Jussie Smollett, considered a hoaxer by all sentient beings, is defended by BLM

December 9, 2021 • 9:45 am

You must, at least if you’re American, know about l’affaire Jussie Smollett, or, as Dave Chappelle calls him, “the French actor Juicy Smollyé”.  (Smollett was a character in the television series “Empire.”)

In 2019, Smollett reported that he was a victim of a “hate crime” in Chicago perpetrated by two men who accosted him as he was going out to get a Subway sandwich after midnight. He claimed that the men were white, wearing MAGA hats, shouted racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and then put a noose around his neck. You can read all the details at the Wikipedia article, “Alleged assault of Jussie Smollett.”

Police investigations soon revealed that this was likely a hoax perpetrated by Smollett to draw attention to himself, and, sure enough, two brothers, who were black, were located as co-conspirators. They;had worked on Smollett’s set, knew him, and investigation turned up a check from Smollett to one of the brothers, as well as text messages and videos incriminating Smollett.

After this, nobody with a lick of sense thought that Smollett had been the victim of a hate crime; it was realized, even in the black community, that he had perpetrated a hoax. If you want to see a funny video about that, Dave Chappelle’s bit below is very good and hilarious (warning: racist language):

Here’s the history of Smollett’s run-ins with the law about this “assault”, taken from Wikipedia:

On February 13, 2019, Chicago police raided the home of two brothers who had worked with Smollett as extras on his television show’s set. Police recovered records indicating the brothers had been paid $3,500 by Smollett. They had purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at a hardware store in Ravenswood over the weekend of January 25. They were also seen in the security camera footage in a clothing store where they bought gloves, ski masks, and a red hat that police said was used in the attack. On February 20, 2019, Smollett was indicted for disorderly conduct for paying the brothers to stage a fake hate crime assault on him and filing a false police report. Smollett’s defense team reached a deal with prosecutors on March 26, 2019, in which all charges were dropped in return for Smollett performing community service and forfeiting his $10,000 bond.

The charges were dropped, but Smollett was also dropped from the “Empire” show.

On April 12, 2019, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit in the Cook County Circuit Court against Smollett for the cost of overtime authorities expended investigating the alleged attack, totalling $130,105.15. In November 2019, Smollett filed a counter-suit against the city of Chicago alleging he was the victim of “mass public ridicule and harm” and arguing he should not be made to reimburse the city for the cost of the investigation.

On February 11, 2020, after further investigation by a special prosecutor was completed, Smollett was indicted again by a Cook County grand jury on six counts pertaining to making four false police reports. On June 12, 2020, a judge rejected Smollett’s claim that his reindictment violated his right against double jeopardy. Smollett’s trial began on November 29, 2021.

So Smollett is on trial again for six felony counts. The trial ended yesterday and if the jury has any neurons, they’ll find him guilty today. If they don’t, I’ll be completely flummoxed and baffled given the overwhelming evidence against him. But it’s unlikely that, even if convicted, he’ll go to jail. Still, if he’s convicted he’ll have a felony record and will likely be fined the amount that it cost Chicago to investigate his allegations (about $130,000). He’s maintained his innocence the whole time, and even took the stand in his own defense, whereupon his story and explanations (the check was for “exercise and nutrition” for the brothers) was ripped apart by the prosecution.

Reader Luana sent me this tweet by the black conservative Coleman Hughes, who agrees with Chappelle (and me). But regardless of the source, the item of interest is the BLM statement below Jussie’s picture. I’ll put the entire statement below, as it’s worth reading.

Here’s the statement in its entirety (click on screenshot):

As abolitionists, we approach situations of injustice with love and align ourselves with our community. Because we got us. So let’s be clear: we love everybody in our community. It’s not about a trial or a verdict decided in a white supremacist charade, it’s about how we treat our community when corrupt systems are working to devalue their lives. In an abolitionist society, this trial would not be taking place, and our communities would not have to fight and suffer to prove our worth. Instead, we find ourselves, once again, being forced to put our lives and our value in the hands of judges and juries operating in a system that is designed to oppress us, while continuing to face a corrupt and violent police department, which has proven time and again to have no respect for our lives.

In our commitment to abolition, we can never believe police, especially the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over Jussie Smollett, a Black man who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom. While policing at-large is an irredeemable institution, CPD is notorious for its long and deep history of corruption, racism, and brutality. From the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to the Burge tortures, to the murder of Laquan McDonald and subsequent cover-up, to the hundreds of others killed by Chicago police over the years and the thousands who survived abuse, Chicago police consistently demonstrate that they are among the worst of the worst. Police lie and Chicago police lie especially.

Black Lives Matter will continue to work towards the abolition of police and every unjust system. We will continue to love and protect one another, and wrap our arms around those who do the work to usher in Black freedom and, by extension, freedom for everyone else.

They clearly believe Smollett’s story, but for only two reasons: it fits in with a narrative of oppression (two whites supposedly attacked a black man and made racist statements), and, second the investigation was conducted by the police (BLM are police “abolitionists”).  The evidence isn’t even a consideration here; they say “we can never believe police”. But the evidence came from much more than the police: it came from video cameras and especially the two black brothers who testified against Smollett. It also came from the check, which Smollett admitted he wrote to pay the brothers.

Now the claims of police violence and racism are not totally unjustified given the past. The murder of Fred Hampton in 1969, for example, was a horrible police execution of a black activist who had been deliberately drugged. No shots were fired; the cops just pumped bullets into a sleeping man. And yes, there’s been police racism since them, but I would not characterize the police as inevitably racist, liars, and white supremacists.

But this trial is not a matter of police claims versus Smollett’s claims: it’s a matter of what the empirical evidence shows, and Smollett himself, as well as his attorneys, were given a chance to have their say. The BLM statement thus implicates the jury itself as instantiating white supremacy and injustice.

What we see here is how strongly an ideological commitment can override evidence. If the system is so committed to oppressing blacks no matter what, why did O. J. Simpson, whom I believe was a murderer, get off?

But of course anecdotes won’t settle this. What will settle the Smollett case is evidence—evidence that can be both adduced and inspected by Smollett and his lawyers. If the jury finds him innocent, I will be very, very surprised.

About the BLM call to abolish the police: I think that’s impractical and ridiculous. Remember, they’re not calling for “defunding” police, but abolishing them.  While I appreciate that the principle of BLM is to secure equality of blacks and whites, and I support that goal, I am not behind some of their other principles. Abolition of the police, which is palpably insane, is one of them. I can’t stand behind BLM so long as they remain “police abolitionists.

A Gallup poll last year showed that 81% of blacks wanted the police to spend as much or more time as they do now patrolling where they live. That means that BLM is not even close to expressing the wishes of the people they claim to represent, at least as far as policing is concerned.

36 thoughts on “Jussie Smollett, considered a hoaxer by all sentient beings, is defended by BLM

  1. It seems — from the investigations of Wilfred Reilly, Andy Ngo and others — that the majority of “racist incidents” on US university campuses are actually hoaxes. Dozens and dozens and dozens of them. There seems to be a need to maintain the narrative of routine and pervasive racism against blacks, and since (on university campuses at least) there’s so little actual evidence of it, the evidence needs to be fabricated.

    No doubt they’ll claim that even hoaxes illustrate the “deeper truth” of “pervasive racism”.

    1. I read Reilly’s book on that, which of course has been ignored by the media and by universities. Very often, when a university “hate incident” is found to be a hoax, it is either not publicized or they say it was a hoax but still demonstrates oppression.

    2. As someone who considers himself a “liberal,” I’ll admit that I had a hard time coming to grips with this finding from a 2018 FBI Uniform Crime Report summarizing 2017 hate crime statistics: “Of the 6,370 known offenders, 50.7 percent were White, and 21.3 percent were Black or African American.” https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2017/resource-pages/hate-crime-summary.pdf

      Thus according to the FBI (and assuming their data is reliable), Blacks and African Americans actually commit hate crimes in numbers substantially disproportionate to their percentage of the U.S. population (14.2%). Unfortunately, this report did break down the numbers or percentages of victims by race (or religion).

      As always, reality is much more complicated than we’re inclined to believe.

      1. IIRC, the FBI also categorizes Latinos as white when it comes to hate crime offenders (but not when it comes to hate crime victims, for some reason – perhaps because they use self-identification for victims’ race but not for perpetrators?).

  2. Two questions:

    1. Why is the BLM spokesperson from L.A. and not Chicago?

    2. Is BLM funded by Trump or the Republican National Committee?

  3. Smollett, responsible for an egregious waste of money ( both the efforts of the police and the cost of this absurd trial), was well-connected politically and, as a result, was eagerly defended by many powerful public figures, including Kamala Harris and Tina Tchen. It is unlikely that those who were so eager to believe his ludicrous fabrication will be willing to acknowledge their mistake.

  4. There was a grain of a real complaint in there, but they buried it under absurdity. No the police didn’t manufacture false evidence or lie about this case. No, it doesn’t ‘bring together the community’ to believe a false assault accusation – that in fact rips apart the community.

    They should’ve asked whether one guy filing a false assault report with the police is really justification for two separate criminal trials on 6+ felony counts plus a civil trial for $130,000 in overtime fees. They should’ve asked whether Chicago does this with other false reporters, because I’d wager good money the police get false assault reports on a practically daily basis, and they rarely or never pursue prosecution of the false filer to this extent.

    But, I think they’ve now lost the opportunity to make those arguments, as what they actually complained about has now undermined any credibility they might have claimed as honest seekers of fair social treatment.

    1. The reason he was tried was because he himself made a huge deal about the assault, and I think the law wanted to make an example of him because he was famous and many people initially defended him.

    2. Imagine if the police had not brought so many resources to bear on this case. They would have been ripped apart by the MSM, BLM etc.

      1. No citizen should be required to cover the costs of government functions merely because the government was afraid of what CNN would say of them if they didn’t spend a lot of money on it.

        Chicago should have done the police investigation the incident deserved based on the evidence needed to come to a determination. Smollett should not be required to pay for that, because that cost should be covered by taxes. If Chicago then chose to do above and beyond that for public optics purposes, Smollett should not have been required to pay for that either, because that was the city’s own voluntary decision.

        The city can’t show up at your house in a gold-plated fire truck and then sue you to pay for the gold plating, can it?

        1. If you claimed that you had a fire at your house due to the combustion of materials that could only be extinguished with a gold-plated truck, and the city took your story on good faith and went out and bought a gold-plated truck, only to find there was no fire at all,
          then they could sue you for the cost of the truck that Amazon now won’t take back.

          Besides, anyone can be sued for anything. The only issue is whether you can win. It’s the false story that seems to open him up to all kinds of hurt.

  5. …”abolish police…”

    Why would BLM (and other Wokes) continue to fly this mission?

    Because Marx said that when you boil down his philosophy to one point, it is: the abolition of private property. Police policy (rule of law in praxis) is the key thing that must be destroyed to end private property.

    Once in a while, BLM et al have to puff out their chest and declare the banner, no matter what harm to their disguise.

    They are Marxists.

    1. Well, perhaps in some respects they act like Marxists, but are you saying the BLM leadership knows anything (above the bumper-sticker level) about Marxism? Do you think they hold secret meetings and discuss the elimination of private property, seizing the means of production, collectivizing farms, and so forth? I think they just hate cops, for reasons that are entirely understandable. I doubt they have thoroughly considered American society without police departments – they’re just tired of being abused by racists in uniform. At least that’s my guess, and I think it’s far more plausible than the assumption that they secretly adhere to a complex economic system that involves the overthrow of society as we know it. It’s racist and wrong to dismiss BLM as simply thugs, but I’ll need to see some evidence to believe that they are intellectuals with a special interest in economic theory.
      For the record, I likewise reject the notion that MAGA-hatted rednecks are fascists or Nazis. They’re just losers who need to invent villains to explain their own failures in life, both intellectual and financial.

      1. I agree that BLM adherents probably know very little about Marxism. In any case, even if they are closeted Marxists, their chances of imposing Marxism as a socio-economic system are zero. The problem is that they are unwitting enablers of Trump and the right-wing by ludicrous demands, such as abolishing the police that drive a critical segment of voters to cast their ballots for Republicans.

        The Trump supporters haven’t the foggiest idea of what fascism is. Yes, they are wrapped up in whining about their petty grievances. But, unlike the BLM, they have the voting power to elect a fascist as president and ending democracy. Labels are not important; actions are.

        1. “Labels are not important; actions are.”
          Agreed.
          On the claim that BLM does not fit the label of being Marxist, the action fits: modern Marxists actions are to disrupt cultural norms, such as sexual identity and individualism, and valorize the United States as a racist nation, all in the name of demonizing capitalism.

          The action fits.

          1. Must be trans-Marxist then, because by and large these are well-off people and not part of the working class. It’s insulting to real Marxists to conflate the two.

      2. 1) Current Marxists are not about economic theory. They are about cultural disruption, the chief tool of which is establishing the gaze that ‘everything is racism.’

        2) BLM founders and leaders have openly declared that they ‘have a structural foundation; we are trained Marxists.’ We you aware of that?

      3. … are you saying the BLM leadership knows anything (above the bumper-sticker level) about Marxism?

        I doubt they’d recognize (at least the ones who wrote the tripe above) historical materialism if it bit ’em on the ass.

    2. In Marx’s defence, he appears to have said something like ‘ I’m not sure who these Marxists are, but I’m not one of them.’ I don’t know if that is apocryphal though.

      1. According to Engels, ol’ Karl said that of Jules Bazile (aka Jules Guesde) and Paul Lafargue, whom he accused of “revolutionary phrase-mongering.”

        “Ce qu’il y a de certain c’est que moi, je ne suis pas marxiste” (“What is certain is that [if they are Marxists], [then] I myself am not a Marxist”), is the precise quote Engels attributed to the old boy.

    3. Is protecting private property the only thing police is for? No. There was police in the German Democratic Republic, even though property crime was very low for a number of reasons, and violent crime was among the lowest in the world (think Japan) . Marxism and anarchy are not the same thing. Nor are 20th century Eastern European communism and woke ideology, even though they both tend to be pretty intolerant.

    4. I think the idea here is to make BLM seem more scary, or as a part of a grand plot to overthrow “The West”. You can think of them as whatever you want, but Marxists? That’s clownish.

      Advocacy for any number of positions, even if explicitly endorsed also by Old Marx, doesn’t imply a New World Order. There is no reason otherwise to bring him up, in particular when the US political system has no leftist party, and no traces of Marx-style leftist politics (i.e. class, income equality). A bit of whatboutery: theofascists, dominionists, paleo-libertarian loons or lobbists exist though (i.e. actual groups with money and power to steer things in their interests)

      It’s even more ridiculous considering that the USA is far behind developed nations in many matters that are surely seen as Marxist by the Fox News crowd, but which are totally commonplace elsewhere.

      What’s more, Marx was an influential figure in several fields, too, including economics. Many of his positions are by now also endorsed or at least accepted by eclectic political movements, deep into conservativm. Marx wrote in the first half of the 19th century, and quite a bit was populist zeitgeist already (i.e. stuff people want, like public transport, insurances etc). People who want to go back behind the 19th century aren’t conservative, they are reactionary. You could always cite Marx in any number of ways, sometimes even legitimately. It doesn’t imply a New World Order just as finding Darwin in biology doesn’t mean eugenics or fascist “war of the fittest race”.

      Next, unless you are really willfully ignorant, you must have heard what BLM say they want. Is it seizing the means of production? Are they concerned with typical Marx stuff, like worker’s rights, you know workers of all contries (and colours) unite? That stuff?

      Could “black lives matter” have something to do with police brutality instead, or with what looks like critisizing the militarisation of police (rather than treating symptoms of crimes, say). Maybe they think more funds should go towards treating the problems at the root that afflict black communities, rather than sending in a police soldier squad who tend to shoot too often?

      This looks like a very American situation to me, with a very American type of activism, making specific demands to that American situation. People who bring up Marx might as well cite Qanon, or NWO conspiracy theories orchestrated out of a pizzaria.

      PS: greetings to Service Dog.

  6. I wouldn’t call Coleman Hughes a conservative. Yes, he’s often critical of the social justice left, but he’s also been quite critical of Donald Trump and the Republican party–and he voted for Biden in the last election. His political views are pretty close to those of, say, John McWhorter. I think it would be more accurate to call Hughes a centrist.

    1. The Republican Party isn’t conservative either these days… maybe Hughes is more “conserva-tish” if anything. Regardless seems to be a level headed kid.

  7. As absurd as BLM’s call for abolishing the police is, it will have no effect on this particular case (And I doubt it will have any effect at all). What WILL have an effect is the near half-billion dollars in settlements for police misconduct paid by the City of Chicago over the past decade. I was not at all impressed by Webb’s cross examination. I think Smollett has a good chance of skating here (for the record I believe he is guilty). Of course, we’d have to accept that verdict then.

    1. Did you believe in and support with equanimity and tolerance the utterance from one of their spokeswomen during the Chicago riots that arson should be celebrated as a form of community engagement and looting an overdue down payment on reparations?

  8. Cripes this Smollet character!

    It’s bad enough hiring some buddies to do a fake attack and pull off a national hate crime hoax.

    But when he’s found out, instead of admitting it, he’s throwing his helpers under the bus as performing a real hate crime so that THEY could go to prison instead of him!

    What an *sshole.

    1. I think he just wanted to draw some attention to himself. I’d never heard of Smollett before this hoax, so in a sense it worked.

  9. ” What will settle the Smollett case is evidence…” It is thinking of that sort that is slated for abolition, along with the police. Deciding things by means of evidence is central to the colonialist system of oppression that theorists of “Whiteness Studies” have identified. It is found in the courts, the FDA, the medical system, STEM in the academic world, engineering, the practice of testing students, and so on. The struggle for universal justice demands that thinking on the basis of evidence be dismantled. It will be replaced, of course, by Diversity Statements.

  10. With all due respect, one of my pet peeves is people confusing ‘sapient’ (wise, intelligent) and ‘sentient’ (feeling). My adorable cat is sentient, but she is not sapient (And yes, there is a sliding scale with significant gray area). Personally, I blame Star Trek for incorrectly referring to ‘sentient alien life.’

    https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Sentience

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