Congratulations, Jussie Smollett: You've Proven That Our Society Loves To Embrace And Glamorize Victimhood
Less than a month ago, Jussie Smollett was a name that — unless you were just really into D-list celebrities — you had probably never encountered. The barely-famous, half-black, half-Jewish, gay actor was known primarily for his roles in Director Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” and the FOX TV music drama series “Empire.” (I consider myself a movie buff and, even having seen “Alien: Covenant,” was still completely unaware of who he was.)
All of that changed, however, on January 29 when the sleaze-rag tabloid site TMZ reported that Smollett had been “viciously attacked” in an upperclass Chicago area — in the midst of a virtual polar vortex blizzard after midnight, while he was strolling home from a local Subway — by two white men who fractured his ribs, doused him in bleach, and wrapped a noose around his neck, all while shouting the menacing phrase, “This is MAGA country!” (a reference to Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.) Several news outlets, including MSNBC, jumped on the bandwagon and, within seconds, had reported that the assailants were also wearing Make America Great Again hats.
Smollett was suddenly famous, albeit for something horrifically tragic and terrible. His name was plastered in headlines across the nation. Leftist media personalities were lining up by the hundreds to interview him. Democratic presidential candidates were tweeting about his story. He went viral across every social media platform on the web. The spotlight was his for the taking. Who could ask for more, right?
But wait. The story, as you know by now, doesn’t end there. We’ve since learned from Chicago police that the entire thing was a total hoax. (Darn. Just when it was getting good.) Not only were there several holes in Smollett’s account of the events, as well as lack of video evidence from area security cameras, and a total unwillingness to assist in the investigation, but there was also the utter ridiculousness of the story itself. (Violent Trump Nazi thugs hiding out in one of the most liberal cities in the U.S., conveniently wearing masks to hide their identities and ethnicities, patiently waiting in freezing cold temperatures to ambush a no-name actor? Give me a break.)
Recent reports now indicate that Smollett likely paid off two Nigerian-American brothers to stage the bogus assault, although his lawyer released an official statement denying any such accusation. (Naturally.)
Now, the only appropriate response to all of the aforementioned is to scratch one’s head in total confusion and utter bewilderment before coming to the ultimate conclusion that absolutely nothing about Smollett’s story adds up. It’s all nonsense. Hogwash. Balderdash. More importantly, though, it’s a rather disappointing reflection of our society’s sick and demented obsession with playing the victim card. Here’s a guy with a paid acting gig on a relatively successful TV series who, for some bizarre reason, felt the need to portray himself as a victim of racial, anti-Semitic, homophobic violence at the hands of Trump-loving terrorists. And for what purpose? To try to prove that all Trump supporters are actually racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic terrorists? Perhaps that was one of his goals. Perhaps not.
Regardless, Smollett proved something far more disturbing: Our society has not only fully embraced the faux victimhood mentality, it is now glamorizing it as something to be pursued and obtained. And why not? If you can achieve fame, influence, prestige, notoriety, or power by playing the role of a victim — rather than actually working for it — then what’ve you got to lose? I say “faux” victimhood because there are indeed true victims in society. There are people who have suffered from devastating circumstances beyond their control. And I’m certainly not making light of those situations in the least. But, that is not the case here.
Hollywood actor Jussie Smollet — who paid two men to pretend that they were assaulting him — is not a victim of oppression or injustice. Jussie Smollet is a fraud. A hoaxer. A small and empty man who wound up illuminating a rather discouraging truth about our culture. And, despite what he or the mainstream leftist media might say or project, there is nothing glamorous about living a deceitful, dishonest, and counterfeit life.