TMZ also reported that Smollett arrived late in Chicago and was leaving Subway for a late-night snack. Sources report that someone yelled, “Aren’t you that f****t ‘Empire’ n****r?” This was right before they overwhelmed Smollett.
This is America and sadly where we are right now. And it is appalling.
I have not written an opinion piece in months. Mainly because I am disgusted with the current normalization of abhorrent and racist rhetoric and discourse. But hearing about how some racist thugs, had the unmitigated gall, to be so bold to attack this brother in a MAGA induced act of violence is beyond disgusting.
And hearing how the media attempts to dance around the fact that this was a straight up hate crime only ads insult to injury. They put a noose around his neck and called him a “f****t n****r! Of course, it was a hate crime!
Support for Smollett has been largely positive. However, I have witnessed divisiveness even among my own community. Smollett is still recovering and some Ho-teps are trying to give hierarchy to that fact that he was attacked because he was black not because he was gay. The attackers used slurs that disparaged both his race and sexuality.
Hearing about Smollett experience breaks my heart. I know the feeling first hand of being threatened due to my race or sexuality. It brought back painful memories of all the times I have been called a fag or nigger in a sped-up crushing, cinema-like experience of oppression and threatened violence.
And even more crushing is that certain sentiments come from those close in our circles. I viewed comments of even family members who thought Smollett’s attack was somehow mainstream media’s attempt to distract us from more “important” world matters. As if we cannot give empathy to simultaneous oppressive acts. As if Smollett or people like him somehow are less important. I guess a sheltered and uninformed existence will allow for such an uneducated ideology.
Attention! You cannot be conscious, woke, revolutionary or even relevant if you attempt to oppress other marginalized communities. The real enemy considers you all to be the "other". Your race, class, gender or sexuality do not give you a pass.
Countless LGBTQ folks of color are threatened and killed without impunity or media coverage. Thankfully Smollett is famous so his ordeal is garnering him media attention. But his fame does not insulate him from the same struggles that others face in marginalized communities.
The truth is we live in an era where the MAGA brand has become the contemporary KKK hood. A symbol is worn to intimidate and make a statement of white privilege. It is a clear message to the "other" that you are less than and we are not sharing our power.
And that is fine but I am here to put you on notice. We see you for what you are and your attempts to compartmentalize and normalize a President and his movement of hatred and racist rhetoric are clear.
Smollett is a young brother who has courageously lived an authentic life. Representing both his blackness and sexuality openly and proudly. An like this courageous brother Smollett, we are not going down without a fight.
If you want to walk around with your MAGA brands and send your smirking, entitled, privileged brat children out into the world without the understanding that they live in a pluralistic society, be prepared for the consequences. And if they are grown enough to step to an elder Native American veteran. Just know that every elder will not be as accommodating. Because just like Smollett I will fight back! I am ready to circa 1970, open hand, pimp-slap the dog shit out of any MAGA hat wearing fool who steps to me wrong, regardless of race, age or gender.
Stay strong brother Smollett! They will not intimidate or diminish our existence.