Smollett was reportedly attacked by two men who beat him, poured bleach on him, and wrapped a noose around his neck. They also told him, "This is MAGA country," according to TMZ. He suffered a fractured rib and has since been released from a Chicago hospital.
Top Democrats were among the first to respond. Among them, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California. Former Obama Cabinet Secretary Julián Castro of Texas spoke out as well.
"We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it," Senator Gillibrand said on Twitter.
This is a sickening and outrageous attack, and horribly, it's the latest of too many hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color. We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it. Praying for Jussie and his family. https://t.co/eylvxhLT0u
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 29, 2019
Senator Booker called it "an attempted modern-day lynching," and urged members of Congress to support his legislation "designating lynching as a federal hate crime."
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
The Advocate's Zach Stafford reports Senator Kamala Harris of California took to the Senate floor, saying, “It’s outrageous. I know Jussie - he is one of the kindest most gentle people I have ever met. It’s awful.”
She is co-sponsoring the anti-lynching bill with Sen. Booker and "is using the incident to highlight" it.
This from former HUD Secretary Julián Castro:
1/ If the reports of Jussie Smollett's attack last night are true, and this was a racially and homophobically-motivated attack, then God-willing, justice will be swift and thorough.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 29, 2019
U.S. Rep. Mark Takano of California also responded, calling the attack "a hate crime, and saying: "We must confront it and protect our communities against violence and hate."
Let’s call this disturbing attack what it is: a hate crime. It would be a disservice to the LGBTQ community and communities of color to ignore the heightened hateful rhetoric permeating at all levels. We must confront it and protect our communities against violence and hate. https://t.co/aE3LLkWsYJ
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) January 29, 2019
And U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois:
Make no mistake: young people watch our nation’s leaders & learn from their example. Hateful words perpetuate these despicable actions, which is why we must stand up & speak out against intolerance every single day.
My thoughts are with Jussie & I wish him a speedy recovery. https://t.co/mMdzPY24H7
— Mike Quigley (@RepMikeQuigley) January 29, 2019
No word from President Donald Trump or any Republicans at all.
UPDATE: 9:43 PM ET –
The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love. I pray that Jussie has a speedy recovery & that justice is served. May we all commit to ending this hate once & for all.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 30, 2019
NCRM will update this story with additional responses from lawmakers as we find them. If you see one we have not included, email us at editor at thenewcivilrightsmovement.com
Image via Wikimedia
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