Jussie Smollett, who plays gay character Jamal Lyon on “Empire,” was attacked, had a noose put around his neck, and was addressed by racial and homophobic slurs Grit Post will not repeat in what USA Today and CNN call a “possibly” racist and homophobic MAGA-related assault.
The attackers put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and fractured his rib.
“This is MAGA country!” his ski-masked attackers allegedly screamed.
Smollett had received a death threat last week, again very specifically making racial and homophobic remarks in cut-out letters.
Chicago PD is investigating the assault as a “possible hate crime.” Meanwhile, Smollett was discharged from Northwestern Memorial Tuesday morning. He had taken himself to the hospital for treatment.
This attack comes weeks after it came out in court filings that a supervisor at a Toledo General Motors plant addressed threats to his black colleagues by saying “there was never a black person who was lynched that didn’t deserve it.”
In fact, both homophobic and racist violence are on the rise. In 2016, the then-deadliest mass shooting in history was at an Orlando gay nightclub called Pulse. That same year in Charleston, another mass shooting visited a historic black church.
Right-wing violence in general is on the rise, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And while it was slowly on the rise before 2016, it jumped from an average of 11 incidents per year to 31 in 2017 — following the birth of MAGA culture. Right-wing extremist arrests also rose in 2018.
“Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline,” Chicago police said in a press release. “The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com.”
Smollett is said to be in good condition.
“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,” read a statement from GLAAD.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.