Imagine the following if you will: you are walking down the street, minding your own business. Then out of nowhere, you are attached, called horrible names and have an unknown liquid thrown at you.
This was the unfortunate experience of Empire actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago this morning. The persons accused of the attack verbally abused Mr. Smollett with racial and homophobic slurs, poured an unidentified chemical over him and tried to lynch him. Thankfully, he is in the hospital recovering, but his attackers have yet to be identified.
This makes me angry and sad at the same time. It makes me angry because the people who attacked Mr. Smollett did so simply because he is black and gay. If he was a straight white man, I guarantee you that it would have never happened. They assumed that because he is who he is, they have the right to do what they did. It makes me sad because this is the America in 2019. It is still OK to verbally or physically harass another person because they are different. When will we, as a nation and a culture, get over that someone is different and just accept that difference? Is diversity as a concept and an act, so difficult that it is easier to put someone in a box and use that box as an excuse to abuse and attack that person?
I pray that Mr. Smollett recovers quickly from his wounds and that the authorities catch those who are responsible for his heinous act. I also pray that we one day learn that a human being is a human being is a human being, regardless of any labels or who one identifies as.