Smollett Family breaks silence on Jussie's 'homophobic hate crime' attack in emotional statement
Jussie Smollett’s family is speaking out for the first time after the actor was injured in what they clearly describe as “a racial and homophobic hate crime.” They also offered an “only solution” to this and similar inhumane acts.
Since news broke of Jussie’s assault on Tuesday, there have been reactions from various quarters, and a few hours ago, the “Empire” actor’s family released an official statement via the Instagram page of Jussie’s sister, actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
“In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack,” the statement began. “We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime.”
The family noted that Jussie has told the police everything about the incident and expressed hope that the two men who reportedly attacked him will be found and brought to justice.
“Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time,” they added. “We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE
The statement further addressed hate crimes as a societal challenge and urged everyone to embrace accountability:
“We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions.”
UNITED FOR LOVE
According to the Smollett family, “radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall.”
They ended the statement by restating their commitment to seeing love, equity, and justice upheld in the country and across the world.
The family statement was posted alongside a family photo of Jussie and all five siblings smiling, and Jurnee affirmed: “This is the spirit to which we chose to move forward...they will not steal, our joy.”
Besides Jurnee, the tight-knit Smollett clan also includes another sister named Jazz and three brothers, JoJo, Jocqui, and Jake.
THE UGLY INCIDENT
Jussie was assaulted early Tuesday morning by two men in Chicago. The offenders allegedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at the openly gay actor before beating and pouring an unknown chemical substance on him.
They also allegedly tied a rope around his neck during the attack, after which they fled the scene, leaving Jussie to transport himself to a nearby hospital.
Fans and celebrities alike have taken to social media in their numbers, declaring their support for the actor.
An investigation has been ongoing to identify the offenders, and the Chicago Police Department announced recently that they now have two persons of interest in the case.
Politicians, celebrities and activists are sharing support for "Empire" star Jussie Smollett, a gay Black man who was assaulted as people yelled racial and homophobic slurs. Police say the attackers poured a chemical on him and wrapped a rope around his neck. pic.twitter.com/H9mSjiZiKs— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 30, 2019
Meanwhile, a close source to the actor revealed that physically, he is mostly okay, "but he’s more emotionally shook up.”
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