. It was later discovered that he had hired two men from Nigeria to accost him and stage the entire event. The ultimate motivation was likely for his own career advancement but the strategy for this particular stunt is alarming. The fact that Smollett chose to tap into racial division is a sign that our country is in a vulnerable place where racism and hate crimes rule headlines (regardless of actual frequency) and a majority of the media will buy it with no skepticism or investigation.
For example, here’s a quote from CNN’s Don Lemon:
“One, he has to deal with discrimination as a black man,” said Lemon, “then, on top of that, he has to be gay — and then, fame — fame is not natural — When something happens to you and it’s controversial, everyone is coming for you, and so I knew everyone would be picking apart his story.” (2)
Unfortunately, Don Lemon isn’t alone. Jamil Smith who is a Journalist from Rolling Stone chimed in with her own race-baiting ignorance:
“The brutal attack on him in Chicago appears to be yet another example not just of further moral decay, but of the brand of terrorism that still doesn’t seem to spark enough response by Americans” (2)
Our Final entry (You can find a more extensive list at this article referenced below at reference ‘2’) is from the venerable Washington Post. This gem of a quote comes from one of their editors, Karen Attiah, who said:
“Regarding the heinous attack on @JussieSmollett, yet another reminder that Trump’s ascendance and the resulting climate of hate has meant that lives have been increasingly at stake since 2015. Smollett could have been killed by those thugs screaming MAGA. Let that sink in,” (2)
Smollett is NOT the primary perpetrator of racial tensions. He simply saw an opportunity to take advantage of an increasingly biased media in an era of unprecedented division among Americans. This tension has been under the surface for a while but in the last ten years, it’s constantly been instigated as a political weapon to intimidate opponents. The fact that racism has become something so powerful that it’s mere mention can get all the major media outlets to blindly follow it is disturbing to say the least, but there’s a worse question in my mind, how many times this has happened before and we will never know?
1. Deb, Sopan. “All Charges Dropped Against ‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Mar. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/arts/television/jussie-smollett-charges-dropped.html.
2. Mastrangelo, Alana. “12 Establishment Media Journalists Who Fueled Jussie Smollett Flames.” Breitbart, Breitbart News Network, 18 Feb. 2019, www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/02/17/12-establishment-media-journalists-who-fueled-the-jussie-smollett-flames/.