Fact or Fiction? The Case of Jussie Smollett

On January 29th, “Empire” actor, Jussie Smollett, was attacked in the early morning hours by two people who yelled out racial and homophobic slurs. It was also reported that the two men poured an unknown chemical substance on Smollett and yelled “this is MAGA [Make America Great Again] country.” As well they tried to place a noose around his neck. Both attackers fled the scene and Smollett took himself to a nearby hospital. After the attack, an outpour of support came from people worldwide. Many people, including Smollett’s Empire co-stars, producer, and fans were in complete shock and disbelief to learn about the attack. People demanded that there be justice for Jussie and the two men who committed the heinous hate crime be found and arrested.

Days after the attack, Smollett decided to speak out about what happened on social media and even conducted an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC news to speak about how he felt concerning the incident. However, things are starting to get a little confusing. There has been new evidence reported by the Chicago Police Department that Smollett himself staged the attack. When I heard this information I was just as shocked as I was hearing that the attack occurred. What could he possibly get out of staging this attack? New details released state that Smollett may have paid the two men to attack him. While new details are still continuing to develop, I hope, like many others, that he did not orchestrate the attack.

If Jussie did stage the attack, this could have a significant negative effect on the Black and LGBTQ communities. Since people are already so hateful toward both communities - especially if you are black and LGBTQ, it is important that things are not done to make it even harder for people apart of that community to be accepted. Also, if Smollett’s allegations are proven to be false it only makes it harder for the next person who is attacked in a hate crime to report it or even be believed by people. Smollett specifically saying that the people who attacked him were Trump supporters furthers the detrimental effect that this situation can have if it is false. President Trump already likes to boast that there is a “witch hunt” for him. If the attack was faked, it adds more fuel to the fire for President Trump and his supporters. They can say that people love to attack him and his supporters being attacked and brutalized. I hope that as the investigation goes on that what happened can be clarified. However, while there are numerous reports saying that Jussie Smollett’s attack could have indeed been faked, I am going to continue to wait until more facts come out rather than jump on the Jussie hate train. During this time, I suggest people do the same. Whatever happens I hope that Smollett did not fake the attack because it will not only ruin his career, but be detrimental to members of the black and LGBTQ communities.