Activist and Empire actor, Jussie Smollett, survived a hate crime this past Tuesday in Chicago. According to CNN, he was seen standing alone when two men viciously attacked him; yelling out homophobic and racial slurs before pouring a chemical substance on him and putting a noose around his neck. Smollett also told the police that the attackers yelled out, “This is MAGA country.” Jussie took himself to Northwestern Hospital and is in good condition, according to authorities. However, according to the American Psychological Association, the effects of surviving a hate crime can leave a survivor in anything but good condition. Although Jussie is okay physically, he is now more likely to experience psychological distress – post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, etc. – than victims of crimes that were not motivated by bias. Aside from possible psychological distress,
here’s 3 Other Things You Need To Know About Hate Crimes In The U.S:
Hate crimes continue to rise.
According to the FBI, hate crime reports rose by 17% in 2017, making it the third consecutive year that hate crimes have increased. With over 7,100 reported in 2017, 3 out of 5 were motivated by race and ethnicity. Religion-bias has the second highest number of reported incidents while sexual-orientation bias has the third highest number. However, hate crimes remain underreported.
Smollett and GLAAD are actively fighting for the LGBTQ community.
According to Deadline, GLAAD, a media-monitoring organization that tracks representation of LGBT, released a statement: “Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world.” Smollett introduced Cynthia Erivo at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards for a tribute to the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack. Jussie is also a board member of the Black Aids Institute; giving a portion of his album tour’s proceeds to the organization last year.
There are 5 federal laws related to hate crimes.
- Conspiracy against rights
- Violent interference with federally protected rights
- Damage to religious property; obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs
- Criminal interference with right to fair housing
- The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009
According to the Gospel Coalition, all but five states (Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Wyoming) have hate-crime laws.
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