Stop Hate Crimes Like the One Committed Against Jussie Smollett

Photo: Gabriel Olsen (Getty Images)

Jussie Smollett, an openly gay black actor on Fox’s Empire, was hospitalized after he was assaulted in a racist and homophobic attack early Tuesday morning in Chicago. Smollett reported that two people yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, wrapped a rope around his neck, beat him, and poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him. He added that his attackers also shouted, “This is MAGA country.”

Chicago Tribune reported this week that, in January alone, there have been half as many homicides in the city as there were in all of 2018.

A Platform for Change

Besides being an actor and a singer, Smollett is an activist inspired by his parents, Joel and Janet, both civil rights activists. The Smolletts have been devoted to AIDS prevention and ending apartheid. Jussie is a member of the Black AIDS Institue, to which he donated a portion of his summer tour proceeds following the release of his album Sum of My Music.

Smollett works alongside advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign as a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community. Last year, the Empire star joined the HRC’s Equality Rocks campaign, sparking a conversation about love, fairness and equality.

Speaking Up

Smollett received an outpouring of love on social media from Hollywood, friends, fans, and politicians. Thousands have also spoken out against the racism, homophobia, and hate ever-present in our society, with violence being emboldened in recent years. In 2017, an FBI survey revealed that hate crimes increased 17 percent, noting that hate crimes are usually underreported.

A few out of the many responses over the attack can be viewed below. If anyone from the area has any information, contact detectives at (312) 747-8382 or submit an anonymous tip at

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