The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons (NAACP), the country’s most influential civil rights organization, has blamed President Donald Trump for Tuesday morning’s attack on actor Jussie Smollett.
The Empire star was allegedly attacked by two men wearing ski masks in the early hours of Jan. 29 in Chicago. TMZ first reported that Smollett had identified the two attackers as white, and that he had told police that they had yelled, “This is MAGA country!”.
However, the Chicago Police Department has disputed that he told them that, at least initially, or identified the race of the attackers, who allegedly used racist and homophobic language and placed a rope around Smollett’s neck. The Daily Beast reported that Chicago police said the race and gender of the alleged assailants remained unknown.
Smollett drove himself to a nearby hospital. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson issued a statement Tuesday afternoon specifically blaming Trump’s “racist and xenophobic rhetoric”:
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is a candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, called the alleged attack on Smollett a “modern day lynching.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.