Stop Hate Crimes Like the One Committed Against Jussie Smollett

Photo: Gabriel Olsen (Getty Images)

Jussie Smollett, an openly gay black actor on Fox’s Empire, was hospitalized after he was assaulted in a racist and homophobic attack early Tuesday morning in Chicago. Smollett reported that two people yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, wrapped a rope around his neck, beat him, and poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him. He added that his attackers also shouted, “This is MAGA country.”

Chicago Tribune reported this week that, in January alone, there have been half as many homicides in the city as there were in all of 2018.

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A Platform for Change

Besides being an actor and a singer, Smollett is an activist inspired by his parents, Joel and Janet, both civil rights activists. The Smolletts have been devoted to AIDS prevention and ending apartheid. Jussie is a member of the Black AIDS Institue, to which he donated a portion of his summer tour proceeds following the release of his album Sum of My Music.

Smollett works alongside advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign as a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community. Last year, the Empire star joined the HRC’s Equality Rocks campaign, sparking a conversation about love, fairness and equality.

Speaking Up

Smollett received an outpouring of love on social media from Hollywood, friends, fans, and politicians. Thousands have also spoken out against the racism, homophobia, and hate ever-present in our society, with violence being emboldened in recent years. In 2017, an FBI survey revealed that hate crimes increased 17 percent, noting that hate crimes are usually underreported.

A few out of the many responses over the attack can be viewed below. If anyone from the area has any information, contact detectives at (312) 747-8382 or submit an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com.

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We got this @jussiesmollett

A post shared by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

 

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I stand with you @jussiesmollett. We all do. This is America. Unfortunately.

A post shared by Lena Waithe (@lenawaithe) on

 

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THIS HATE CRIME against our brother @jussiesmollett is proof that no matter how famous you may be it still does not protect you from vicious racist homophobes !! AND It is still a risk daily to be a BLACK , OUT , and PROUD human being . I am sending so much love to you Jussie . Praying for your healing . Thank you for being such an inspiration to me & soooooo mannnnny people . Thank you for inspiring us to walk in our truth . Thank you for choosing freedom over fear . I will continue to walk BOLD , BLACK , & PROUD in your honor always . With love from your bi/pan/free ass mothafucka sis This pic is of me thanking him for sending flowers after the RS article (which gave me great anxiety btw). What a kind kind kind soul .

A post shared by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on

 

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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. The devil and his minions are very busy right now but one thing is for sure and two things are for certain #GODIS and that is all I know. This song needs to be downloaded until it goes triple platinum because the message is NEEDED. #weareresilientpeople AND #weaintgoingnowhereuntillwearefinished. The love so many have him just goes to show HE IS LOVE!!!! I LOVE YOU MY BABY MY BABY!!! #LOVEWINSALWAYS.

A post shared by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson) on