Jeremy Pope
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Smollett Family: ‘This Was A Racial and Homophobic Hate Crime.’

Smollett

The family of Jussie Smollett has a released a joint statement on the apparent homophobic and racist attack the Empire actor faced early Tuesday morning.

“We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive,” it reads. “Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed.”

Smollett says he was attacked by two men early Tuesday on the way to Subway. They assaulted him, poured bleach on him, and put his head in a noose. While the family’s statement doesn’t contain any further details about the incident that sent Smollett to a Chicago hospital, they note that the alleged hate crime is not an anomaly for Black LGBTQ+ people.

“We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings,” they wrote, “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.”

Chicago police are investigating the attack as a hate crime. They released surveillance photos Wednesday evening of two “persons of interest” that they’d like to interview.

Read the full family statement below:

“In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them 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. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. 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. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.

With love & gratitude,

The Smollett Family”

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