Black Lives Matter defends Jussie Smollett, calls attention to real threat of racism


Black Lives Matter, which is largely composed of women, issued a statement on Wednesday defending Jussie Smollett and commenting on the real threat of racism.

The statement from the organization stated:

The fact that the hate crime of being the target of a physical attack while in the country of your birth is somehow not seen as a serious enough concern is one of the many institutional biases that prevents Black, Brown, and Indigenous people from living in safety, dignity, and freedom. No community should ever have to experience violence inflicted upon them by a person claiming to be a “law enforcement officer.” Even now, a week after the incident, Chicago police have yet to conduct a full investigation of the incident, to disprove the double standard often afforded police officers by the criminal justice system. This said, if a biracial individual assaulted a fellow white individual on a downtown Chicago street and that individual was still branded a “black criminal” even though the tape did not prove that race was a factor, we as a nation would be up in arms and rightfully so. The hate crimes and violence that people of color and particularly Black women encounter every day in America are of no consequence to the State, when it comes to “both sides” justifying continued racism. We would also note that race is far from the only factor involved when a racist act is perpetrated. Jussie’s set appears to have been a divisive environment, as many on the #8Ball set did not support his stand against racism, police brutality, and hatred. No matter the circumstances, we stand with Jussie on this because we can never believe police as representatives of law and order who are not actually making us safer. We welcome anyone from the audience to add their voices to the chorus and make their voices heard. This is not what the 2nd largest police force in the country has been done with the facts. If the Chicago Police Department were held to the same standards as Black folk, Jesus Christ, the shootings they have been responsible for would be called executions, and the killings of people of color would be labeled “riots”. As long as that is the case, we can never say we do not believe the hate crimes against Black people are real and that Black Lives do matter. More than ever, we will never hide our stance on the unacceptable reality of police violence.

On Tuesday, we wrote about the Chicago Police Department’s release of an original police report of the alleged attack against Smollett, which seems to have ignored key facts and exaggerated the events.

Somebody please tweet me that we’re not a “media machine” We have the most millions of followers of any peaceful organization. We know how to “mobilize” but Media don’t. — ✊🏽❤️. (@TheReal_Ciy) September 5, 2018

The release of a second report that sets out more information about the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett has been criticized by the journalist Cierra Mosley. According to Mosley, the statement released on Tuesday does not fully clear up the incidents, and is possible in part because the police department has not been working closely with Smollett’s lawyers.

Her tweets are below.

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