The developing news that has built over the last few days is not a new revelation to the idea of how quick we are to cancel people over social media. Sometimes it is within reason, and other times, we just want to follow the latest social bandwagon. We are seen as "woke" if we put down everyone who is unfavorable to the public eye.
Jussie Smollett is the latest victim of cancel culture.
If you are unfamiliar with the Jussie Smollett controversy, here's the short version: Jussie Smollett is a black gay actor who stars on the Fox show "Empire." On January 29, Smollett reported to Chicago Police that he was attacked by two men in MAGA hats who spewed racial and homophobic slurs at him while they poured bleach on him, beat him, and put a noose around his neck. (Read the full timeline/details here.)
Of course, social media rushed to his side, defending Smollett and denouncing his attackers and the infamous slogan that they stood for. Some were skeptical about his attack, considering they didn't have any corresponding evidence to back the "Empire" star up.
Sure enough, news broke that the Chicago Police were "thoroughly investigating" his claims. This showed that police are not rushing anytime soon to get justice for Smollett.
We've seen this situation many times, where the police have treated black people as "guilty until proven innocent."
Unfortunately, this happens way too many times to count. When news came that Smollett had allegedly falsified a police report, I witnessed social media begin to bash Smollett and make all of these pernicious claims about false accusers, among other most horrible things.
This 180-flip showed me how quickly we are to go against something or someone whenever we hear news about it.
Knowing the history of the Chicago Police and its corrupt nature, I kept quiet through the ordeal. Many of us pointed out that "there isn't enough evidence, we need to wait." I wasn't ready to believe someone could create a lie so elaborate.
Now we find out that all 16 felony charges against Smollett have been dropped without any explanation. There are still many naysayers, but others believe that the police was negligent in their investigation and only rushed to charge Smollet on the basis to smear his reputation through the tabloids.
I think it's important to question the police's hand in this.
Why did they abandon this investigation after only five weeks? Why use up taxpayers' dollars to make no progress or leads and essentially waste everyone's time? I hate to make this a race thing right now, but should we question whether or not they were quick to accuse Jussie because he was a Black man? Or even a gay man?
So where does this leave us, the public?
Should we believe Smollett or the police? Should we forgive him or stand with him? How quick are we to take sides without sufficient evidence again, or take the word of news outlets? Only time will tell.