By RYAN GRILLE
This week, the charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped. Smollett was arrested for staging a fake hate crime in Chicago. The FBI is currently undergoing an investigation into why the charges against Smollett were dropped. The news has resulted in many angry reactions from various sources, including President Donald Trump.
The entire Smollett saga represents a failure of both journalism and the ability of people to remain skeptical. When the story first broke out, there were several people who were skeptical about the validity of Smollett’s claims. However, the skeptics were widely criticized for downplaying the apparent tragic incident. The focus of the media became the attack and how it was a reflection of the current social issues facing the country.
However, this narrative began to unravel rather quickly. It became apparent that Smollett’s story had several holes and inconsistencies. Eventually, Smollett was arrested for filing a false police report. It was soon discovered Smollett had actually hired two African-American brothers to stage the attack. As a result, there was public outrage all across the internet.
Several lessons can be taken from the Smollett incident. Firstly, it is important to remain skeptical about all claims until all the facts are in and they can be properly analyzed. Secondly, you should never run to anyone’s defense simply because said person has a political or social ideology you agree with. People like Smollett may take advantage of the current social climate in order to further their own selfish goals. Hopefully, this entire saga will serve as a wake-up call for many people.