The news outlets are a flurry over Jussie Smollet and his claims of being the victim of a hate crime. Multiple news outlets have reported that Jussie Smollett was attacked on an early morning in Chicago by two assailants who yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on Smollett, and left a noose around his neck. The facts have been altering since the story first came to light but the conclusion seems to be that Jussie lied about the incident and orchestrated the attack. He has yet to come forward and confirm that he did indeed lie.
He surrendered to police and the public has taken that as an admission of guilt.
The report is that the two men who attacked Jussie were people that he knew and paid off, The motive given is that he was unhappy with his salary. I’m not sure how the attack would have ended up causing an increase in his salary. Increase in attention and thus more room to negotiate based on his popularity? Who is to say. The aftermath of this could result in actual hate crimes being discredited as lies when they are reported. Akin to the difficulties women have in proving a rape case because there are women who have lied about rape.
I simply cannot fathom what would have moved anyone to do this. I would advise Jussie Smollett’s family members and friends to support him regardless and try to figure out where he was mentally and emotionally to carry this out. If it is indeed true he did it. This backlash could push him toward dangerous self-harm.
It is astounding to me how swift and thorough the investigation was into the crime. Some would say that when a person of color is accused of a crime it is simply taken as true at face value resulting in many innocent people behind bars. However, when it came to the question of whether MAGA supporters did this, the investigation was more in-depth to try to prove if they truly were at fault.
If only this much attention to detail were applied to all crimes and cases regardless of race.
Being the imaginative person that I am, I would like to present two other possible narratives to this story:
The attack did occur just as Jussie described it. However, the men who did it were in positions of influence and power and could not afford to be pinned with the crime. With their substantial influence and connections, they were able to pay to have evidence altered and spin certain facts to vilify Jussie as faking it. The two Nigerian men who confessed were moved to do it for fear of deportation or threats to family. Since it would be more entertaining to have the hate crime be a lie, the public latched onto the narrative without question.
Hate crimes are indeed on the rise in this country. We have seen MAGA supporters march in what appears to be a new age white supremacist movement. Our president is also a heavy supporter of divide and discrimination which has helped fuel an environment where hate is expressed without limit. Who is to say that this incident isn’t part of a further agenda to discredit hate crimes and limit the ability of victims to feel confident to come forward?
With this event as a precedent, it would lead a victim to fear whether they truly will be believed. What if there are plans for a heavier increase in hate crimes and this event was staged in order to give those who carry out the crime confidence that they will go free? Sort of a buffer against prosecution, an ace for the defense.
“Yes, the victim claims my client did it, but couldn’t it be possible they are lying? Seeking some sort of recompense from my client? What could the accuser’s motivation be for claiming a hate crime occurred?”
No matter what the truth may be, this event will have consequences. Only time will tell and prove what they may be. If Jussie Smollett did lie, then all that is left is for him to apologize and explain why he went through with it. What was the motivation and what led him to come up with the idea to orchestrate a fake hate crime? After all, enough hate crimes occur in this country as it is. The backlash has caused him to be ostracised and spurned from the public. It also seems as if he will be removed from the show Empire. Doesn’t that seem counterintuitive of the reported motivation of a salary increase?
One last question, did the consequences seem this dire for Ryan Lochte lying about his Brazilian attack?