CW: Racism, homophobia, scandals, rich people, US Justice system, violence, etc. As always, please let me know if I missed anything and I will gladly add it to the list.
All charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped last week. The only punishments he is getting are a few days of community service and the forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment. A lot of people are up in arms about this, right now. They are angry that, once again, we have another rich asshole who will never have to face the consequences of their actions like the rest of us do. These people are absolutely right to be pissed off. The outcome of all of this is absolutely shitty. So why am I not all that mad? Maybe I’m just too tired or maybe I’m just too desensitized but either way, I just can’t help but shrug this all off.
For those of you who don’t already know who Jussie Smollett is or what he did, congratulations on waking up from your coma! No, you don’t need a haircut. You look great! And so well-rested at that! But anyways, Jussie Smollett is an actor on a popular American television show called “Empire”. He is unhappy with how much he gets paid for his role on that show and would like to get paid more. In order to make this happen, he hatched a plan. He decided to stage a hate crime against himself, thinking this would make him more money, somehow. He paid two men to wear MAGA hats and assault him and he claimed it was because he is gay and black. This act is super shitty and breaks a lot of laws. This is part of the reason why people are angry.
The other main concern is what if another black person or member of the LGBTQ+ community actually does get assaulted? What if people assume they’re lying and pulling a “Smollett” for lack of a better phrase. How much credibility has just been taken away from disenfranchised communities as a whole? I hope the answer is, “none,” but it’s hard to tell. Racism and homophobia are alive and well in the United States and now the guilty can hide behind the shield of, “they’re lying just like Jussie Smollett did.” For creating this problem, Jussie should face the maximum punishment, right?
I don’t think so. I think a full punishment would have set an even more dangerous precedent than what may have already been set by Mr. Smollett’s actions. It would be telling minority and disenfranchised communities as a whole that if you are assaulted and come forward, you could face bankruptcy and prison time. You may be telling the truth but what if they don’t think you are? Not only will you have been denied justice but things will also become significantly worse for you. I’m far more likely to come forward if my worst case scenario is community service as opposed to prison. This perspective comforts me even if only a little.
Aside from all that, shitty rich people get away with significantly worse things all of the time. It’s hard to be outraged when I just expect it. Things have been this way for as long as I can remember. It’s too stressful to be pissed off 24/7 so I have to prioritize what enrages me. Hell, when the rich people cheating their kids into college scandal broke out, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is actually illegal. I just assumed that was something that rich people do. If you can’t tell, I have little to no confidence in the morality of the wealthy. As such, I tend to save my anger for those I thought better of. That’s right, John Mulaney, to the best of my knowledge, you haven’t done anything especially heinous (Get it? Because John Mulaney tells a surprisingly large amount of Law and Order Jokes?) but if you did, I would be extra disappointed in you.
I don’t know what else to say about any of this. I’m honestly just exhausted. I’m tired of hearing about Jussie Smollett. It’s so boring now. I need something a bit more exciting to read about so please let me know what your favorite brand or shade of paint to watch dry is in the comments, below. If you don’t know anything about paint, tell me about your favorite brand or shade of nail polish. In fact, forget the paint. I need nail polish recommendations. Please tell me everything you know about nail polish. I’ve been practicing but have a lot to learn and I would love to try some different polishes from what I have. Also, please don’t forget to like and subscribe. As always, thanks for reading.
PS: Why is it that people get so much more pissed when a gay, black man pulls this kind of shit than when anyone else does it?
- Deb, Sopan. “All Charges Dropped Against ‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Mar. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/arts/television/jussie-smollett-charges-dropped.html.
- Madani, Doha. “College Admissions Scandal: Department of Education Opens Probe of Yale, USC, Other Schools.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 26 Mar. 2019, www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/college-admissions-scandal-department-education-opens-probe-yale-usc-other-n987666.