Tag Archives: hate crimes

Things Jussie Smollett Could Have Done for His Career

As if things couldn’t get any stranger since the election of Donald Trump, the so-called actor known as Jussie Smollett has made a sad name for himself by apparently staging an assault on himself and claiming it was a hate crime.  Investigators in Chicago – where the alleged attack occurred – arrested Smollett on Thursday, the 21st, and charged him with fakery.  (Fakery is essentially the same as dumbfuckery.)  I’d heard of the show Empire, but I’d never heard of Smollett.  I mean, who has?  In the high-pressure universe of television entertainment, people are only as good as their last scandal.  But, if Smollett seriously wanted to advance his career, there are a number of things he could’ve done, instead of conjuring up a hate crime scenario.

To help him – and other would-be assholes who have dared even thinking of doing the same – I’ve composed a list of things Smollett might have done to enhance his notoriety.

 

  • Take acting lessons.
  • Post nude selfies to social media.
  • Get arrested with marijuana in his underwear.
  • Pose for Playgirl.
  • Announce he’s turned heterosexual.
  • Express his support for Donald Trump.
  • Rent an expensive sports car and wreck it.
  • State publicly he hates queer people.
  • Fake a seizure while on a plane.
  • Claim he had a one-night fling with Anderson Cooper.
  • Go to work part-time for Wal-Mart and say he needed the gig to supplement his income.
  • Say he has 4 testicles.
  • Travel to Acapulco for vacation and “disappear” for a few days.
  • Get into a fight with an old woman in a wheelchair.
  • Say he’s trying to find a child he thinks he fathered 20 years ago.
  • Start wearing a t-shirt that says, ‘I Beat Vitiligo.’
  • Visit a therapist claiming he’s a masturbation addict.
  • Tell everyone he’s NOT vegan and eats gluten.
  • Publicly condemn scientology.
  • Say he hates Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.

 

On a more serious note, I have to confess my disdain for Smollett.  I’ve known plenty of non-White people who have been victimized by hate crimes (beyond name-calling), and most of the queer people I’ve known could recount one or more harrowing tales of hate crime episodes.  For Smollett to pay someone to inflict an attack on him, just for the sake of seeing his acting career skyrocket, is an offense to REAL victims of hate crimes.  It may also prevent future victims from reporting these events, lest they be questioned and even mocked.  You know the right-wing establishment is going to have a field day with this shit, don’t you!

Fabricating criminal behavior won’t advance anyone’s career, but it can set back the progress marginalized groups have made towards equality.  The public truly doesn’t care about the notoriety of a little-known actor on a ubiquitous television show.  But we do care about people who have fallen victim to hate and oppression.  Smollett can now fade into the obscurity where he was already languishing.  Maybe Wal-Mart will hire him.

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White Buffalo Death Update

Officials in Hunt County, Texas, have closed their case over the death of a white buffalo calf, claiming the animal died of disease and was not slain.  The animal had been born on May 14, 2011, at the Lakota Ranch in Greenville, Texas, and was named Lightning Medicine Cloud.  Ranch owner Arby Little Soldier claims he found the animal dead early this past May with only its head and tail remaining.  The next day he found the calf’s mother dead.  Both deaths, he believed, could have been hate crimes.  White buffaloes are extremely rare and the birth of one is considered a sacred symbol in most Native American communities.

But, a veterinarian who examined both Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother declared that the calf died of blackleg disease, a highly fatal ailment that primarily afflicts young cattle.  The spores of blackleg can live in soil for many years.  They enter the animal’s body through the digestive tract where the organism creates small punctures.  Blackleg cannot be transmitted from an infect animal to a healthy one, but it is preventable through vaccination.

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks stated that Arby Little Soldier didn’t contact his office until 6 days after Lightning Medicine Cloud turned up dead.  Initial photos of the body showed it wasn’t skinned.  Supposedly Little Soldier had wanted to consult with his elders before contacting the sheriff’s office.

I can understand why owners of the Lakota Ranch didn’t want to consult with police first.  The Native American community, as a whole, has had a tense relationship with mainstream law enforcement for decades.  But, as significant as white buffaloes are from a cultural standpoint, there’s no reason the Lakota Ranch should have waited 6 days before contacting Hunt County officials immediately.  This ultimately negates the severity of real hate crimes against Indigenous Americans, which often have gone unreported and uninvestigated.

Sheriff Meeks said he will re-open the investigation if new evidence or witnesses surface.

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Blind Man Mutilated By Staff at Hospital

Every time I hear of a hate crime committed in the U.S. I’m as angered as I am frustrated.  Even after 2 centuries of civil rights activism and legislation, occasionally an incident occurs that just smacks of blatant racism and disrespect.  The Trayvon Martin case in Florida has captured the nation’s attention recently, but not because the alleged perpetrator is a self-proclaimed White supremacist.  The lackluster reaction from the local police is what aggravated the victim’s family.  But, there are other more glaring cases of racist activity, often at the hands of people we’re supposed to trust.  One such recent event comes out of Rapid City, South Dakota.

In August 2011, Vernon Traversie, a 68-year-old member and resident of South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, suffered a heart attack while at the Heart Doctors office in Rapid City.  They immediately sent him a few blocks away to Rapid City Regional Hospital for emergency surgery.  Traversie, who is blind, said, “I was supposed to have emergency surgery on my heart, but they (the hospital) had scheduling problems.  Every night they would prep me for surgery which went on for four or five days.  Every night they would shave my chest and stomach and wouldn’t feed me.”

Traversie said he didn’t even know what was done to him until a RCRH employee came into his room and advised him to have pictures taken of his torso as soon as he got home.  He says she told him that she could not testify for him, but that her conscience got the better of her and she didn’t agree with what they did to him.

Last Real Indians, a site dedicated to raising awareness of Native American issues, asked Joyce Anderson, a retired surgical nurse from Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, AR, to view a photograph of Traversie’s injuries.  “It appears the area under the incision was done with a scalpel for drainage of the incision,” Anderson says.  “The other wounds seem to be necrotic, meaning the tissue is dead. This could indicate the wounds were burned into his skin.”

Traversie has no resources for an attorney but did say council member, Ryman Lebeau, and Tribal Chairman Kevin Keckler are trying to get an attorney for him.  “Those Ks are causing me pain still,” he adds, noting that “not all White people are like this.”  Still, he emphasizes, “And, I have to live with that on my stomach the rest of my life.”

Here is a video Traversie made detailing his experiences at the hospital.

This Facebook page also has been established to help push for a legal resolution to the matter.

Since this appears to be a hate crime, a federal inquiry may be warranted, which means the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder could be drawn into the matter – just as with the Trayvon Martin case.  Since Traversie also is blind and 68, charges for abuse of a disabled and elderly individual also could apply.  All the legislation and affirmative action programs won’t eliminate bigotry and racial prejudice.  But, in the current environment, no one has to tolerate it anymore.  Native Americans and Hispanics, especially, have been too conciliatory over the years.  Whenever incidents like this occur, we can’t just get upset – we need to get mad!

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