‘So warped’: CNN guest’s shameless spin on Smollett’s alleged hate crime hoax too much for viewers

(Video screenshot)

According to one CNN commentator, Hollywood actor Jussie Smollett’s costly, time-consuming hate crime hoax engendered a positive side effect: It focused the public’s attention on the alleged epidemic of hate crimes against “ordinary Black LGBTQ people.”

“The sad thing is that it took the story of a celebrity like Jussie Smollett for America to focus on violence and hate crimes against ordinary Black LGBTQ people. Let’s hope we can finally start talking about those cases now,” Keith Boykin, a former White House aide to former President Bill Clinton, tweeted after Smollett’s arrest Thursday morning.

Attached to the tweet was a video of him speaking on CNN earlier that morning about the same topic.

“A lot of people in my community are thinking this is not something we want and need. We want attention on the issues of black LGBTQ violence and hate crimes. We want it focused where it should be. We don’t need a distraction like this,” he said.

“There are cases that are happening every day. I hope that people start focusing on those other cases and not just on this one,” he added, echoing the tweet he posted later.



The problem with what Boykin wrote and said is that it was backwards. In reality, Smollett’s hate crime hoax benefited nobody but hurt almost everybody, as noted by columnist Leonard Greene:

“Smollett hurt a lot of people. He took money out of the pockets out of his ‘Empire’ co-stars, because the show is bound to suffer from the scandal. He wasted the resources of a busy police department that has far more important matters to investigate. And he hurt the cause of everyone who has ever been the victim of intolerance. Men and women brutalized by bigotry and racism need to be heard and believed. Smollett just made it harder.”

Much harder.


Moreover, Boykin’s insinuation that the public and media barely pay attention to hate crimes against “ordinary Black LGBTQ people” was just outright false. If anything, the public and media tend to focus almost exclusively on certain hate crimes over others, particularly those against gays.

For instance, did you know that there’s been a spate of anti-Jewish hate crimes in Brooklyn as of late? If not, why? Could it because the media never talk about them? It’s almost as if certain groups are more important than others. That’s not a good thing …

Moreover, statistics show that between 2016 and 2017, hate crimes against the gay community went up by only four percentage points, whereas hate crimes against Jews spiked by 26 percentage points. Yet this spike never gets any mainstream media attention. Why?

It’s because, contrary to what Boykin said, the public and media already focus a great deal of attention on hate crimes against “ordinary Black LGBTQ people,” ergo why the hate crime that Smollett claimed he had suffered was broadcast nonstop over the airways after he reported the attack last month.

What the media rarely spotlights, as noted by a bevy of social media users, are the veritable hate crimes committed against conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump, even when it’s caught on video. 

But for some reason the media’s demonstrable lack of attention to hate crimes against Trump supporters doesn’t seem to concern Boykin. Hmm …



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