Jussie Smollett broke his silence Friday morning, after falling victim to a homophobic and racist attack. “Let me start off by saying I am OK,” the “Empire” star states to Essence. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.” He also wants everyone to know that this was a homophobic and racist hate crime and that there will be justice for him.
Chicago Police reported on Tuesday that he was attacked by 2, still unidentified men, in ski masks and dark clothing in the early hours of the morning. He was walking to get food around 2 a.m. and was approached by the two men as they addressed him with racial and homophobic slurs. They reportedly poured bleach on him and tied a rope around his neck while chanting “MAGA country,” as reference to the infamous Donald Trump slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
At a press conference at the White House, President Trump was asked about the assault and merely responded with, “That I can tell you is horrible,” he said. “I’ve seen it. Last night. It’s horrible. Doesn’t get worse.” He does not address the fact that racial and homophobic slurs were thrown at him or that the attackers cited his campaign slogan during the attack.
Many celebrities, along with his fellow “Empire” castmates, have already gone to social media to express their support for Smollett and to bring awareness to anti-LGBT and racial violence, many of which were gay black men, and women of color. A demographic we fail to see of course in times like this are straight cis black men. Their probable homophobic attitudes or silence towards their black gay brothers can be just as lethal as the same white men that kill them and incarcerate them at more disproportionate rates than any other minority in America. We should all be supportive of each other and all of us, as a collective, should start speaking up against this blasphemy. We shouldn’t, in this day and age, be tolerating this type of behavior by homophobic white supremacists (let’s face it, that’s who they are) any longer. Gay black lives matter just as much as anyone else’s does. Let’s ALL try and show some support and raise awareness to these injustices in the world and show that we can become a united front against homophobia and racism.