Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Hate Crimes, Fake & Real

Jussie Smollett makes it harder to believe that violent haters really are out there
Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 6.15.58 PM

Well, well, well:

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, whose claim of being attacked in a possible hate crime came under doubt, is now suspected of filing a false police report, which is a felony, Chicago police said Wednesday.

“Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony),” Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote in a tweet.

He added that detectives were “currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury.”

Throw the book at that creep. There’s now video of the two Nigerian brothers buying items believed to have been used in the faked attack. It also has emerged that in 2007, he was arrested for DUI, and gave the name of his brother as his own. Classy guy, that Jussie, treating his own brothers that way.

Andy Ngo is doing a superb job of reminding us how common these hate hoaxes are. 

Let us not forget how many Democratic politicians and liberal celebrities accepted Smollett’s lie without question. For example:


She was by no means alone. The actress Ellen Page went on Stephen Colbert’s show and blamed Vice President Mike Pence for the attack. Colbert did not challenge that smear. And why should he have? It confirmed all the Left’s priors. Of course right-wing MAGA hat-wearers were out at two in the subzero Chicago morning, carrying a rope to pretend to lynch a gay black actor. Oooooh, those Trump supporters! Vanity Fair is now mad because this gives conservatives reason to pretend that the GOP is not the party of bigotry, as all decent people know it is.

Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and all those who believed Smollett, despite the preposterousness of his story, should not be at all surprised when white people and conservatives regard them as prejudiced. Sen. Harris and her liberal allies need to confront their own hate. A friend in the Midwest today texted to mention that he was in a small city today having lunch at a barbecue joint, and

listening to two not at all slick married couples in their 60stalking about how they wish Trump was a better man, but how they know exactly what all the people on TV who make fun of Trump think about them.


The thing is, bigotry-fueled violence really does happenNews broke late today that authorities have arrested a Coast Guard member and charged him with plotting a mass terror attack.  Democratic members of Congress and journalists were on an apparent hit list in his apartment. He is a white nationalist who allegedly cited the Norwegian fascist terrorist Anders Breivik as an inspiration. Cops recovered an arsenal from his apartment. A Coast Guard member!

Jussie Smollett has made it harder for people to believe that people like this allegedly criminal white supremacist exist. But they do. Our justified anger at Jussie Smollett and the eagerness of liberal politicians, celebrities, and media figures to believe it should not obscure our awareness of this. It is impossible to shame our president, but he ought to be ashamed of himself for tweeting things like this:


I am very, very hard on the NYT for its ridiculously biased cultural coverage, but no elected leader, certainly not the president, should ever write things like this. It gives aid and comfort to people like that white supremacist alleged terrorist.

Back to Smollett. In a fascinating analysis in the Atlantic, the linguist John McWhorter, who is black, says the whole sick Smollett fantasy is, weirdly, a sign of racial progress. Excerpt:

Only in an America in which matters of race are not as utterly irredeemable as we are often told could things get to the point that someone would pretend to be tortured in this way, acting oppression rather than suffering it, seeking to play a prophet out of a sense that playing a singer on television is not as glamorous as getting beaten up by white guys. That anyone could feel this way and act on it in the public sphere is, in a twisted way, a kind of privilege, and a sign that we have come further on race than we are often comfortable admitting.

That’s an interesting point. But it’s also the case that if you are white, male and conservative, a lot of powerful people with big platforms will be quick to believe that you are guilty of horrible crimes. As we saw with Brett Kavanaugh.

One more quick thing: this is how reflexively anti-white and anti-male the Democratic activist base is. Amanda Marcotte, you may recall, is a white feminist. Here, she blames whiteness for democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’s big fundraising haul from small donors:


UPDATE: John Kass, writing in the Chicago Tribune:

Something important has been lost in the embarrassing saga of Jussie Smollett, the tuna fish sandwich-loving actor and anti-Trump activist, and those muscular Nigerian brothers.

And I suppose it’s easy to lose what’s important with all the panic and intersectional hatred and liberal identity politics gone bad in this Smollett story.

What’s been lost is this:

I’m told that two dozen detectives were assigned to the Smollett case.


A few weeks ago, after Smollett began telling his tale — in which he’s the hero fighting oppression and hatred — 1-year-old child was shot in the head.

It looked like a street gang may have been targeting his mother. She’s been shot before. The child, Dejon Irving, is on life support.

I don’t think there were two dozen detectives assigned to Dejon Irving’s case. But he’s not a star to be used by politicians in pursuit of power. He’s not a symbol.

Politicians don’t tweet his name. He’s just a little boy from Chicago, shot in the head.



Want to join the conversation?

Subscribe for as little as $5/mo to start commenting on Rod’s blog.

Join Now