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Jussie Smollett‘s hoax attack trial demonstrated just how quickly one man’s lies and automatic support from left-wing leaders can damage the civil rights movement in America.  

Among the first to leap to Smollett’s defense was Kamala Harris, describing the January 2019 incident as a ‘modern day lynching’ that proved the need for change across the nation.

The now-vice president added: ‘No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.’ 

Others added their voices to the clamor, demanding justice for the actor who conjured up painful images of not-so distant American history.

Smollett, 39, told Chicago police he had been accosted on a darkened street by two masked strangers. According to his account of the attack, the assailants threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressing support for then-President Donald Trump.

CNN host Don Lemon (right), who had also came to the Smollett's (left) defense, allegedly alerted his longtime friend shortly after the hoax attack that Chicago police didn't believe his tale, Smollett testified in court Monday. Lemon has remained silent about the allegations

CNN host Don Lemon (right), who had also came to the Smollett's (left) defense, allegedly alerted his longtime friend shortly after the hoax attack that Chicago police didn't believe his tale, Smollett testified in court Monday. Lemon has remained silent about the allegations

CNN host Don Lemon (right), who had also came to the Smollett’s (left) defense, allegedly alerted his longtime friend shortly after the hoax attack that Chicago police didn’t believe his tale, Smollett testified in court Monday. Lemon has remained silent about the allegations

Sen. Cory Booker, rushing to his defense, echoed Harris’ claims that the attack was equivalent to a lynching and cited it as reason for Congress to pass an anti-lynching bill.

‘The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I’m glad he’s safe,’ Booker tweeted in January 2019. ‘To those in Congress who don’t feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention.’

Despite what prosecutors said was ‘overwhelming evidence’ that the actor staged the attack and then lied to police about it, Smollett maintained his innocence, denying that he faked the attack. 

Smollett made numerous television appearances after the alleged attack, claiming he may ‘never heal’ if he didn’t get justice. Meanwhile, it became painstakingly clear that he staged his own assault, not only damaging the validity of future victim statements, but also wasting police resources and time.

The former ‘Empire’ actor, who is black and openly gay, was found guilty of five felony counts of disorderly conduct on Thursday over accusations that he made false reports to the police. 

Dozens of celebrities, politicians and other prominent figures added their voices to the clamor, demanding justice for the actor who conjured up painful images of not-so distant American history

Dozens of celebrities, politicians and other prominent figures added their voices to the clamor, demanding justice for the actor who conjured up painful images of not-so distant American history

Dozens of celebrities, politicians and other prominent figures added their voices to the clamor, demanding justice for the actor who conjured up painful images of not-so distant American history

In the weeks to follow his alleged attack – as Smollett’s tale began to unravel – the left faced scrutiny, yet several celebrities continued to stand by him. 

‘He is adamant that he’s telling the truth. Also, everyone that I know who knows him says that he is not the kind of person who would make up such a horrible and awful thing,’ comedian Tyler Perry wrote in Facebook post at the time, though he admitted the ‘evidence seems to state otherwise.’ 

‘The Jussie I know could never even conceive of something so unconscious and ugly. His innocence or judgment is not for any of us to decide,’ actor Terrence Howard, who worked with Smollett on Empire said at the time.

‘Stay in your lane and my lane is empathy and love and compassion for someone I’ve called my son for five years. It’s God’s job to judge and it’s ours to love and hope, especially for those that we claim to have loved.’

His former co-star Taraji P. Henson added: ‘I know him and I know his track record. I’m not going to jump on clickbait just because someone says something derogatory about a person I know and love. I’m not easily swayed like that. 

Among the first to leap to Smollett's defense were Kamala Harris (right) and Cory Booker, both of whom referred to the attack as a 'modern day lynching'

Among the first to leap to Smollett's defense were Kamala Harris (right) and Cory Booker, both of whom referred to the attack as a 'modern day lynching'

Booker (pictured) used the attack as a platform to push his anti-lynching bill

Booker (pictured) used the attack as a platform to push his anti-lynching bill

Among the first to leap to Smollett’s defense were Kamala Harris (left) and Cory Booker (right), both of whom referred to the attack as a ‘modern day lynching’

‘Those little clickbait [reports] weren’t enough to deter me from his immaculate track record. I know the type of activism this young man does in his community, I know that he’s a giver – he’s not an attention-seeker,’ the actress continued.

However, others slammed the actor for his lies.  

Harris retracted her statement original statement saying: ‘Like most of you, I’ve seen the reports about Jussie Smollett, and I’m sad, frustrated, and disappointed.’

The then-senator, who has a long history of believing accusations that support her political agenda – as demonstrated by her instant belief that Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh were true, a claim she later called a ‘sham’ – said his false accusations were damaging to America’s progress. 

‘When anyone makes false claims to the police, it not only diverts resources away from serious investigations but makes it more difficult for other victims of crime to come forward.’ 

Despite expressing her frustrations, Harris pushed on, claiming that hate crimes were rising in America, citing an FBI figure of a 17 percent increase.

‘Part of the tragedy of this situation is that it distracts from that truth and has been seized by some who would like to dismiss and downplay the very real problems we must address,’ she wrote.

‘We should not allow that. I will always condemn racism and homophobia. We must always confront hate directly and we must always seek justice. That is what I will keep fighting for.’ 

‘I stand by what I say always. I felt for him when the attack happened and the current reports have made me feel like I was being played. Straight up,’ echoed Straight Outta Compton actor O’Shea Jackson Jr.

Smollett, 39, (seen in this court sketch from his Dec. 2021 trial) told Chicago police he had been accosted on a darkened street by two masked strangers. According to his account of the attack, the assailants threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressing support for then-President Donald Trump

Smollett, 39, (seen in this court sketch from his Dec. 2021 trial) told Chicago police he had been accosted on a darkened street by two masked strangers. According to his account of the attack, the assailants threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressing support for then-President Donald Trump

Smollett, 39, (seen in this court sketch from his Dec. 2021 trial) told Chicago police he had been accosted on a darkened street by two masked strangers. According to his account of the attack, the assailants threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressing support for then-President Donald Trump

However, as his tale began to derail, many people slammed Smollett (pictured in his Dec. 2021 trial) for his lies

However, as his tale began to derail, many people slammed Smollett (pictured in his Dec. 2021 trial) for his lies

However, as his tale began to derail, many people slammed Smollett (pictured in his Dec. 2021 trial) for his lies

Similarly to Harris, as information about the attacked unfolded and it became obvious Smollett had lied, Booker refrained from passing judgement on the actor.

‘The information is still coming out, and I’m going to withhold until all the information comes out from on-the-record sources,’ he told reporters in February 2019. 

CNN host Don Lemon, who had also came to the star’s defense, allegedly alerted his longtime friend shortly after the hoax attack that Chicago police didn’t believe his tale, Smollett testified in court on Monday. 

In the days after the alleged attack, Lemon told his viewers he was in constant communication with Smollett because the story was ‘personal’ to him since the pair were friends.

He claimed the actor was ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and will have ‘squandered the good will of a whole lot of people’ if he was lying.

Lemon has since remained silent about the allegation that he tipped off Smollett. 

Meanwhile, unlike most, comedian Dave Chappelle expressed his outrage with the left’s silence on Smollett’s lies, noting that not discrediting the actor’s claims only made the situation worse.

Jussie Smollett's (pictured) hoax attack trial demonstrated just how quickly one man's lies and automatic support from left-wing leaders can damage the civil rights movement in America

Jussie Smollett's (pictured) hoax attack trial demonstrated just how quickly one man's lies and automatic support from left-wing leaders can damage the civil rights movement in America

Jussie Smollett’s (pictured) hoax attack trial demonstrated just how quickly one man’s lies and automatic support from left-wing leaders can damage the civil rights movement in America

‘What they didn’t understand is that we were supporting him with our silence,’ he stated in his 2019 Netflix special Sticks & Stones.

‘Because we understood that [he] was clearly lying. None of these details added up at all…If you a racist and homophobic you don’t even know who [he] is! You don’t watch Empire!’  

Similarly, civil rights advocates have called the lies a hinderance to their efforts.

‘Black people will see this as a black mark,’ Georgetown University sociologist Michael Eric Dyson told the Associated Press in February 2019. 

‘Given what the consequences are, this does not help anybody. It doesn’t help the police department. It doesn’t help black activism. It doesn’t help Mr. Smollett. Everybody loses and nobody wins.’ 

‘This casts a shadow of whether [victims are] telling the truth, and he did this all in the name of self-promotion,’ the-then Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Emanuel told reporters at a news conference in 2019. 

‘He used the laws of the hate crime legislation that all of us collectively over years have put on the books to stand up to be the values that embody what we believe in. This is a whitewash of justice.’ 

Source: Daily Mail

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