Jussie Smollett & The Consequences of Identity Politics

Jussie Smollett & The Consequences of Identity Politics February 24, 2019


“Who in the fuck would make something like this up?”  Jussie Smollett was so adamant in his February 12 interview on Good Morning America.  If one only saw the interview with Robin Roberts a few weeks later, they would have no doubt that Smollett was brutally attacked on January 29. Unfortunately, there is a plethora of evidence beyond the interview that Smollett did indeed orchestrate an attack on himself.  In fact, it is Smollett’s own text messages that are the smoking gun.  Do this.  Buy this.  Go here.  Meet there.  There is only one question left…  Why?


“I’m an advocate!”  These words from the interview also struck me.  Throughout my career in the work of activism and advocacy, I have repeatedly heard people declare themselves advocates.  Unfortunately, it seems like those who do the most declaring have the least evidence to back up their claims.  In this situation, Smollett seems to want to be an advocate more than he wants to do the work.  There is no fast track to being an advocate.  There is only the path of most resistance…being who you are…no matter the consequences.


Over the coming days, the greatest temptation will be to get wrapped up in the drama of it all. Such a distraction offers no benefit.  We are in desperate need of deep reflection.  We must see Smollett as a victim…a victim of us.


We are made in the image of God.  We fall victim to the temptations/demands of our identity culture when we think otherwise. God doesn’t make mistakes.  Jussie Smollett is enough…and so are we.





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