Jussie, you had the world at your fingertips.
Jussie, you had a great acting career.
And Jussie, you had a blossoming singing career.
Unfortunately, you might have ruined everything if it is proven that you orchestrated an alleged racist and homophobic hate crime.
For those wondering why someone like Smollett would orchestrate an alleged hate crime, if that proves true, the reasoning is simple.
Celebrity status is like a drug.
Some people will do anything to maintain that status even if that means faking an assault to gain sympathy and compassion from your peers and fans.
Not to mention the fact that publicity probably produced a lot of music streams and sales for the R&B crooner.
Furthermore, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that Smollett allegedly orchestrated the attack because he became dissatisfied with his salary from “Empire.”
One can imagine that his fame would have soared if the hate crime proved true, possibly causing his value in Hollywood to increase financially.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
And when a dog is desperate they will use any methods to attack and fight for survival.
However for Smollett, trying to survive and thrive in Hollywood could lead to an early demise for his career and even jail time because filing a false police report has led to felony charges.
Therefore, his budding empire could come crashing down before it reaches the heights it was destined to based on his enormous talents.
From the moment that news broke out of Chicago that Smollett had allegedly suffered a brutal assault on his way home from a local Subway restaurant, which included a noose around his neck and unknown chemical getting poured onto his face, many who know Chicago did not believe that such an attack could happen against a Black man.
The nation’s third largest city is known for being a powerbase for African-American politicians and business elites on one hand.
And on the other hand, Chi-Town or Chi-Raq is known for brutal gang violence and urban strife.
Those aforementioned characteristics probably make Chicago an uncomfortable place for White supremacists to roam the streets looking to victimize African-Americans.
Smollett said that his alleged attackers yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him while telling him that Chicago is MAGA country in reference to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Many of Smollett’s doubters pointed out that Chicago is very liberal and is also former President Barack Obama country, so many found it doubtful that a White nationalist would be bold enough to pull off such a stunt in Chicago, which has a large African-American population.
Nevertheless, the idea that an African-American gay man could find himself brutalized by a hate crime seemed believable because those violent acts happen on a regular basis in this country.
Statistics show over the last two years that hate crimes against African-Americans have increased dramatically.
But knowing that reality makes Smollett’s actions even that more reprehensible if he indeed participated in a staged hate crime.
The tip of the iceberg is that Smollett is an activist for the African-American community and the LGBT community.
He has spoken up for many causes affecting members of two demographic groups and has garnered respect around the world for activism.
Smollett’s character on “Empire” has even become an activist, speaking out against homophobia on the show.
Now, it is hard to take him seriously as an activist on camera and off of camera.
Playing on people’s emotions knowing that people care about those who face abuse and discrimination is the epitome of cruel and disingenuous.
It makes people wonder how often do African-American activists and LGBT activists make up stories that paint their communities as victims just to promote their agenda or garner sympathy?
Knowing that people intentionally lie about the racism or homophobia they endure makes me immediately tune them out and tune out anyone with similar accusations.
If allegations that he participated in this alleged hate crime prove true, Smollett’s actions have to be one of the most selfish and self-centered acts anyone has committed in a long time.
High profile cases of discrimination and violence against minority groups have always been used by activists dating back to the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
King famously used the media to portray how vicious Southern Whites could become when attempting to maintain their supremacy over their darker brethren in the community.
But the water hoses and dogs that Birmingham, Ala. Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor used to attack and intimidate young African-Americans were real and live on living color for the American television audience to witness.
And with all of the cameras in downtown Chicago, not one captured this alleged hate crime.
That might be so because reporters and police say that the camera Smollett hoped would capture the beating was pointing in the opposite direction.
Now when I hear allegations about homophobia, I am going to be skeptical because of Smollett.
Because how many people in the LGBT community have made similar false claims because they know the media will blow their story out of proportion and the community will feel sympathy for their plight?
That might not happen often.
But many people will think about Smollett the next time they hear about a homophobic or racist attack and that is not fair to real victims.
However, real victims of homophobia can blame Smollett for that.
As a result of allegations and people’s stories, legislation is passed, careers are lost and culture is changed for better or worse.
To manipulate that reality could do damage to the cause of people who do deal with discrimination and violence and that is beyond selfish.
With “Empire” and his music career, Smollett did have an opportunity to become a strong voice for his community.
Instead, Smollett might have used his voice to only selfishly add a chapter to his once blossoming career.
Unfortunately, the next chapter possibly called “You Don’t Have to Lie to Kick It,” could include a loss of freedom considering he could face serious jail time, a loss of credibility for his activism and a loss of a significant portion of his fan base who will only see this potential hoax when they see him on television, film or on stage.