Black actor Jusse Smollett was found guilty today by a Chicago jury of lying to police when he reported being the victim of a hate crime in the early morning hours of a frigid night near his apartment almost three years ago. As the WSJ reports, “Mr. Smollett was the star of the hit show ‘Empire’ when he told police that two men had used racist, antigay language and a pro-Trump slogan before hitting and kicking him and placing a noose around his neck around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2019.”
According to the jury, the whole thing was made up, as (necessarily) was Smollett’s trial testimony, plus numerous of his public statements reiterating his “victimhood.”
The WSJ report also notes:
Two brothers, who were originally arrested as suspects in the case, became the prosecution’s star witnesses. They testified last week that they believed a $3,500 payment from Mr. Smollett covered diet and fitness training and the staging of a fake hate crime.
Mr. Smollett took the stand in his own defense, saying that…he didn’t want to call police about the alleged attack because it would ruin his chances to be taken seriously in future roles playing sports figures or a comic-book hero.
He was originally charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police, but the case was dropped when he agreed to surrender his bail money and do community service.
But a special prosecutor was later named and presented evidence before a grand jury that charged Mr. Smollett with six [felony] counts of disorderly conduct. He also faces a civil lawsuit brought by the city of Chicago over overtime it paid detectives working on the case.
This is far from the first fake “hate crime” we have seen. Probably the most infamous was the Duke rape prosecution of several years ago, in which a corrupt and dishonest prosecutor charged white Duke lacrosse players with the rape of a black female “exotic dancer.” Duke forthwith turned its back on the charged students and booted their fraternity from the campus, such was its regard for the presumption of innocence and all that stuff Duke legal academia so piously, and so loudly, intones in every other context.
The problem was that, not only were the students not guilty of the rape; there was no rape. A state investigation proved that the whole thing was made up. I believe Duke has now, as the result of a civil suit, been forced to pony up a substantial (but undisclosed) settlement.
Racism still exists in this country; no fair-minded person can doubt that. But the ubiquitous and reflexive wail of racism, in the Duke case and now in the Jusse Smollett hoax, is so much poisonous baloney. The major problem that besets our criminal justice system is not racism. It’s the malign behavior of people, black, white and brown, who want what they want, feel nothing for their victims, and think rules are for suckers. We do no one of any race any favors when we make excuses for them.