I am saddened because of how difficult this makes it for actual victims of hate crimes (homophobic, racist, or otherwise) to come forward. Those not inclined to believe have further ammunition not to. Hate crimes are real. The vast majority of them aren't hoaxes. This incident involving Smollett doesn't diminish that.
And of course, if this pans out the way it is looking, I am furious at Jussie Smollett.
And now (putting on Vaseline on my face, putting my tennis shoes on my feet, sharpening my claws, and making sure I have my razor) let's get real.
I don't give a shit about how the media, particularly on the right, is going to use this. I don't care how Fox News, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, the Daily Caller or any of that bunch are going to exploit this situation.
I do NOT nor will I feel sympathy for Trump supporters and MAGA hat wearers claiming to be victimized over Smollett's actions. You can spin about the "left" being out of control all you want. The truth of the matter is that "the left" did not put this on page one. The alleged attack itself and the climate of the country generated by Trump made this front page news. Saying generic things like "the left" is a lazy cop-out and it excuses that climate
Focus on Smollett, but remember that on the same day, a member of the Coast Guard was arrested for plotting a mass shooting of media figures and politicians not favorable to Trump.
And then there is the MAGA van bomber from a while back.
And the journalist assaulted at the February Trump rally.
There is something here and Smollett is not an exception to it. He is an addition to it - a nasty aura of vitriol generated by an incompetent president and his supporters who selfishly refuse to question his nonsense or their own behaviors. To give in to a mewing narrative that Trump supporters and MAGA hat wearers are like innocent lambs gives them allowances and benefits of the doubt that they clearly do NOT deserve. Smollet is no excuse to forget or push aside their obnoxious, venom spewing "f@ck your feelings" behavior.
Speaking of which, Trump himself decided to comment on the Jussie Smollett situation. And he is being dragged in shifts. Go ahead and join in. It's fun and will make you feel better. I even started:
The stupid old man who encouraged his #MAGA supporters to attack protesters at his rallies is whining about #JussieSmollett https://t.co/cbLNOgyQ6d— Holy Bullies (@holybullies) February 21, 2019