Now we know the price of freedom. It costs $10,000.
That’s what Jussie Smollett gave the city of Chicago when they dropped the 16 felony charges he was facing for lying about being attacked by two white men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats.
Oh sure, they can say he voluntarily gave up his bond. They can say he had a clean record and lots of community service before this little fiasco. But here’s the reality. Jussie Smollett had the kind of status that allowed him to be treated differently. And he had the money to buy his way out.
So let me be clear. I still think Jussie lyin’, ’cause ain’t no black man going out at 2 in the morning when its zero below for a Subway salad, cause freezing for a salad with little or no meat on it just ain’t a black thing to do.
Jussie lyin’. Because there’s not one Trump supporter who watches an all black show like Empire enough to recognize a minor character on sight. But Jussie wants us to believe there are two. TWO white phantoms in MAGA hats who are so angry about Empire that they beat up the seventh most important person on the show, and disappeared into the night like Ninjas.
Jussie lyin’, not just because we got the Nigerian brothers on tape buying all the stuff they used to stage the attack. He lyin’ ‘cause he acted like he had the Mueller report on his phone. If you tellin’ the truth, you turn over the phone records. If you tellin’ the truth, you don’t make the cops turn off their body cams. If you tellin’ the truth, you don’t run around talkin’ bout you the gay Tupac. You simply let the truth play out.
Jussie lyin’. And the shame of it all is that lyin’ is becoming the norm—especially for the rich and famous. If you’re rich enough, you can buy your kids’ way into America’s top colleges. If you’re famous enough, you can buy your way out of a 16-count felony. If you’re powerful enough, you can lie your way through two years of the presidency.
So yeah, Jussie lyin’, and while I want to be mad at the judge who threw out the charges, while I want to be mad at the prosecutor who agreed to the deal, the truth is I don’t really care enough to mad at any of ‘em.
In America we all wanna be rich enough to buy our way through life. I just wish we had a better goal to reach.
Photo: Jussie Smollett at the Paleyfest in Los Angeles in 2016. By Dominic D
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and host of Your Voice weekdays from 10 to Noon on Praise 107.9 radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.