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Politics and Activism

As Jussie Smollett Shows, It Is Wrong To Fake Hate Crimes

The Jussie Smollett case expressed to us consequences of faking a hate crime.

Dominick D

Recently, "Empire" star Jussie Smollett announced that he was attacked and beaten in Chicago. He also alleged the attackers were motivated by his race and homosexuality.

He gave the following details when he told his story. After getting a sandwich from Subway, Smollett was attacked by two masked men at around 2 A.M.The two men hurled openly racist and homophobic slurs at him while they wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an "unknown substance" over him. In addition, the attackers yelled at Smollett that he was in "MAGA country."

Still wearing the noose, Smollett went home and reported the attack to police 40 minutes after it happened

Many politicians came out and condemned this horrible attack. Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted, "Jussie Smollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I'm praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate."

Another presidential candidate, Cory Booker, tweeted, "The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe."

Smollett tearfully said of the attack, "I want them to see that I fought back. And I want a little gay boy who might watch this to see that I fought the f--- back."

This is a horrible story. A high-profile television star being attacked in a racist and homophobic fashion. Given that, according to the FBI, in 2017, 59.6% of hate crime victims were targeted because of race and 15.8% were targeted for sexual orientation, it is believable.

However, recent developments suggest that Smollett's attack was staged by him. The suspects, two Nigerian brothers, told the Chicago Police Department that Smollett paid them to orchestrate the attack, according to CNN. The two brothers were released on February 15th. They also told investigators that they bought the rope from a nearby hardware store. Detectives searched the two men's apartment and found rope, masks, and bleach.

This led to Jussie Smollett being charged with disorderly conduct for falsely filing a police report.

Smollett denied that he faked the attack. His attorneys released this statement "One of these purported suspects was Jussie's personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie's complicity,"

Why would someone fake a hate crime? Is it wrong to fake a hate crime? What are the results in doing so?

As those FBI statistics show, there are true hate crimes that happen. Some may feel they do not get the attention they deserve: however, that does not justify faking one. Faking a hate crime is disingenuous to real hate crime victims. It takes advantage of their actual suffering. Also, if more fake hate crimes garner the attention Smollett got, people will be less likely to believe and take seriously the victims of real hate crimes. Smollett did not care or even consider those victims; he only considered his agenda.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson summed it up perfectly in a press conference:

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I am left hanging my head asking 'why?' Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? ... How can an individual who's been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?"

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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