Friday, February 22, 2019

My Only Comment on Jussie Smollett and His Apparently Manufactured Attack

Jussie Smollett
I write a lot about popular culture as well as race, sexuality, and the intersection of all these concepts. Therefore, I feel I should comment on everything that has been going on with Jussie Smollett and how it turns out he may have faked being the victim of a hate crime in the hopes it would boost his fame and income lest I be accused of some kind of bias or trying to ignore it. My one and only comment on this is as such:

I would find it really encouraging if all the people dedicated to making sure justice is served in this case were just as passionate about the countless LGBTQ people of color who are in fact attacked and often ignored, disbelieved, or victim-blamed. It is really telling that in a singular case where someone actually did fake their attack it has become a huge story and yet nobody cares how often individuals are attacked and sometimes murdered. As a friend of mine from college named Steven Canals put it succinctly on his Twitter, "I reject the rhetoric that Jussie has now made it harder for us to believe victims... cause let’s be honest. If they were Black/Brown, Women, or LGBTQ+, ya’ll weren’t believing them in the first place!" Oh, and Steven is the co-creator of the stellar show on FX, "Pose," which I'd recommend everyone watch, but that's off-subject.
Smollett may have lied,
but countless others have not.
My point is that I'm disturbed how much of a big deal people are making out of Smollett faking an attack, as they are essentially silently-but-obviously trying to say in a not-so-subtle manner that they think a lot of the harassment, attacks, and violence towards LGBTQ individuals, women, people of color, etc. is some kind of conspiracy to..take the white man down, or something? We need to believe survivors, and we need to believe victims. A water-droplet of a lie in an ocean of truth doesn't change anything, if my metaphor makes any sense. Smollett may have manufactured his attack, but 99.9% of the cases we hear about (or which go unreported out of fear) are true, no matter how much some people want to deny it or use this case as an excuse to write-off real survivors and victims.

That's all I have to say about that.

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