Jussie Smollett, the actor from Fox Television’s “Empire” who play record company magnate Lucious Lyon’s son Jamal, was viciously attacked near his apartment in Chicago in the wee hours of the morning, authorities say, in a brutal hate crime attack over not just his race but his sexual orientation.
Smollett came out as gay in 2015 to universally-loved TV host Ellen, who had herself used television as the platform to confirm her own sexual identity years ago, and has provided a safe space for others to do so as well.
The actor was leaving his apartment around 2 AM when he was attacked by two men in ski masks who beat him, poured bleach on him, and yelled “This is MAGA country,” according to friends of Smollett.
He had recently received a letter in the mail with “MAGA” printed on the envelope where a return address should have been. Inside was a cutout-letter-style note that read “You will die black f*g,” accompanied by a crudely-drawn picture in red marker of a man in a noose with a gun pointed at him.
Smollett’s ribs were fractured in the attack, but he has been since released from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
It’s more than a little disturbing to see the levels to which Donald Trump’s fans will sink, but unfortunately, after watching the level of hate crimes against blacks, gays, Muslims, Jews, women, and just about every group other than white men skyrocket since Trump’s election, it’s less than surprising that this happened.
We’ll provide updates on the attack, which is being investigated as a federal hate crime, as they become available.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons