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Whitlock: Here’s why Jussie Smollett should serve six months in prison for his racist hoax

Op-ed
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jussie Smollett belongs in jail. Not for long. But long enough to send a message that the country will no longer tolerate racial hoaxes.

If actress Lori Loughlin can serve two years in prison for bribing her children’s way into college, it’s not far-fetched to believe Smollett should serve six months for adding to America’s racial division.

It’s easy to relate to Loughlin’s crime. Parents will do anything to give their kids a leg up. Loughlin was one of 33 parents willing to pay large sums of money to buy their kids into prestigious colleges and universities. It’s a relatable crime.

Smollett’s crime isn’t. On Thursday, a jury convicted the former “Empire” actor on five of six charges related to staging a hate crime in January 2019. Smollett, who is black and gay, claimed two white male Trump supporters beat him up, tied a noose around his neck, called him the N-word and warned him that Chicago was “MAGA country.” In truth, Smollett paid two black Nigerians to assault him and help stage the hoax.

Smollett’s telling of the story smelled like a hoax from day one. He lives in such a fantasy world and abuses drugs so frequently that he’s completely unaware of reality. Chicago is far more Larry Hoover-Gangsta Disciple country than Trump land. Trump supporters don’t assault black men at 2 a.m. in Chicago. Black gang members do.

Smollett is an idiot, an imbecile with no connection to the reality of poor and working-class black Americans. He’s a Hollywood elite in bed with the left-wing political and media elite. We learned during the course of his trial that Smollett spent his free time smoking weed, snorting cocaine, and visiting gay bathhouses with one of his Nigerian co-conspirators. He lived a typical Hollywood celebrity life.

He used race to enhance his brand. For this crime, he belongs in jail for six months. Too many ultra-elites are using race to enhance their brands. From LeBron James to Colin Kaepernick, multimillionaire celebrity influencers have grown comfortable stirring racial division to increase their social media standing.

In 2017, without providing a shred of evidence, LeBron James claimed vandals spray-painted the N-word on his Los Angeles mansion. Worse, James analogized the crime to the pain Emmett Till’s mother felt when learning her 14-year-old son had been brutally murdered.

“I think back to Emmett Till’s mom, actually,” James said at the time. “It’s kind of one of the first things I thought of. The reason that she had an open casket is because she wanted to show the world what her son went through as far as a hate crime and being black in America. No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. We got a long way to go for us as a society, and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America.”

Like Smollett, James is an intellectual lightweight far removed from the reality of working-class and poor black people. Like Smollett, James is in bed with the left-wing political and media elite. Like Smollett, James is obsessed with increasing his fame and fortune, and he’s willing to use race to do it.

The race-bait industry is one of the most profitable professions available to celebrities with limited intelligence, secular values, and a malleable worldview. It’s why Colin Kaepernick left his football career to launch a second career as the racial martyr symbol, Mute-hammad Ali.

One month after Smollett called police claiming to be a victim of a racist attack, American political science professor Wilfred Reilly published the book “Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War.” The book argues that there are actually more white-black hate crime hoaxes than there are white-black hate crimes.

This is why I believe Smollett belongs in jail for six months. People have grown comfortable staging fake hate crimes. Most observers believe the judge will sentence Smollett to probation or one to two months of jail time at most. He’s likely to receive a slap on the wrist. He has no previous criminal history.

Smollett’s first offense is a lot worse than the poor black or white kid who gets arrested for stealing. Smollett committed a very serious crime. His allegations could have sparked civil unrest in Chicago. His allegations clearly contributed to the country’s racial divide.

Beyond that, his preposterous allegation undermined the credibility of people who do experience legitimate forms of racial unfairness. Smollett harmed everyone — whether black or white. Anyone with a genuine concern for racial harmony and reconciliation should want to see Smollett harshly punished.

A light sentence won’t teach Smollett or America’s other racial pranksters a lesson. Despite the damning testimony of his Nigerian collaborators, Smollett chose to take the witness stand and claim there was no hoax. He repeated his lies under oath.

He’s an actor and an actorvist. He’s unlikely ever to repent. But sending him to prison for six months will deter others from following his path. It’s the same reason a judge put Lori Loughlin behind bars for two months. Her husband served five months. The goal was to send a message to other rich parents.

The judge should use Smollett to send a loud message. America is tired of the racial hoaxes executed by the left, corporate media, and celebrity elites.
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