Jussie Smollett's hateful hoax should itself be a crime
The Jussie Smollett hoax trial has finished, with Jussie found guilty of five out of six felonies. The charges all revolved around Smollett's lies to police officers. None was for a hate crime, but people who lie about hate crime hoaxes should themselves be charged with committing such a crime.
In essence, Jussie Smollett, a Black, gay actor, perpetrated a hoax that involved presenting himself as a victim of a hateful and heinous crime against him based on his race and sexual orientation. He hired two Nigerians to pretend to be White Trump MAGA patriots and to attack him — that is, to beat him, pour bleach on him, and hang a noose around his neck. It became a national scandal that the media, politicians, celebrities, and others ran with for weeks.
Eventually, due to the Chicago Police Department's thorough investigation, helped by video evidence and confessions from the two Nigerians, the story unraveled as more evidence pointed to its being a hoax. It appears that jurors in Chicago were not amused.
Unfortunately, racial hate crime hoaxes, all intended to place blame and shame on people of races other than that of the alleged victim(s), are becoming common. The most common hoaxes are alleged to be against Black, Muslim, and LGBT victims, followed at a great distance by hoaxes purportedly against Asian and Jewish victims. The harm done is tremendous because alleged hate crimes tend to promote actual hatred against innocents of another race. Basically, most of that resultant hatred is aimed at Whites.
Hate crime laws are problematic to begin with. Hate is an intangible trait that is invisible compared to visible material evidence. Judging another's heart, mind, or spirit is beyond factual proof. People have quantum difficulty judging their own motives, much less those of someone else. Personally, I find hate crime laws unjust due to their selectivity and inequality. True, genuine justice is always equal and fair to all. Hate crime laws fall far short of that measure and standard.
However, given that hate crimes exist, they should cover hate crime hoaxes falsely directed toward a specific race, religion, or sexual orientation. Why? It takes a good measure of hatred to put so much effort into framing and committing a crime that appears to be committed by innocent people of another race, religion or non-religion, or sexual orientation. The hatred is palpable — more palpable than most other alleged hate crimes. Why? It takes planning and premeditation; it is not a spur-of-the-moment action or a passionate moment.
Enacting a law to deal with hate crime hoaxes, separate from the ordinary felony of lying to law enforcement, is a necessity if hoaxes are to be discouraged. Such a law would represent a force and a preventative measure that achieves true and genuine justice because it protects all against false accusations and false witness. Hateful hate crime hoaxes should be charged as hate crimes!
Jussie Smollett committed a serious crime that harmed race relations and perhaps those related to sexual identity. The verdict represents fairness and justice for all. The last thing America needs is more racial division — especially based on a hoax.
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