By Abreana Smith
On January 29, 2019, Empire star Jussie Smollett was attacked in Chicago. Authorities report that the attack was a hate crime, as it was racially and homophobically motivated. Smollett left his Chicago apartment at 2am to go to Subway, where his attackers yelled out “This is MAGA country”, along with, “aren’t you that f*ggot n*igger from that show?” The attackers also poured bleach and forced a rope around Smollett’s neck.
Jussie Smollett, being an openly gay black man in America, is another example of being a victim of uncontrollable circumstances. Although the actor fought back, he is shaken up and has since recovered from the attack. He has since recovered and spoken out about the attack on social media:
Let me start by saying that I’m ok. My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words. I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. As my family stated, these type of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers, and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief, and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.
With Love, respect, & honor
Along with Smollet, several other of his co-stars, friends and family have spoken out about the attack, including Empire co-star Taraji P. Henson:
“I wish what happened to my baby was just one big bad joke but it wasn’t and we all feel his pain right now @jussiesmollett is pure love to the bone AND THAT IS WHY SO MANY ARE FEELING HIS PAIN BECAUSE IT IS OUR PAIN!!! I tell you one thing HATE WILL NOT WIN!!!! My baby is resilient and love still lives in him.”
Other celebrities like Orange Is The New Black star Danielle Brooks, Summer Walker, Insecure star Yvonne Orji, Megan Good, Lala, etc, gave Jussie their full support.
2019 just started and the bigotry that is reinforced by the current administration is in full force. Smollett pointed out that it’s not just him that’s been, or is going to be, (because it will happen again unfortunately) attacked. These attacks have been a pivotal part of American history and there is no end in sight.
The question remains- Why do Trump supporters think they can control what somebody deserves/doesn’t deserve? Do they realize that people of color and people of the LGBTQ+ community are people as well as them? We all bleed the same blood and everybody looks the same when the lights are out. Don’t ever think you’re above somebody because at the end of the day, we all came from Africa.