Bearing False Witness: The Case of Jussie Smollett

Four below zero — that’s how cold it was at 2 a.m. in Chicago on Jan. 29, when actor Jussie Smollett claims he was the victim of a racist, homophobic hate crime perpetrated by two white Trump supporters. There were many reasons to be skeptical of Smollett’s story, but the fact that Chicago was experiencing a “polar vortex” of arctic cold was high on the list of doubts. Even if you could believe that two right-wingers would be stalking a not-very-famous actor in downtown Chicago, waiting for a chance to attack him on his way back from a wee-hours trip to a sandwich shop, why would they be doing this in -4°F weather?

Smollett’s story never made sense, and it came completely unraveled last week after Chicago police apprehended two of the Empire actor’s friends when they flew into O’Hare Airport, returning from a trip to Nigeria.

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