DARRELL HUCKABY: Deepening the racial divide

I will readily admit that until a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have known Jusse Smollette if he jumped up and “bit me on the buttocks” — to quote Forrest Gump. He and I don’t travel in the same circles, and I had never seen any of his film work or heard any of his music.

None. Nada. Zilch.

Then, all of a sudden, he was everywhere, because he was suddenly a “victim” of a heinous “hate crime” in downtown Chicago, of all places. According to him he had been brutally attacked because he is — take your pick — A) gay, B) black, C) a Democrat, D) all of the above, or E) no reason whatsoever. Who knows?

According to the story — now follow this closely — he was leaving his apartment building in the wee hours of the morning when two white dudes wearing Make America Great Again hats attacked him, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck — all while yelling racial and homophobic slurs — all the while giving him a beat down with their hands, feet and even their teeth.

Now I am not making any of this up understand, and I am certainly not trying to disparage Mr. Smollette because, like I said at the beginning of this column, I had never heard his name before he reported this incident.

Immediately there went up a great hue and cry from the usual suspects, painting, as usual, all Trump supporters with a very broad brush as celebrities and Democrat politicians from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo jumped to Jusse’s defense, saying the most heinous things, not only about his attackers, but about the climate of America which made such an attack not only possible, but expected.

Nancy Pelosi, Al Sharpton, Cory Booker, Cher, Rosie O’Donnell and Rob Reiner, among scores of others, took to Twitter and the airwaves to castigate Donald Trump supporters and the president himself for creating the hateful environment that allowed this racist, homophobic attack to occur.

Don’t take my word for it. You can utilize Google and read what they said for yourself. I’ll give you a choice example from Rob Reiner.

“The horrific attack on Jussie Smollett has no place in a decent human loving society. Homophobia existed before Trump, but there is no question that since he has injected his hatred into the American bloodstream, we are less decent, less human, & less loving. No intolerance! No DT!”

Yeah. Once a meathead, always a meathead.

I followed the story for a couple of days, and from the very get-go it didn’t add up to me. In the words of the late, great, Lewis Grizzard, I thought it was a Ho-axe. Just didn’t make sense. I have been to the part of Chicago in which Jusse Smollette lives, and there just ain’t a lot of white guys in red hats screaming “Make America Great Again” at any time of the day or night. The bleach. The rope. The questions that Smollete wasn’t willing or able to answer. The fact that Chicago police monitored hundreds of surveillance cameras in the area and couldn’t find any sign of a suspect. The fact that he wouldn’t give up his phone to verify the calls he said he had made before, during and after the attack.

I don’t know much, but I know BS when I smell BS.

Bit by bit by bit his story began to fall apart, and now it turns out that it was all, just as I suspected all along, a hoax. Who knows what the guy was trying to achieve? Attention? Publicity? Surely he didn’t have a darker motive. Surely he wasn’t trying to deepen the racial divide that is already permeating our nation. I’ll leave that for others to figure out.

But I do have two questions about the horrendous actions of Jusse Smollette.

One — will the Chicago police prosecute him? I certainly hope so because he cost the city an enormous amount of resources and indirectly put an awful lot of people in harm’s way. And when something dastardly does happen to someone because they are black or gay or straight or white or for no reason at all, people will be less likely to listen. Maybe his parents never read to him about the boy who cried wolf.

Two — when are the Chers and Al Sharptons and Rosie O’Donnells and Nancy Pelosis of the world going to apologize to despicable people like me and the president of the United States for the hate-filled remarks they made after Smollette’s libelous accusations.

Of course, I know the answer to that question and it has to do with either pigs sprouting wings or the devil lacing up ice skates. Take your pick.


Darrell Huckaby is an author in Rockdale County. Email him at dhuck008@gmail.com.

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