Actor Jussie Smollett is out on bail now after Chicago police arrested him for filing a false report that white attackers in Trump campaign hats thrashed him, shouted racist and homophobic slurs, looped a rope around his neck, poured gasoline on him and screamed “this is M.A.G.A. country.”
Fortunately, an abundance of surveillance cameras disproved Smollett’s hoax. He paid two young (Black) friends to stage the fake attack.
Smollett is the latest hustler to attempt to cash in on Liberals’ eagerness to lynch toxic (conservative) males. He may spend some time in jail because he was clumsy, and failed to study the lessons of Clarence Thomas, Roy Moore and Brett Kavanaugh before launching his own false accusations.
If he had played it smarter, he’d be a martyr now, on the college lecture circuit, invited to deliver witty comments on MSNBC and CNN news panels. But he was dumb.
Smollett’s factual claims were unambiguous. They were subject to evidence, of which there was plenty. No memories faded in three weeks. He was guided by no crafty lawyers.
Recorded video from approximately 55 public and private surveillance cameras, including residential doorbell cameras, presented an obstacle for Smollett’s scheme that Anita Hill, Leigh Corfman and Christine Blasey Ford never had to overcome.
False racially-charged accusations have a long history in our country. The age of powerful reaction against racial outrages dawned, perhaps, with the brutal 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmet Till in Mississippi, based on a white woman’s false accusation that the boy had grabbed her waist and muttered obscenities.
Emmet’s mom brought his body home to Chicago, insisted on an open-casket funeral and forbade the mortician to clean up the boy’s bloated and mutilated corpse. Tens of thousands came to view the body, and it was photographed and published in the Black press nationwide. It galvanized Black racial solidarity and confronted white people of conscience.
The power of outrage to mobilize support was impossible to ignore, and the Civil Rights movement continued to draw strength from outrages at Little Rock, the University of Mississippi, Edmund Pettus Bridge and Birmingham. Unfortunately, outrage is agnostic. It can serve injustice as well as justice.
In my day, there was the hoax in which Tawana Brawley, a 15-year-old girl managed by Al Sharpton, accused white police officers and a white prosecutor of kidnapping and sexually degrading her over a period of several days.
Bill Cosby offered a $25 thousand reward for information leading to a conviction. Boxing promoter Don King offered $100 thousand to pay for Brawley’s education. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan led a march of 1,000 people through the streets of a neighboring town. A gulf of 34 percent opened between Blacks and whites, as 85 percent of whites but only 51 percent of Blacks said Brawley was lying.
Brawley’s grandmother took refuge in churches to avoid police who wanted to question her concerning a timeline of the girl’s whereabouts. Police were so concerned about the possibility of race riots that they decided not to enter the churches. The alleged victim Tawana defied a subpoena to testify before an investigating grand jury.
That grand jury heard 180 witnesses, including high school classmates who said young Tawana came to late-night parties during the period when she was supposedly held captive. One witness saw her climb into the dumpster where she was discovered nude, wrapped in trash bags and smeared with feces.
The rape kit showed no evidence of sexual assault. Vulgar and racially inflammatory words were written on her body in charcoal, but upside down, suggesting that she wrote them herself.
The grand jury exonerated the accused men in a 170-page report based on 250 exhibits and more than 6,000 pages of testimony. One of her boyfriends told Newsday a year later that Tawana confided that she and her mother conceived the lie to avoid punishment by her step-father for staying out all night.
Yet director Spike Lee flashed “Tawana told the truth” graffiti in his film Do the Right Thing. He gave Sharpton and Brawley cameos in Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” music video, which he directed and produced.
When one of the falsely accused men won defamation suits against Sharpton and Brawley in civil court, O.J. Simpson attorney Johnny Cochran paid Sharpton’s judgment. Brawley changed her name to Maryam Muhammad and fled the state without paying any of her judgment for 26 years. Attorneys finally tracked her down in 2013 and got a court order garnishing money from her paychecks as a nurse.
A Columbia Law School professor, under the pall of “critical race theory,” said it doesn’t matter whether Tawana was lying or not. Professor Patricia Williams wrote that young Brawley was “the victim of some unspeakable crime. No matter how she got there. No matter who did it to her – and even if she did it to herself.”
This is invincible ignorance. Even after an accusation is refuted in detail, victimhood prevails. It is absolute impunity for false witness. Thus Anita Hill and Angela Davis are honored for “speaking truth to power.” Frothing young feminists man the barricades shouting that “we believe Christine” when Dr. Ford hasn’t even testified yet, much less been cross-examined.
Film star Terrence Howard doubled down on his young co-star’s veracity despite the testimony of the surveillance cameras, and said nobody can judge Smollett but God. But didn’t he judge fictional white Trump supporters in M.A.G.A. hats? Is Smollett alone immune to human judgment for violating norms of decency and law?
Well, apparently yes. When Smollett’s allegations first hit the news, presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker both rushed to denounce it as a “modern day lynching.” Booker denounced Republican legislators for a “lack of urgency” regarding lynching. After the lies were revealed as a criminal hoax, neither Democrat apologized.
Booker, for one, said he is reserving judgment until the final report of the investigation is complete. Now that Booker’s anointed victim is under accusation, the senator has rediscovered a devotion to due process and the presumption of innocence. Long time no see!
Fasten your seatbelts, America. If hard-Left rhetorical arsonists have their way, we are entering a truth-free zone.