Update (2/26/2018): Due to new developments in the Jussie Smollett alleged hate crime case, this article contains information that is no longer accurate. The author's reflection on those developments can be found here.

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Let's talk about what happened to Jussie Smollett. For those of you who don't know who he is, Jussie is an actor who is most noticeable for his role as Jamal Lyon on the show "Empire." Jamal, as well as Jussie in real life, is an gay African-American male singer. (On a side note, if you have never heard him sing before, please do yourself a favor and listen to any of his songs. You won't be disappointed.)

On January 29, 2019, Jussie was allegedly attacked by two men outside of a restaurant early in the morning. According to Smollett's testimony, his two assailants wore ski masks and yelled racist and homophobic slur towards him brutally beat him up, poured a chemical substance on him, and even tied a noose around his neck. Jussie says he fought off the men and then admitted himself to the hospital. The news broke of his attack shortly after.

I remember seeing a tweet that simply read "Pray for Jussie Smollett," and then the wave of news and celebrity coverage and sympathy came pouring in. I almost began to cry. Here I was having watched this man on TV for the past three years, seeing his character go from hell and back to now him actually facing the brutality of being who or normally is. I was in shock. I quickly found out all the information I could and continue to keep posted.

Why I wanted to bring this up is because of how much this clearly showcases the hate in this country. Whether it's for someone of a different race, a different sexual orientation, a different political party, or even a different religion. In the end, there will always be hate and violence. Why is that? Why is it so hard for people to just be nice to each other? I am not for a minute saying that I exclude myself from the group by the way. I too am mean towards others, and I hate myself for it. But when I sit down and really think about it there is never a solid, long lasting explanation for it. Most of the time you just do something in the moment.

I called her a bad word because she called my religion stupid. She flipped you off because you cut in front of her on the freeway. He beat you up outside of a restaurant because you're gay.

All of this hate needs to stop.

This needs to stop for everyone. We can't and shouldn't accept the horrendous assault that happened to Jussie. What if that happened to someone close to you? Would you turn a blind eye or help win back the peace? I hope that they identify and prosecute the men who attacked Jussie. And I hope this puts into perspective how serious hate can be. Next time you are about to say or do something hateful, pause and think why. Why am about to say or do this? Is it worth it in the long term? Because we all not it's worth it in the short term. If you can't find a solid legitimate reason for those two questions, don't do it! Not to steal Ellen DeGeneres's slogan, but "Be kind to one another."