A very tragic and potentially traumatizing experience happened to Jussie Smollett, star of the hit t.v. series Empire unfolded yesterday.
ET reports recently that:
"According to the Chicago Police Department's incident details, a 30-something man was walking when two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him. Police say the offenders allegedly began to attack the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance onto the victim.
At some point during the alleged incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim's neck. According to police, the offenders then fled the scene, and the victim was self-transported to Northwestern Hospital. He is in good condition, and Area Central Detectives are investigating.
Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi sent out a statement to ET on Tuesday reading: "Overnight, the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially-charged assault and battery involving a cast member of the television show Empire. Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime. Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. 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 ."
As information is still gathering from this event, please note that even though the victim was able to self-transport it is also good to note that this is not a rare occurance in the U.S. Accoriding to USA Today, 2016 was one of the "deadliest years" for LGBTQ community. Citing these incidents that occured.
- In April 2016, Steven Nelson, a white cisgender gay male, died in a hospital after being brutally beaten by Kelly Schneider, a man he had arranged an online encounter with on the website Backpage.com. Schneider lured Nelson to an isolated area, then beat him with steel-toed boots while using anti-gay slurs. A federal hate crime charge was brought against Schneider, who is now serving a sentence of 28 years to life.
- In August 2016, Rae’Lynn Thomas , a black transgender woman, was shot to death by her mother’s ex-boyfriend in Columbus, Ohio. James Allen Byrd was charged with her homicide but was found incompetent to stand trial. According to Thomas’ mother, Byrd was transphobic.
- Danielle Smith, a white bisexual cisgender woman, and her mother, Teresa Jackson, were murdered in August 2016 in Camdenton, Mo. Their bodies were found in their burnt-down home. Their next-door neighbor, Steven Ray Endsley, was charged in their deaths. According to the Camden County Sheriff’s office , witnesses told police Endsley had an issue with Smith’s sexual orientation.
List courtesy of USATODAY
What's even worse, is that it is getting worse. The New York Times Reports :
"Of the more than 7,100 hate crimes reported last year, nearly three out of five were motivated by race and ethnicity, according to the annual report . Religion and sexual orientation were the other two primary motivators."
What are your thoughts on this situation. Let me know on Twitter: @djkraekrae
One of my favorite songs from the series is "Powerful" with a message that describes why these types of tragedies along with Police Brutality should not be happening. No parent should worry about other people seeing their child holding hands with somebody of the same gender, and fear that they will be killed or hurt. No parent should feel that the color of the skin of their child will impact their lives to where walking down the street could get them killed because somebody believes that their skin makes them unworthy of life. Yet, even 2019, parents still have to worry.