“I still believe that justice will be served.”
“Empire” star Jussie Smollett has broken his silence after a racist and homophobic attack sent him to the hospital. The 36-year old actor who had a noose wrapped around his neck and was doused with bleach says he’s OK but is still processing what happened.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett said in an exclusive statement to Essence on Friday. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words,” he added.
There have been false and inaccurate reports, mostly from right wing media, which Smollett challenges in his remarks.
“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served,” he says.
“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me. With Love, respect & honor … Jussie.”
On Wednesday Chicago Police released these images of “people of interest.”
Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of Empire cast member. While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed pic.twitter.com/xJDDygtocr
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) January 31, 2019
Image: Screenshot via Instagram
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Just Before 2018 Election Trump Officials Discussed Using Microwave ‘Heat Ray’ Weapon Against Immigrants at the Border
“A ‘heat-ray’ designed by the military to make people’s skin feel like it is burning”
In the run up to the November 2018 election President Donald Trump publicly fear-mongered for months about a “caravan” of migrants coming to the U.S. southern border.
“The Caravans are made up of some very tough fighters and people,” Trump tweeted in the days before the election. “Fought back hard and viciously against Mexico at Northern Border before breaking through. Mexican soldiers hurt, were unable, or unwilling to stop Caravan. Should stop them before they reach our Border, but won’t!”
He followed up that fear-mongering with this:
Our military is being mobilized at the Southern Border. Many more troops coming. We will NOT let these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come in legally. TURN AROUND!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
This was all part of his very public attack on migrants.
Privately, though, President Trump was telling administration officials to take “extreme action.”
On Oct. 22, 2018, “at a meeting with top leaders of the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection officials suggested deploying a microwave weapon — a ‘heat-ray’ designed by the military to make people’s skin feel like it is burning when they get within range of its invisible beams,” The New York Times reports.
The heat ray microwave weapon was developed “by the military as a crowd dispersal tool two decades ago, the Active Denial System had been largely abandoned amid doubts over its effectiveness and morality,” the Times adds.
Two former officials who attended the afternoon meeting at the Homeland Security Department on Oct. 22, 2018, said the suggestion that the device be installed at the border shocked attendees, even if it would have satisfied the president. Kirstjen Nielsen, then the secretary of Homeland Security told an aide after the meeting that she would not authorize the use of such a device, and it should never be brought up again in her presence, the officials said.
Nielsen, who implemented Trump’s family separation policy while denying it even existed, left the administration the following April.
Father Speaks Out After His Teen Daughter Is Told ‘Kill Yourself’ in ‘Ignorant and Hateful’ Anti-LGBT Attack
A father is speaking out after his high school-aged teen daughter, a lesbian, was the target of harassment and vandalism at their Chicago-area home.
In what police say is a possible hate crime, attackers left a message on a “For Sale” sign: the 800 number to a suicide prevention hotline and the words, “go f*cking KYS.” KYS is shorthand for “kill yourself.” The attackers for reasons unknown also left dozens of white plastic forks strewn across the lawn.
“Suicide is real and tragic. It’s not a joke, it affects way too many families and it is truly hateful to wish it upon another individual,” Scott Nelles, the father of the victim, said at a village meeting, Chicago’s ABC 7 reports.
“The words ‘Go F—ing KYS’ in that barely literate juvenile handwriting will forever remain in my family’s life and those coward’s actions are likely to fade away to those involved as they continue to live an ignorant and hateful existence,” Nelles added.
“Hate is taught. It is not taught in our schools and it’s not taught in our community at large. Kindness is an easy choice. Love wins,” he concluded.
Locals applauded him.
Horrific Homophobic Violence in London: Men Beat Up Lesbian Couple Who Refused to Kiss in Front of Them
A same-sex couple traveling on a double-decker bus in London say they were beaten bloody by four men after they refused to kiss in front of them.
Melania Geymonat, who is 28, told BBC News she experiences “a lot of verbal violence all the time,” but has never been physically attacked for being gay.
“There were at least four of them,” Geymonat wrote about the May 30 hate crime on her Facebook page on Wednesday, calling it “CHAUVINIST, MISOGYNISTIC AND HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE.”
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions,” she says.
“It was only them and us there. In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes. I thought this might make them go away. Chris even pretended she was sick, but they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it.”
“The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,: she continues. “On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched. I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over. Our stuff was stolen as well. I don’t know yet if my nose is broken, and I haven’t been able to go back to work, but what upsets me the most is that VIOLENCE HAS BECOME A COMMON THING.”
BBC News reports Scotland Yard is investigating and examining CCTV footage.
“There were 2,308 homophobic hate crimes across London in 2018, compared with 2014 when 1,488 were recorded, according to the Met Police’s crime dashboard,” the BBC adds.
Image via Facebook
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