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Why the Jussie Smollett Case Is a Big Deal

21 Feb 2019

On 29 Jan 2019 Jussie Smollett claimed he was attacked by two men wearing a MAGA hat (Make America Great Again) indicating their support for Donald Trump. Smollett is a black man and a homosexual. He is an actor currently on the cast of the Fox Network’s Empire which is filmed in Chicago.

He said he was beaten, had bleach poured on his head and a noose was placed around his neck.

Initially I gave him the benefit of the doubt but there were some issues with his story that bothered me. 

* It was extremely cold that night, dangerously cold. The temperature was around -20°F (-29°C). Smollett said that he was returning home from a nearby Subway sandwich shop. For him to be out in that weather was insane. Also the attackers would not be wandering around with the temperature so low. Even if they were, they would not be wearing a MAGA hat.

* Smollett was on Lower Wacker Drive when the attack took place. Lower Wacker Drive runs underneath other streets at the basement level of the buildings. It is not a pleasant place nor is it particularly safe. There was no good reason for Smollett to be there. He could easily have gotten to his home staying above ground.

* Smollett walked past the doorman of his building but the man did not smell any bleach on Smollett.

* Smollett originally refused to let the police examine his phone. (Smollett says he was on the phone when the attack took place.) When he finally turned over his phone records, it was heavily redacted. He was hiding something.

* Smollett said that the attackers yelled “This is MAGA country.” Donald Trump only got 12.5% of the vote in Chicago in the 2016. It is hardly MAGA country. The area where the incident took place is a very liberal area, definitely not MAGA country. By bringing in the MAGA hat, he played to the common belief that all Trump supporters are evil, further dividing the country.

* Despite the multiple problems in his story, Smollett claimed that the only reason anyone would doubt his story is that they were a racist or a homophobe or both. He was trying to shame people into believing him instead of convincing them with facts.

After several weeks of investigation the Chicago Police Department determined that the incident was a hoax and Smollett has now admitted that both this hoax and an earlier hoax involving a letter containing a white powder were done because he was upset that he was only being paid $20,000 per episode of Empire in which he appeared. I don’t think too many people are going to feel sorry for him.

While the fraud involving the attack is a local felony, his use of the US mail for the powdered substance fraud is a federal felony and people have received a 20 year sentence for similar acts.

However, that is not the worst of it:

* There are a lot of murders in Chicago and each murder is assigned two detectives to investigate. Only one out of every six murders are solved. Twelve detectives, as many as six murders, were assigned to tracking down the men who Smollett claimed attacked him.

* What if the police had arrested someone in this case. Smollett would have had to lie, say they were guilty and have them sent to prison just because of his ego.

Needless to say, Chicagoans are upset. They want the book thrown at Smollett. What do you think?

Text © Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.

Clip art is in the public domain.

#Chicago #Illinois #crime #racism #homophobia #entertainment #hoax #hoaxes

  • Do you believe that Jussie Smollett should be prosecuted?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

8 points

Written by Gary J Sibio

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  1. CORRECTION: In the article I stated that Smollett was earning $20,000 per episode of Empire. That figure was based on news reports I had heard. It seems that he actually makes much more… as much as $100,000 per episode.

    Also, there are two more episodes to film for this season. He was originally supposed to appear in both episodes and the last episode was going to feature him singing. As of Feb 21st, he has been removed from both episodes.

  2. According to You Tube personality Zachary K Hubbard he says that Black celebrities if they want to climb the ladder of iconic celebrities, their handlers make them get in trouble on purpose just to keep the pot boiling with a potential race war.
    What I have seen on the internet news is that anyone wearing a M A G A (Making Ancon Great Again okay it is my city of birth in Panama when it was a Canal Zone area) is as welcome as anyone wearing a Captain America tee shirt on a street in Panama City Panama after Operation Just Cause in 1989. You would be beaten within an inch of your life and called an invader or Yankee,

    • I don’t think what Hubbard said is true about all black personalities. There are plenty who don’t do stuff like that. It might be the case with a lot of the gangster rappers but I don’t see it helping actors.

      This week there has been one kid who got punched in the face for wearing a MAGA hat on a college campus and another man who had a handgun placed at his head. This is not the way America is supposed to work.

  3. I think he should be held accountable. I believe he also sent himself the letter with crushed up aspirin. I am fairly certain with his privilege he will get off fairly easy. He will have a great lawyer and a doctor to say he has issues that made him do it (this is my best guess.)

    He didn’t do anything great to help the cause of stopping tensions. In fact, he probably stepped it up a notch. It is amazing what some people are willing to do for attention.

  4. When I heard about the attack, I believed it. I really did. I believed him. As time passed, I really didn’t want the attack to be a fabrication.

    I now realise that Smollet is not who I thought I was. I feel as if I’ve been played, tricked, used, and I prob. won’t watch Empire any more, whether or not he is on it.

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