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Hollywood Should Blackball Jussie Smollett

Hollywood Should Blackball Jussie Smollett
In this handout provided by the Chicago Police Department, Jussie Smollett poses for a booking photo after turning himself into the Chicago Police Department on February 21, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. (Chicago Police Department via Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 06 March 2019 02:54 PM Current | Bio | Archive

As the world now knows, actor Jussie Smollett, who is black and gay, claims that he was attacked by Trump-supporting thugs because of his race and gender. Chicago police think it’s a hoax, and have charged Smollett with a felony.

If Smollett is convicted, he will have rightfully earned the scorn that so many have directed his way. However, Smollett is responsible for a monumental, if temporary, shift in American thinking:

People are starting to understand that piling-on in a “breaking situation,” with shoot-from-the-hip accusations, is a recipe for disaster. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault with zero evidence, yet many politicized it and condemned him as guilty. And Covington, Kentucky, high schooler Nick Sandmann was excoriated for being an alleged racist because of his demeanor with a Native American, yet video evidence showed otherwise.

Maybe the Smollett saga will be America’s wake-up call to stop posting baseless accusations after hearing a story confirming our biases. And maybe people will reserve judgments until knowing the facts. After all, in the age of instant media, damnation in the Court of Public Opinion often carries stiffer repercussions than a court of law.

The most important aspect of the Smollett case is innocent until proven guilty. The Chicago police department’s evidence doesn’t paint a flattering picture, but that’s why we have trials. In high-profile cases, information is leaked which is often inaccurate. And in the media’s quest to out-scoop each other, some of that erroneous “news” is reported without verification. No matter how nefarious Mr. Smollett may appear, he is entitled to his day in court.

Chicago police officials are making their rounds on national news shows, contending there is ample evidence which the public has not yet seen.

That’s not fair. If you have evidence, release it. Otherwise, keep it close to the vest and stay quiet. Instead, they are slamming Smollett by teasing about all the “secret” evidence they have. But because they aren’t releasing it, he has no way to defend himself. And they are risking having a conviction thrown out by acting in a way that could affect the bias of a jury.

Heaven help the Chicago PD if their evidence doesn’t stack up. They better have a lot more than some innocuous text messages and the $3,500 check Smollett wrote to his alleged partner/assailant, given that the check was written to his trainer for a diet and exercise regime. Maybe that was a bogus reason, but it’s not what you know; it’s what you can prove. And if Smollett can prove he used this individual in the past as a personal trainer, then that check is worthless.

If Smollett beats the charges due to inadequate evidence or police foul-ups, the anti-police movement will explode. The narrative will be simple: a black man was attacked, called a liar, charged, then exonerated due to corrupt police railroading an innocent man. It would be irrelevant if that were untrue. Perception is reality, and much of the public’s perception would be that police are bigoted and untrustworthy.

A quick tangent. The Chicago Police Superintendent fumed that Smollett’s actions “dragged Chicago’s reputation through the mud.” Sorry, Chief, but Chicago’s reputation was in the mud long before Jussie. Downtown is fantastic, and Wrigley is a must-see, but Chi-town consistently has the most murders, by far, of any American city. Parts are so dangerous that it is literally safer to be a soldier in Iraq. That sad state of affairs has nothing to do with Jussie Smollett.

Mr. Smollett claims that his assailants placed a noose around his neck, which was still there when he spoke with police. If this turns out to be a hoax, one can only imagine the pain and disappointment of Smollett’s grandfathers (and other blacks of that generation) for whom lynching was a very real threat. For them, a noose represented the most horrifying brand of racism. For Smollett, if faked, it was just another meaningless prop from a make-believe movie set. And that would be the most shameful act of all.

Lastly, Hollywood prides itself for its Leftist values. If Smollett perpetrated a hoax, he would have made an absolute mockery of Hollywood’s biggest issues: promoting diversity and the LBGTQ agenda.

To avoid massive hypocrisy, Hollywood has but one choice: blackball Jussie Smollett from working in Tinseltown, for at least a decade. He can rehabilitate himself by working a “regular” job. But affording Smollett celebrity status, after he drove a stake through everything Hollywood holds dear, would expose the industry’s political advocacy as a complete sham, where money talks, principles walk, and backbone is nonexistent.

Here’s hoping that we proceed with an open mind, respect the rights of the accused, and remember that not everything is as simple as…black and white.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris FreindClick Here Now.

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As the world now knows, actor Jussie Smollett, who is black and gay, claims that he was attacked by Trump-supporting thugs because of his race and gender. Chicago police think it’s a hoax, and have charged Smollett with a felony.
chicago, jussie smollett, charges
Wednesday, 06 March 2019 02:54 PM
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