Earlier today I wrote about the state of homophobia in this nation, and I asked, first of all WHY we have to legislate equality — why people cannot simply act like humans, and second of all why our government, even including the Supreme Court, are turning the clock back on the civil rights of the LGBTQ people, African-Americans, women and others. And then, this morning I woke to this headline …
‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago by men hurling homophobic and racial slurs
It happened in Chicago, but it could have happened in any city or town in this country, or perhaps the world. This one is particularly troubling. According to the police report …
“Two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him. The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim. At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck. The offenders fled the scene.”
They wrapped a rope around his neck. That one sentence sent a chill down my spine. In my earlier post, I suggested that it sometimes seems we are walking backward, back to a time of racial segregation, back to the days of the KKK setting fire to crosses on the lawns of homes owned by black people, back to the time … of lynchings.
Caught up as we are in the everyday detritus that is the Trump circus, and the antics of the clowns in that circus, we are allowing other news to go unnoticed. In my book, there is not much that is more important than the attempted lynching of a young, African-American gay man. It is far too chillingly reminiscent of the 1950s.
“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. “Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. The victim is fully cooperating.”
A ‘possible’ hate crime? What else could it be, since the perpetrators taunted Smollett with racial and homophobic slurs??? The victim is fully cooperating. But what if the victim were dangling from the branch of a tree, dead? Is that next? Are we going to turn a blind eye until finally it happens? And will we even know when it does, or will the reporters be too busy off chasing the circus clowns to inform us?