News emerged over the weekend that indicated that an alleged homophobic and racist attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett may have been nothing more than a hoax perpetrated by Smollett himself, with the help of a pair of brothers he was friends with.
Smollett had alleged on Jan. 29 that he had been physically assaulted by two men around 2 a.m. after obtaining a sandwich from a Subway restaurant in downtown Chicago.
Smollett claimed that during the attack, bleach was poured on him, a noose was placed around his neck and he was berated with homophobic and racist slurs by two men, presumable supporters of President Donald Trump, who yelled, “This is MAGA country!”
A significant portion of the media uncritically accepted Smollett’s allegations, as did a number of prominent Democratic politicians, including 2020 presidential contender and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who referred to the alleged assault as a “modern-day lynching” that must be condemned.
Booker wasted no time in tweeting that same day as the alleged attack, “The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I’m glad he’s safe. To those in Congress who don’t feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention.”
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I’m glad he’s safe.
To those in Congress who don’t feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
Now, several weeks later, and in light of the new information that substantially undermines Smollett’s initial claim, Booker’s hot-take tweet remains active, but the senator’s tune has changed quite a bit when he’s asked about the still-developing facts of the controversial incident.
A reporter named Megan Pratz posted a brief video clip to Twitter of Booker answering a question Sunday morning about the increasing likelihood of Smollett’s attack having been a hoax perpetrated by the actor himself. Notably, Booker was far more circumspect in his response than he had been initially.
He called the attack a “modern day lynching” when the news broke. pic.twitter.com/8Zf8y7vhrv
— Megan Pratz (@meganpratz) February 17, 2019
“Well, the information is still coming out, so I’m going to withhold until all of the information comes out from on the record sources,” Booker said, finally issuing the kind of response that should have been out the day after the alleged hate crime.
Of course, he couldn’t let it without adding some Democratic demagoguery.
“We know in America that bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise, in a serious way,” he continued. “We actually know in this country that since 9/11, the majority of terrorist attacks on our soil have been right-wing terrorist attacks, the majority of them white supremacist attacks.”
“From the horrific shootings in Pittsburgh or the South Carolina church, what we are seeing is attacks on people because they are different,” claimed Booker. “And we all need to join together and condemn those attacks and the hatred and bigotry that sources them.”
As noted, the first portion of Booker’s response was correct, in that people — especially public figures — should refrain from passing judgement on certain events until all of the information has been released and the truth of what happened has been fully made known.
That’s something he and far too many other leftists in politics and the media most certainly didn’t do in this case.
However, any goodwill he may have garnered with the correct response to the Smollett case now is overshadowed by his refusal to address his initial hot take, either in taking down the post or admitting publicly that his first reaction was incorrect. Not doing so only serves to highlight his hypocrisy and one-sided view of reality.
Furthermore, his pushing of the ridiculously misleading and debunked narrative about terrorist attacks in America since 9/11 won’t help him win any favor outside of his own frothingly hateful and increasingly violence-prone base of leftist voters.
Finally, the absurdity of his using past incidents of racist white men committing violent crimes against minorities as a comparison to somehow support the alleged assault on Smollett — which appears to have involved two brothers who are friends with and paid by Smollett — is perversely bizarre and undermines whatever measure of credibility on the issue of race-based crimes he may have gained by now withholding judgement on the Smollett case.
Sen. Booker has long been a typical liberal hypocrite, and while he had a chance to change that perception by appropriately dealing with the Smollett case, all he ended up doing was reinforcing it.
By not addressing his horribly wrong initial take and seemingly doubling down on his supposition that right-wing, white-on-black violence is the biggest and most pressing issue this nation faces, he did a disservice to the country.
That’s not a good move for a prospective presidential candidate to make.
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