Jussie Smollett is an actor on the popular show Empire. Last month, as he was out walking the streets of Chicago, he reported being brutally attacked by two Caucasian men. His details of the attack included the following details according to The Atlantic. It was a cold night in Chicago, temperatures dropping to ten degrees, (2019). Two men in ski masks and Make America Great Again hats reportedly approached the actor who was walking alone at the time. The attackers were reported to have shouted racial and homophobic slurs at Smollett, including (as was later reported by the actor) saying the man was not wanted in their, "... MAGA country," (the Atlantic, 2019). In the final moments of the attack, Smollett reported having a strange chemical liquid dumped over his body, and a noose tied around his neck. This noose around his neck and the chemical substance (identified later as bleach) would remain until investigators showed up to assist Smollett after he called in the attack.
From that day on, the actor spoke outwardly about his attack, premiering on talk shows and making his case over social media in the weeks that followed. Internet outcry sparked over this alleged, atrocious act.
But, sometimes politics are whack and things are, once again, not as they seem.
According to CNN, two men were arrested in suspicion of them being the attackers after a surveilance video taped them approaching Smollett and leaving shortly after his attack. But, in contrast to the description given by Smollett, the two brothers were of Nigerian decent and not Caucasian, as originally reported. The fact that one premiered as an extra on the same TV show Smollett holds a lead role in also seemed strange. The two men denied having any involvement in any racist or homophobic endeavors, claiming, “We are not racist. We are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens,” (CNN, 2019). However, despite this claim, the noose that was left around Smollett’s neck has been traced to a purchase made by the brothers as more evidence continues to solidify that the two men were involved.
So, how does this make any sense?
Simply put, it was all faked. Smollett continues to deny taking any part in his attack, yet has been less than forthcoming with requests from the police department, including a refusal to hand over his phone to confirm that the man was, in fact, on the line with someone when the attack occurred.
At this point in time, the police are certain that Smollett formulated the attack against himself, hiring the two brothers to initiate the attack, beat him up, pour what is supposed as bleach over him, and tie a noose to his neck before he then called for assistance. This belief has only been further confirmed by the Osundairo brothers (those speculated in the attack) as they begin to work with the authorities in an effort to clear their own names of the hate crime.
Despite the evidence and speculation, Smollett continues to hold that he is innocent of faking his attack, expressing immense frustration at not being believed. Chicago Police have confirmed Smollett as a suspect in his own case, according to The New York Times. If Smollett is found guilty in felony court, an option now considered, Smollett could face up to three years in prison.
For more information on the attack, I suggest reading these articles:
For a well-versed piece in the implications of this manner, I suggest this piece by The Atlantic.
Andone, Dakin. “Brothers Questioned in Connection with Jussie Smollett Attack Identified.” CNN, Cable News Network, 18 Feb. 2019, www.cnn.com/2019/02/18/entertainment/jussie-smollett-attack/index.html.
Deb, Sopan. “Chicago Police Now Call Jussie Smollett a Suspect.” The New York Times, 20 Feb. 2019, apple.news/AxgHJtLliTgiKBkfzx7DOUg.
McWhorter, John. “What the Jussie Smollett Story Reveals.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 20 Feb. 2019, www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/jussie-smollett-story-shows-ri....
Washington Post. “The Washington Post.” Indian Opposition Calls Nationwide Protests to Take on Modi over Fuel Prices, 20 Feb. 2019, apple.news/AFnp-y1CNRZuj8x7_YtkQBg.