With his conviction for staging hate crimes and lying to police, Jussie Smollett has transitioned from being a C-list celebrity into being an A-list laughingstock.
Many politicians, celebrities, and activists are eating their words today as they had tried to use the Smollett case as an example of how racist and homophobic America had become under President Donald Trump.
Tweets posted by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ at the end of 2019 have resurfaced to embarrass them today.
The bizarre Smollett case demonstrated the zeal of the progressive world when it comes to trying to create a narrative of the United States being some sort of bigot-laden hellscape.
When reports of the alleged assault against Smollett were breaking, one didn’t need to be Sherlock Holmes in order to deduce some things weren’t passing the smell test here. Hell, even Inspector Clouseau would have heard some alarm bells going off upon listening to Smollett’s claims.
Smollett alleged two men had attacked him late one night in Chicago, beat him while pouring some sort of chemical upon him, and then tied a noose around his neck all while yelling “This is MAGA country!”
When Chicago police arrived at Smollett’s apartment, he was still wearing the alleged noose which was later described as being “a thin light rope”. A piece of string in other words and why was he still wearing this odious symbol of the lynchings of last century anyway?
Allegations of assault have to be taken seriously and nobody should be expected to have dismissed Smollett’s claims out of hand at the time. The world is a weird place and as bizarre as Smollett’s story was, it wasn’t impossible to conceive at the time that it may be true.
What observers should have done at the time was sit back and let the evidence come out before amplifying news on what could be one of the boldest, modern-day hate crimes in North American history. Racial tension is real and it is terribly irresponsible for leaders to be pouring gasoline on the fires of racial division without need. That is what happened though.
While people may not have put much stock in Smollett’s claims initially, the claims began to feel more credible when high-profile people took them seriously. This of course spread fear and anger among minority communities in Chicago and across the country as apparently roving gangs of assailants were wandering the streets unchecked.
It didn’t take long before Smollett’s story fell apart. Investigators found holes in his tale as soon as he related it and under scrutiny it was found Smollett had concocted the entire affair with a pair of compatriots. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done.
Racism is real. Homophobia is real. Hate crimes really do happen. What Jussie Smollett accomplished was to give credence to people who deny any of those things exist.
Victims of real hate crimes and intimidation will have a more difficult time being taken seriously now. Investigations may focus on the complainant rather than seeking an assailant in some cases. These are serious consequences of the Smollett affair.
Smollett may be facing a sentence as long as 20 years for his crimes. That may be excessive but he can’t get away lightly for what he has done. I suspect an embarrassed justice system will be making an example of him in sentencing. We will see soon.
We can’t forget Smollett had accomplices in this crime. I am not speaking about the two men who helped him stage the fake crime. I am talking about the politicians, celebrities, and activist race-baiters who used Smollett’s story as a means to foster mistrust and racial division. Smollett’s case likely would have been little more than a footnote in the news scroll if investigators had been able to finish their work before politically motivated people pushed the alarm button. Now, an obscure actor has turned into a historical figure, and not in a good way.
Cory Morgan is Assistant Opinion & Broadcast Editor for the Western Standard