Jussie Smollett, who stars on Empire, was assaulted by two men who Smollett says wore masks and MAGA hats, shouted racial and homophobic epithets at him, fracturing a rib and even placing a rope around his neck, as was reported by The Shadow League and the multitude of reputable outlets. Smollett, in addition to his acting, is also a singer and is well-known as an activist, particularly in H.I.V./AIDS prevention.
The outrage, which has reverberated from Capitol Hill all the way to the digital din of Twitter, is filled with bile for the way things are and the hate the MAGA represents, but none for the draconian views of most black folks, some of whom don’t have even the minimal of respect for gay rights as well.
Admittedly, this attack just seems too cartoonish and scripted to be true. But, apparently, it is!
It is scientific fact that Mr. Smollett has fractured ribs and suffered a cut on his face, as shown in a Facetime photo posted by director Lee Daniels.
The Chicago Sun-Times, citing a police spokesman, said that Smollett went to an apartment after the attack, and his manager called the police. When officers arrived, a “thin, light rope” was still around Smollett’s neck, said the spokesman.
Smollett reportedly told police about the “this is MAGA country” part as well as what they said, a racial and homophobic slur that we won’t repeat here, during the follow up interview with police the next day.
The Sun-Times also reported that the F.B.I. was looking into a letter sent to Fox offices in Chicago last week that contained threatening language toward Smollett and a white powdery substance.
Chicago PD released a statement saying the area in which Smollett was attacked had a “very high density of city and private surveillance cameras.”
UPDATE: We continue to seek any available evidence/video to identify possible offenders in this case. Anyone who may hv been in area of 300 E North Water St btwn 1-3a should send info to https://t.co/g9Q1Srtgmc. Thus far we have not found anything to be able put out a description
To date, Detectives have reviewed hundreds of hours of video, but “unfortunately, thus far we have not found any helpful information on a suspect or a suspect’s vehicle to be able to share,” the statement said.
Police are currently widening their search to cameras from surrounding areas.
Like no other point in history, humans are able to watch the actions and reactions of other human beings almost in real time.
Indeed, the social sphere allows us to witness the most horrific actions of man against man, in all of it’s horror, then be even more horrified at the number of people of rationalize how Smollett somehow brought that on himself.
The MAGA hat wearers aside, some of the worst reactions I had witnessed were from people who looked exactly like Jussie, African-Americans.
The emotional toll of witnessing the suffering of another is revelatory. It shows reveals the values we hold as well as those we readily disregard.
The negative social media reactions from some black folk, which question the validity of Smollett’s story, are disheartening enough to see floating around Twitter, but when it’s people you know and respect, it’s has a different kind of depressing taste to it.
The time tested institution of the black experience, rampant homophobia.
From Facebook conspiracy theories of a publicity stunt, to questioning why he was out so late, any skepticism, in my opinion, is willful. Who would break their own ribs for a publicity stunt? Come TF on, man!
Yet, that’s what I read on my timeline. I’m not sharing any of those posts because I don’t wish to promote them in any manner, but their existence, even when racism appears to be involved in Smollett’s attack, means some are willing to ignore the racial component to blame Smollett for his own injuries.
A gay black man can’t get the benefit of the doubt even when he’s famous.
Jussie Smollett has since been released from the hospital and Fox will provide him with armed guards while in Chicago shooting Empire.
CPD has released two images of surveillance video showing “potential persons of interest” in the attack on Jussie Smollett.
Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of Empire cast member. While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed
“Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of Empire cast member,” the Chicago PD’s chief communications officer tweeted alongside the photos. “While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed.”
Brandon Z. Moore, who represents Smollett, confirmed to Variety that he was on the phone with Smollet during some of the attack and even heard some of it, and that he provided that police with the information.