Jussie Smollett Hits the Stage Days After Alleged Attack & Calls Himself the Gay TupacJavonni Brustow
It’s been a couple days since Jussie Smollett’s claim of a racist attack by Trump supporters in Chicago occurred and already he’s hit the stage. Our first reaction was that he’s doing quite a lot for someone with broken ribs.. that is until he clarified he didn’t have any broken ribs, and similarly wasn’t hospitalized, but just went to the doctor. Nearly every detail about the attack was falsely reported in early reports with a general overall story that’s been hard to belive, mixed with the fact he refused to turn his phone over to the police to prove he was telling the truth about being on the phone with his manager when it all happened.
With all of that aside, his performance was sold out at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. His first words were “I’m okay.” He went on to say “I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to,” Smollett said, fighting back tears as he addressed the crowd. “I’m gonna stand strong with y’all. I had to be here tonight. I couldn’t let those [attackers] win. I will always stand for love.”
The room cheered, but before the show started, his siblings gave a statement about what all has transpired in the past few days. Joel Smollett Jr. said “As his big brother, I wanted Jussie to sit this one out… but tonight is an important part of Jussie’s healing. He’s been a fighter since he was a baby … But above all else, he is the epitome of love.”
Concertoer Carrington Bester of Los Angeles said the “was gut-wrenching to hear, in this day and age. It was a sobering reminder of hate,” said “It was important to be here to support him. This speaks to his integrity and commitment to his art.”
One fan, Jametta Bailey-Hailey, who traveled from Springfield, Massachusetts said, “I called my mother and literally cried after hearing news of the attack. For every step forward in the fight against racism and homophobia,” Bailey-Hailey said, “it’s like we’re walking five steps back.” She added, “We stand with him, nothing’s going to stop him.”
While performing Need Freedom he drew comparisons between the Orlando gay nightclub shooting, Ferguson protests and police-shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. At one point he said he “fought the f*** back” and even went so far as calling himself the “gay Tupac.” Err. Slow it down buddy. You’re also at least a decade older than Tupac when he died, so… He went on to say “This hateful rhetoric that gets passed around, it has to stop. I’ve been guilty of it too. We who celebrate love can get wrapped up in so much hate. It’s not that we become hateful, but it waters down our love. We can’t let that happen.”
While it’s been a journey going from the attack to being back onstage, there are still many questions left behind here, especially if all of this was done as a publicity stunt. Don’t forget the FBI has been involved in investigating a hate filled letter sent to Fox Studios with a Congressmember requesting the FBI to look into the Chicago attack. We still have half of the country that’s essentially been slandered as racist and homophobic without any clear indication that this occurred anywhere near the way it was claimed to have been. With that being said, the media needs to do their jobs and continue their followup.
Photo Credit: Nicky Nelson/WENN.com