January 31, 2019

I Am Jussie Smollett

via CNN

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Jussie Smollett story and probably started to formulate your own opinion about the incident. Well, here’s mine.

Early Tuesday morning in Chicago, Empire star, Jussie Smollett, was attacked by two individuals who were yelling “racial and homophobic slurs”. The two assailants also poured an “unknown substance” over his head and wrapped a rope around his neck. Thankfully, Jussie was able to make it to a hospital and was released with minor injuries, but wow folks.

Even reiterating what happened here, I am extremely triggered. Being a gay, African-American male, I’m actually terrified that this is the climate that we’re living in today. It’s 2019 and this could be rewritten as if it were 1819. To put it in layman’s terms, I am Jussie Smollett. At least, I could be. This is madness.

The problem I have is not that people are questioning what happened, but that people are denying the incident all together and actually accusing Jussie of lying. I for one, choose to believe he isn’t simply for the fact that this isn’t news. This isn’t a new story and it certainly isn’t the last time we’ll hear something like this. It does nothing to blame the victim and defend the abuser. We should all feel safe to exist in the space we inhabit.

At the end of the day, us black folks have to stick together and love each other because the world refuses to. I leave you with this reminder; YOU matter. All of my POC. All of my black women and men. All of my black babies. All of my black LGBTQIA folks. You matter. This is not our story and we will not settle for a narrative we didn’t choose. We write our own story.

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