The hate crime attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett proves what dark times we are living through as a country. As we continue down this path to a wall or some kind of 1950’s era dystopia it’s hard to understand the hate some people carry in their hearts. Updates are still coming in but so far all signs point to the horrible hate brand that is MAGA in the attack on Smollet. Two white men in ski masks shouting homophobic racist slurs jumped him, poured bleach on him (according to TMZ), and put a rope around his neck before shouting, “This is MAGA country” as they fled. 8 days prior to the attack, he had also received a letter that said: “Jussie Smollett you will die black f*g.” Thankfully he’s recovering and doing well.
You will die black fag"
Okay, I'm ready to fight. pic.twitter.com/h42Px47lvW
— ℝ𝕚𝕔𝕙 ℍ𝕠𝕞𝕠 ℚ𝕦𝕒𝕟 (@Homiekage) January 29, 2019
What is especially disturbing, as the hate crimes continue to roll in, is how the MAGA brand (Make America Great Again) has become a symbol of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and just an overall aggressive assertion of white supremacy. We saw it with the smug Covington Catholic school teens at the indigenous rights protest, we saw it at with Idaho teachers that “innocently” dressed up as “the border wall.” If we’re being real it’s time to call a spade a spade: MAGA has become a symbol of hate and its supporters are brand ambassadors. In the same way that wearing a swastika is indicative of that person’s values, MAGA holds the same connotations and should be recognized and treated as a hate symbol.
All of the comforting lies we tell ourselves about how people in America treat issues of race, gender and sexual orientation are falling away and showing us what has always been right beneath the surface — violence. What the attack on Smollet proves is that being “one of the good ones” won’t save you, dressing a certain way won’t save you, making money won’t save you, assimilating won’t save you, being famous won’t save you. Because at the end of the day we live in a world where if a white man in a red hat wants to put a rope around your neck, he can and he will — and no one will stop him. It’s like Lee Daniel’s said: “It’s just another f—in’ day in America.”