It should surprise nobody that Jussie Smollett’s original narrative has come crashing down around him, but the question remains why the Empire actor would go to the trouble of orchestrating a fake “MAGA country” hate crime.
Was he trying to gin up even more hatred of Donald Trump and his supporters? Was it some pathetic scheme for attention?
Judging by the latest reports, it sounds like a bit of both. CBS Chicago reports that it has something to do with a racist letter Smollett claims to have received before the attack:
“When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack,” a source told CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards. Other sources corroborated that information […]
Smollett received a letter containing a white powder Jan. 22. The letter was mailed to Chicago’s Cinespace Studios, where the show “Empire” is filmed. The letter prompted a HAZMAT response. CPD says the “white substance” was later determined to be aspirin.
The note was crafted with letters apparently cut out from magazines to form words. The pieced-together message contained racial and homophobic threats directed at Smollett. A magazine is one of the pieces of evidence retrieved from the brother’s home last week during a search conducted by CPD. Investigators also recovered a book of stamps.
The letter had a crude marker drawing of a stick figure hanging in a tree, the message “you will die black f*g,” and “MAGA” scrawled on the envelope.
Now, there’s no confirmation yet of a link between the items taken from the house and the letter, but it’s certainly a suspicious coincidence. Also suspicious are these nuggets from the Daily Mail:
There was no mention of the letter in the public domain until after the January 29 attack had been reported […] Fox declined to comment on the ongoing developments on Monday and it has not given any details of the letter either.
At this point, the smart money is on the letter turning out to be a hoax, too — slapping together a letter with some powder is nothing compared to the effort of hiring some guys to stage a beating.
Besides, if Smollett had really gotten a death threat in the mail he just wanted to raise awareness of, he has more than enough friendly venues in the mainstream media he could have gone to, and the Left would have lapped it up every bit as hysterically as they did the fake attack.
Hate crime hoaxes like this are nothing new, but the silver lining in this case is that it happened just as a bunch of new Democrat presidential candidates were primed to lap it up.
They may be in damage control mode now, but Republicans shouldn’t let get away with claiming they merely jumped the gun. From now until November 2020, every GOP candidate should make the point that these race-baiting demagogues weren’t born yesterday, and knew exactly what they were doing.
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