Pop Culture, The Lifestyle

Hoodwinked and Bamboozled: What to Make of the Jussie Smollett Chaos

For the past week or so, I’ve been wrestling with this notion on writing another post in reference to the Jussie Smollett incident. You see, I’ve been trying to wait until all the facts presented themselves because I couldn’t imagine someone would carry out such a disgusting hoax. That a person would actually sit down and plan such a poorly thought-out scheme. That a human being of my tribe (both Black and gay) would think it was remotely appropriate to play with real issues of American racism and homophobia, in an effort to further his career and status. And yet sadly, after sifting through reliable news outlets, I’m saddened to conclude that Jussie allegedly lied to the American people.

Perhaps saddened isn’t a strong enough word or even right emotion to convey here. I’m angered to think that Jussie would use the real racism against Black and Brown people to conjure up sympathy for his failed chaotic plan. I’m upset a gay man would cry wolf about being gay bashed, especially because coming into my sexuality that was one of my greatest fears. Hell, I’m even fuming that he would falsely accuse a segment of the population for attacking him, knowing black men in America have been falsely accused of various crimes since this country’s conception (Emmett Till, The Central Park Five, Kalief Browder, and countless others).  (Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Trump supporter, but I don’t support lying on someone about a crime.)

Oh, and let’s not pretend that what he did can’t have some serious ramifications for REAL victims of color down the line. Black and Brown victims already saw a disproportionate number of their accused white victimizers not be convicted (even when there’s mountains of proof) before Jussie’s stunt. I can only imagine how many Black and Brown victims and their families won’t see justice in a courtroom now. I can’t help but to be reminded of the Duke Lacrosse team incident, and how that was a major SMH moment for the Black community.

Now while most of my outrage originates from a racial and sexual preference perspective, I’m also pissed about how dumb the planning for this crime was. I’m offended on an intellectual level, and I don’t pretend to be Einstein. Who pays accomplices in a crime with a check? A walking paper trail with your name on it. And why buy all the items needed to commit the crime from a local store with your faces on camera? Plus, the accomplices left the purchased items in their home after the deed was done. If I’m honest, the sheer stupidity of the crime is another reason why I was resistant to believe Jussie faked the whole thing.

In conclusion, is it time to cancel Jussie for good? Well a lot of people certainly think so. But I’m one of those individuals that try to see the good in people. After all, Jussie has been quite the advocate in the gay community. I also believe a second chance is a right everyone should have access to. With that said, I can’t say I’ll be supporting anything he does in his career anytime soon. However, with time, an apology, and an explanation I may watch him act in something again. Shoot, ,if Jesus can forgive a murder, I can certainly bring myself

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