In what has more twists than a Jordan Peele flick, all charges against the actor Jussie Smollet were dropped on March 26 by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Illinois. Prosecutors have yet to reveal why they dropped all 16 felony charges, but said the decision was made after reviewing all of the facts, and Smollett’s forfeiture of his $10,000 bond. Typically when charges are dropped, the bond is returned to the defendant – this case was a notable exception.
Smollett won’t have to face trial, and his record will be expunged. But let’s be clear. If you’re a supporter of Civil Rights, and the LGBTQ community, you should be just as outraged by this elaborate fabrication as those who naively bought into Smollett’s hoax.
On January 29, Jussie Smollett claimed that he was assaulted by two white men wearing MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats in Chicago, Illinois just after midnight. Naturally, and justifiably, the story sparked further outrage when we learned that the alleged perpetrators used homophobic slurs and racial epithets against the 36 year-old Empire actor. Actors and politicians alike expressed support for the actor, including presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris.
Here’s what we know:
Smollett was examined at Northwestern Hospital and was treated for minor scratches, which investigators believed were self-inflicted.
While exercising his legal right, Smollet was reluctant to meet with investigators to assist in the case.
He contacted police more than 40 minutes after the alleged attack.
Smollett turned in redacted phone records, after initially refusing to do so.
The alleged attackers, two brothers from Nigeria, turned over phone records establishing contact between Smollett and the brothers.
Prosecutors and the Chicago Police Department still believe Smollett is guilty of orchestrating his assault.
Here’s why we should be outraged:
According to FBI data, since 2017, hate crimes are legitimately on the rise; the same year Donald Trump became was sworn in a president. Granted, because Smollett was a high profile case that shed light on hate crimes in America. Smollett took away from a much needed conversation of hate crimes occurring on an unprecedented level in the United States. The last thing we needed was for him to take away from that conversation for what seems to be personal financial reasons. Fuck him for that!
Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence against him, Smollett is still claiming to be innocent, using his faith, family and lawyers as a weapon rather than a shield. Not only does he continue to take advantage of those who still support him, but he makes it harder for those who have been assaulted to come forward. I’m sure he’ll die with the lie. Yeah, fuck him for that, too.
For those of us that choose to support and comfort “victims” in general, this was a huge blow – especially when he chose to politicize the issue by claiming it was Trump supporters who attacked him.
But this case proves that it’s better to be rich and guilty, than poor and innocent in America.
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