The absolutely ludicrous trial of Jussie Smollett concluded last week and the verdict surprised nearly no one. The “Empire” actor was found guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct by a Chicago jury for making false reports to police that he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019.

The jury found that Smollett, who is Black and gay, made false reports to police after paying Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo to carry out a staged hate crime attack against him to garner sympathetic media coverage.

Before the trial, the story became instant fodder for social media and comedians, such as Dave Chappelle, who could see through the hoax.

While Smollett’s case may be wildly absurd, his false report is no laughing matter. What he did was a disservice to real victims of hate crimes in this country. 

The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

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