National Black Justice Coalition Demands Justice for Jussie Smollett
WASHINGTON, DC–– This morning, news broke that early Tuesday morning, Jussie Smollett, a cast member of ‘Empire,’ was brutally attacked in an apparent hate crime. In response to the news David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released the following statement:
"We are deeply saddened, disheartened and devastated that an attack steeped in racist and homophobic hatred could happen to anyone. But we are not surprised. This attack is a sad reminder that none of us — not even our famous entertainers — are safe from the ugly vestiges of white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and homophobia.
“The violence against the most marginalized members of our community is nothing new. Trump has escalated the violence with racist rhetoric and destructive policies that are designed to divide and keep some of us locked out of access to opportunity. The clearest consequences of these deleterious actions are evident in these examples of vitriol, violence, even death.
“Black LGBTQ and same-gender-loving people, especially Black Trans women, face insurmountable challenges to living full lives. As we engage in the human rights work of advocating for protections of Black lives we must ensure we’re holding space for and ensuring protections for those of us with intersectional identities. If nothing else, these hateful demonstrations of policies and practices designed to destroy our communities should be a reminder that if they come for some of us in the morning they will come for the rest of us at night. In this moment in history, we must all work better together to combat the ignorance, hatred, and violence Black LGBTQ people face, and we need our governments and our elected officials to start condemning it openly and to fight back with transformative policy too.
“Access to affordable and quality healthcare cannot wait. Protected access to affordable and safe housing cannot wait. Proactive policy and cultural competency cannot prevent these moments of hate cannot wait. We need our law enforcement and elected officials to get to work to ensure all of us are safe no matter who we are, who we love, or how we live.”