June 10, 2023

‘It was set up to make it seem like I was lying about something…’

Jussie Smollett gave an interview to Marc Lamont Hill yesterday. Smollett is still sticking to his story about being attacked by two racist white people in the middle of the night in Chicago despite all of the evidence that proves that didn’t happen.

Prior to his interview with Smollett, Hill had on two other people, Aislinn Pulley who is a founder of Chicago’s Black Lives Matter group and Angela Davis. Both sought to raise doubt about the credibility of Chicago police. Hill said the goal was to have a “larger conversation” not just about Smollett’s case but about Chicago justice in general.

So when Pulley came on, she insinuated that CPD’s holding of the Osundairo borthers for 47 hours until they confessed their role in the scheme was suspicious. “I mean this is standard torture advanced interrogation techniques,” Pulley said. She added, “The whole thing continues to be a PR stunt in order to save face for CPD…”

When Angela Davis came on next, she admitted she was a long time friend of the Smollett family but argued that “the efforts to prosecute Jussie are designed to justify and validate existing structures of policing, precisely at a time when the police and carceral systems are being profoundly criticized by masses of people…” In other words, the CPD framed Jussie as pushback against Black Lives Matter.

When Smollett finally came on he said of his situation, “It has been difficult to be quiet.” He then said that he wasn’t going “rogue” and was still taking the advice of his lawyers to lay low while his case was ongoing. As for whether or not his legal case could end soon, Smollett said it seemed unlikely to him. “There is an example being made and the sad part is there’s an example being made of someone that did not do what they’re being accused of,” he said.

As for the veracity of his claims about the attack, Smollett said there were “two other witnesses” who saw white men attack him. He also claimed “there is a tape” which shows the attack though he added “of course it cuts off right before it happens.”

Smollett admitted that he’d seen all of the criticism of his story in the media. “When I step back I can see the way that they’ve played the narrative, the way that they’ve served it to the people…but at the same time I’m not really living for people that don’t believe,” he said. He added, “From the very, very beginning it was set up to seem like I was lying about something or everything. And that has to do with the fact of the MAGA of it all.”

Asked to expand on the “MAGA of it all” by Hill, Smollett didn’t really have much more to say other than to claim that he said it “because they said it,” meaning his alleged white attackers.

As far as the allegations made by the Osundairo brothers, Smollett really had nothing much to say beyond repeating the fact that they had denied his involvement for 47 hours. There was no follow-up question about the video of the brothers buying supplies (including rope and a red hat) just prior to the attack. No question about the fact that police were able to track their movement before and after the attack via video, proving they were in the area at the time. Instead Smollett pointed people to the open letter published yesterday to support him. That letter was signed by Angela Davis, Danny Glover and Linda Sarsour among others.

At the every end of the interview, Smollett said it wasn’t his job to convince the doubters of his innocence. He stopped and seemed to struggle with what to say next. After a pause he said that if the allegations that he had faked this attack were true then “the smart thing to do would be to admit that, because at least their would be a place to work back from.” He added, “This is bulls**t. This is bulls**t.”

Finally he said, “Their whole thing that they’re going to do tomorrow [in court], that’s not for me. I’ve checked out. I’ve moved on. I’ve moved on to continue to fight for my people.”

Here’s Marc Lamont Hill’s full interview with Jussie Smollett. He’s right that by this point he might have been better off admitting he lied, but he’s clearly not ever going to do that. He’s the O.J. Simpson of racial hoaxes except that he’s not even pretending to look for the “real killers.”

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