Actor Jussie Smollett Attacked In Possible Hate Crime

Samantha Brown, Editor-in-Chief

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In the early morning of January 29th on the streets of downtown Chicago, Jussie Smollett, a popular actor, was attacked by two people in a violent act of racism and homophobia. The two people started by approaching Smollett and yelling out both racial and homophobic slurs. This quickly escalated when Smollett was struck in the face and then an unknown chemical was poured on him. But, possibly the most striking thing that happened that night was when one of the two people put a noose around Smollett’s neck and yelled, “MAGA strong.”

Jussie Smollett is an openly gay black male, and he can be considered an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Smollett is also an actor, who plays a gay character named Jamal Lyon from the popular TV series ‘Empire’. Not only is he an actor, but he is also a singer, director, and photographer.

Although the attack on Smollett was a major bump in the road and should not be overlooked, Smollett still performed a concert just mere days after the attack. Smollett released a statement last Friday (2/1/19) saying, “Let me start by saying that I’m OK. My body is strong but my soul is stronger.”

Smollett performing at his first concert just previous days after the attack.

After the attack Taraji P. Henson, a co-star of Smollett, posted an Instagram post with the caption, “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.” Two days after the attack, Henson went on the Today Show to discuss it. She says that “hate won’t win.” She made it clear that this act of aggression will not be tolerated and that there needs to be an end to it.

Her along with countless other celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Janet Jackson, and Cher, all support Jussie and his recovery. Also, important politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker support Jussie’s recovery to this attack.

Gracie Carrasco, an 8th-grade student at Dana Middle School displays her point of view about this situation. Carrasco states, “This is unacceptable behavior from anyone to anyone. We’re all the same behind our skin. So why is one so offended by our sexual preference when it has nothing to do with them?”

The police say that they have footage of the brutal attack and they are currently looking for the two people who committed these acts. They are asking that if anyone witnessed the attack or may know who the attackers are to come forward.