Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A Tale of Two Standards: Jussie Smollett vs. the Covington Kids

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If anything perfectly illustrates today’s characteristic prejudices, it’s how actor Jussie Smollett was hailed after hoaxing while the Covington kids were hoaxed and then hated.

Smollett, who stars in the show Empire, made headlines January 29 after claiming he was the victim of a prejudice-motivated attack. But while his story has unraveled during the past week — with an allegation that he paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the assault — his claims were never plausible.

This didn’t stop pseudo-elite establishment types, in media, politics, and beyond, from believing a tale that sounded like a puerile, politically correct Hollywood script. To wit: At 2 a.m., on a Chicago night with a wind chill the better part of minus 20, in a liberal neighborhood that’s largely black and homosexual, two white guys attacked Smollett — yelling slurs relating to his race and sexual bent — and then splashed him with bleach and tied a rope around his neck.

So they just happened to be carrying bleach and a rope because, well, like the American Express card, you just don’t leave home without them.

The kicker? Smollett was still wearing the rope when the police arrived at his apartment 45 minutes later.

Oh, the alleged attackers also yelled “This is MAGA country!” — in Chicago — where 88 percent of the electorate voted against President Trump. Now that’s the hate-crime-hoax version of jumping the shark.

Nonetheless, fellow actors, the whole mainstream media, and presidential contenders and other politicos jumped on the condemn-America/Trump/white people bandwagon.

For example, when White House hopeful Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was asked yesterday about Smollett’s sleight-of-hand, she soberly replied, “I’m not going to comment until I know the outcome of the investigation.”

Strangely, though, this circumspection was sorely absent January 29 when, before the story was even a day old, she sent the following tweet:


Fellow presidential hopeful Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) also experienced an upwelling of prudence, on Sunday, when he responded to the Smollett revelations. “I’m gonna withhold until all the information actually comes out from on-the-record sources,” said he.  

Yet even before Harris weighed in, he’d tweeted:


I’d no idea lynching was legal. Regardless, Senator Booker, how about now proposing anti-hate-crime-hoaxing legislation?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) quietly deleted her Smollett-supporting tweet. Actress and singer Ariana Grande’s is still up, reading, “what happened to jussie makes me really f[******] sick to my stomach. i can’t believe s[***] like this is really still happening everyday [sic]. what kind of world ? sending all of the healing energy / love i possibly can and hoping for change. what can we do ? tell me & i’m there.”

Okay: Stop being vulgar and learn to capitalize and apply logic. Also, pro tip: If you “can’t believe s[***] like this is really still happening every day,” it perhaps should occur to you that maybe it’s not.

Interestingly, the media had just been down Politically Correct Road and Malpractice Lane just over a week before, participating in the hate-fest against the Covington Catholic High School boys. In that case, hapless 16-year-old, MAGA-hatted student Nick Sandmann was portrayed as the face of hate based on a 60-second, out-of-context video, and he and his schoolmates endured scorn and threats of serious violence.

When it became obvious the Covington boys were actually innocent victims of an apparent professional-agitator setup — a “hoax,” if you will — the media lost interest before shortly thereafter taking the side of the latest hoaxer, Smollett.

The naïve might wonder why the media didn’t “learn their lesson.” But they didn’t “learn” after the first few hundred leftist-perpetrated hate-crime hoaxes. Why should this one be any different?

It wouldn’t be because, you see, the media are complicit in the hoaxing — in a sense. No, they don’t know the truth on every given case, but they do either know the patterns and just don’t care or are shamefully negligent in not knowing.

Ever since the Tawana Brawley hoax in 1987 — in which a black teen girl claimed to have been raped for days by four white men — there has been an increasing number of false hate-crime allegations made by “minorities” (e.g., blacks, homosexuals, the LGBT crowd in general, etc.). Concurrently, there have been a perhaps increasing number of actual “hate crimes” against whites, as Professor Thomas Sowell relates here and here. Yet the media behave as if real life is ever Mississippi Burning — and it’s always 1964.

A prerequisite for learning is caring about improvement, but the media don’t. They’re content with their prejudices: white/conservative/Christian/male/heterosexual=oppressor and bad. The more of those labels you wear, the more harshly you’re judged.

Non-white/liberal/non-Christian/female/LGBTQ=victim and good. The more of those labels you wear, the more kindly you’re treated. Believability isn’t about the content of your character (as it should be) but the color of your skin.

Some in the media have truly fooled themselves, while others are just trying to fool you. What they share is that they have their narrative and are stickin’ to it. They just need to, like a shyster lawyer, present a case that will make you accept it, too.

(It doesn’t help that, as PJ Media points out, leftist reporters also exhibit “confirmation bias” and what Sowell called “arrogant ignorance.”)

A case in point was Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, who threw softballs while interviewing Smollett in a segment broadcast last Thursday. The actor, acting, shamelessly attacked those disbelieving his story as he told “us that he represents the most despised and unfashionable groups in America,” as Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson put it last night. Yet mentioning how the establishment rallied to Smollett’s side, Carlson asked, “Is this the treatment that marginalized people receive?”

“Smollett isn’t powerless; far from it,” Carlson continued (video below). “His power lies in pretending that he has no power. In fact, Jussie Smollett and his promoters are the aggressors in this story. They launched a calculated campaign of slander against an entire group of people who have far less wealth and far less cultural influence than they have.” That would be, mind you, people such as the Covington kids.

Exhibiting a sociopath-level lack of conscience, Smollett also complained in his interview about “people who are trying to separate us.” He should look in the mirror.

Make no mistake, if we accept the “hate crime” concept (which I don’t, but that is a different topic), then false hate-crime accusations themselves should be considered hate crimes. After all, hatred of the implicated group often partially or completely motivates hate-crime hoaxers.

Note, too, that the major justification for hate-crime laws is that such acts “target whole communities.” Yet so do hate-crime hoaxes, as they put an onus on whites, conservatives, or Trump supporters — on whatever “victimizer” group is in the cross hairs.

Such hoaxes are also truly evil acts. They create suspicion, division, and animosity and can lead to racial unrest, rioting, and “revenge attacks” on whites. Remember that racial and ethnic strife has killed millions throughout history; stoking its fires can put a nation asunder. Thus should hate-crime hoaxers be punished harshly. In reality, though, they’re rarely if ever punished at all.

As to who really has the privilege, the Smollett and Covington affairs tell the tale. The actor had the entire establishment on his side, with senators complaining of a lynching. And the pro-life Catholic teens?

They were condemned by the establishment and chased by a lynch mob. With privilege like that, who needs prejudice?

Photo of Jussie Smollet: Wikimedia

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