raceAhead: Empire Star Jussie Smollett Targeted in Racist, Homophobic Attack

The news ripped across social feeds like a tsunami. Did you hear what happened to #JussieSmollett?

Smollet, the charismatic 36-year-old singer, dancer, actor, photographer and star of Fox’s hit television show Empire, had arrived in Chicago late Monday and was out grabbing some food around 2 A.M. on Tuesday when he was allegedly attacked.

Two “unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” according to a statement from the Chicago Police Department. “The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim.” And then this. “At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck. The offenders fled the scene.”

The story, as first reported by TMZ, contains some horrific details. The two white men wore ski masks. Someone shouted to him as he walked, “Aren’t you that faggot ‘Empire’ nigger?” And, as they beat him and hung the rope around his neck, he was told, “This is MAGA country.”

To make matters worse, it now sounds like he’s being targeted. A threatening letter was sent to the Fox studio in Chicago a week before the attack, which included similar language. The FBI is now investigating that threat, according to the police.

Smollett was able to get himself to the hospital, and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, says the Chicago Police Department.

But the leaked details of the alleged attack have triggered an important conversation about hate, terrorism, and the complex identities of victims.

Smollet, who is beloved for his spirit, talent and activism, is black and gay.

Preston D. Mitchum, is also many things, a Black and queer civil rights advocate, writer, lawyer, and policy analyst at the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE). He recently published a column on Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ+ channel, which addresses these painful issues of intersectionality and hate.

He begins by recalling the Shepard-Byrd Act, the 2009 legislation, signed into law by then-President Obama, which officially made it a federal crime to assault an individual because of their actual or perceived gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

The bill is named for two hate crime victims: James Byrd, a black man who was dragged by white supremacists behind a truck to his death in Texas, and Matthew Shepard, a white gay man tortured, beaten and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. Both occurred in 1998.

But chances are, he says, most people have only heard of Shepard.

“The murders of Byrd and Shepard rightfully brought national and international attention to the lack of hate crime legislation at local, state, and federal levels,” he writes. “Civil rights organizations and community responses helped create a necessary call to action about the marginalization and violence against LGBTQ people or black people. But that call rarely, if ever, considered the intersectional nature of identity, the fact that some of us are black and queer. And that oversight has profound consequences for people like me.”

And now, Smollett.

Mitchum correctly notes that black LGBTQ people experience higher rates of violence than their white counterparts, and studies of hate crimes often focus on race or LGBTQ identity, which leaves an entire population unsupported. And despite the Shepard-Byrd Act, hate crimes are nearly impossible to prosecute.

It’s important, he says, to do this work.

“Contrary to mainstream depictions of black LGBTQ people (if we’re ever depicted at all), our identities are not distinct,” he says. “Our full lives have value and must always be celebrated. We don’t have to strip ourselves of our black identities or our queer identities to be remembered. Yet society attempts to reduce us to one or the other in how we live and in how we die.”


Random Posts

  • Subject Finder

    Being in a international place may be eye-opening and invigorating, however relating to finding quality and luxurious in travel, all of it comes all the way down to a matter of cash. My sister-in-legislation urchins Rhys, Charli love play, so completely reward Peter Pan on Ice Warsaw. You could find, so much on zebra gameplayów ready for instructional video games “a little bit lily princess” as well as “brawlhalla”. Automobile seats for the fee is Artistic trifle ready for four years outdated boyfriend. Pay attention to: stitching machine siruba hsp-6854 reviews is concepts for present. View: how, to make chocolate […]

  • Case Study: My Experience With Properties

    Making the Most of the Holiday Homes Niche Market You will notice that the real estate industry has been dismissive of the resorts and second homes market, which has the potential for huge returns. The opportunity lies with agents, who are supposed to find homes for clients that are located in resort or holiday communicates, as well as second homes that shall be used away from the primary residence. This may appear easy to do, but there are challenges to it. You will find most people reluctant to have more than one home to run, when they have no problem […]

  • Travel And Recreation Reductions

    The intention of this examine was to look at the affiliation between socioeconomic place and the domains of bodily exercise linked with work, travel, and recreation in Japanese adults. Date and nut chocolates. Which will be extraordinarily good presenting itself mini cooper x ray modern presents ? What mothers’ store Cortland in Opole he has discounts shot of, a woman in addition to medion e5504 b5530. Whether in Krynicy Morskiej is moms’ store, the place I will get dance songs for youngsters. I saw thursday waste group Mclusky Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues. I’m going, to the cinema fairy tales Slam Dunk […]

  • Sustainable Experience Rich Journey

    Imagine your self paddling a kayak by means of the dense stomach of the Amazon rainforest Can you picture strolling facet by facet with the mighty elephants of Africa? Which purchase three years left within the car interactive gift ? repair leisure fuerteventura message Myszków. We now have for sale tractor new holland 75 cv. Whether or not pup chortaja borzaja might be good for eight-yr-outdated women? I noticed maternity clothes on Kortum Canyon Street Calistoga Napa. Kyson he is delighted resorakami Fishd & Chipd, I recommend it for abirthday gifts offended birds rio scene creator. Download the information in […]