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Jussie Smollett
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Gee: Jussie Smollett, you let us down

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Chrysalis Butterfly Ball)

Oh my, Jussie.

Brother, I am not trying to say I know what you were trying to accomplish with this stunt you pulled, but man, if there’s a bigger word than “backfired,” I am trying to find that word right now.

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Jussie, not only did you make up a ludicrous story, but you doubled down on it.  You even asked out loud, “Who in the [expletive] would make up a story like this?”

Maybe, you?

But I am not done. No, I can’t let you off that easy.

I saw people who usually argue with me about everything stop and say to me, “We may disagree on a lot of things, but this wasn’t cool.” Even they believed you.

I saw some people who usually post ignorant things about a wide variety of subjects get ready to rally on your behalf. Apparently, they too watch Empire.

You’re the lovable Jamal Lyon: The sensitive one. The guy with the beautiful voice. Why wouldn’t we believe you?

Man, I am from Chicago, and at first I heard what you said happened and I got all mad.

“No, they didn’t! Not Jussie!”

And then I was like many people. I mean, I have seen some stuff happen in the Chi, but when I started thinking about a couple of guys hanging out with a noose and bleach shouting out the stuff you say they were shouting, I’m thinking these guys just might have been noticed by someone else.

Then the white dudes who did this suddenly became black dudes you knew?

But this was a lot worse than just “crying wolf” or a “white lie.”

Jussie, you got on Good Morning America, and lied to a well-respected black icon in Robin Roberts, who put you on her show so you could tell your story.

You used a noose — yes a noose — as part of your lie.

That noose you lied about was responsible for killing Black Americans for centuries, Jussie.

Before you were an actor on that hit TV show, a lot of people suffered real beatings, and real persecution. People died for nothing more than being black.

They died. Take in a long slow breath, Jussie, and reflect on that for a second.

You dishonor people like Emmett Till, who was accused of whistling at Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, in a store down in Mississippi. He was killed for it, Jussie, and the men who killed him were acquitted.

And oh yeah, in case you weren’t familiar with this story, years later, Carolyn let us all know she made up the whole thing.

Lee Daniels put his professional reputation on the line defending you man, and you let the bus run over him, back up over him, and you may as well have asked him to have got on it and sat in the back, too.

For so many years, black Americans have been looked at as second class citizens — even by so many still in 2019 — and you seem to lack the understanding of all of that.

So, Jussie Smollett, should we forgive you?

What if a couple of innocent white men were arrested and charges and convicted of a crime they didn’t commit? Would we not be doing exactly what people are marching, kneeling, praying, and working toward ending?

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There’s nothing funny about any of this. In fact, I can’t believe I am even writing this.

Jussie, you didn’t just hurt the black community and LGBTQ communities; you hurt all communities. You pretty much decided to grab yourself a trowel and some bricks, and help build the wall of division that is dividing our country.

People loved you. They trusted you. They felt sorry for you. They listened to you. And the message you chose was a message of lies.

Should America allow your stunt to divide it further, or use your misadventure to finally say enough is enough?

I am not sure an apology fixes this, Jussie.

Your legacy could have been one of a handsome, talented singer and actor, who went on to do amazing things. You have a lot of explaining to do, young man, and I hope, for everyone’s sake, if we get anything out of this, it’s that we need to be careful about what we get riled up about until we know the full truth.

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