If Jussie Smollett isn’t at least whistling this old blues tune highlighted in the classic movie “The Blues Brothers” he’s even dumber than he looked when he got caught faking a so-called hate crime.  And make no mistake.  He got caught with his panties down around his ankles by the Chicago Police Department.

While we still have never seen this clown on a TV show, we have to admire his lawyers’ understanding of how identity politics works in Chicago.

They managed to get a hopelessly conflicted, elected State’s Attorney to drop all charges against Smollett after he was indicted by a Grand Jury on 16 felony counts.  Her conflict, apparently, was between her patron Saint Michelle Obama and reality.  Imagine if a Federal Grand Jury had indicted the President and the Attorney General decided not to prosecute.

It was completely predictable.  As it happened, I was in Chicago the week Ms. Hopelessly Conflicted Prosecutor was warming up for something like this and now, she’s busy defending her office by suggesting—among other things—that she saved the taxpayers’ money.

The actual assistant State’s Attorney who handled the case said it wasn’t an exoneration and Smollett said he didn’t do it.  The Mayor said he did do it, a Grand Jury said he did and the Police Superintendent said he did.

If Joliet Jake (John Belushi) were still alive, he would have probably been proud of Smollett.  Or, maybe not, because at least Jake did his time.

The only problem with Smollett’s legal tactic was the unanticipated consequences of Federal involvement.  It takes a lot to put President Trump, Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department on essentially the same page, but Jussie Smollett did it.  Trump has announced that the Federal Government is looking into the case.  This could be the Rodney King case of the 21st Century where we get to explain to students who went to school after the teachers’ union took over, that double jeopardy does not attach in such situations.

This is the way it works in Chicago and has worked from time immemorial. Remember, this is Illinois where being Governor is prep school for prison and the TV show, The Good Wife was either a documentary or a soap opera depending on where you live or grew up.

It’s also hard for someone who grew up in Illinois not to see some parallels to the Blues Brothers.

Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department have threatened to sue Smollett for the $130,000 they say was expended pulling his panties down after he filed a false police report.  And Emanuel—in an attempt to keep his street cred with the left, told the President to butt out.

Smollett’s lawyers say that he doesn’t owe the city an apology but rather the Mayor and the Police owe HIM an apology for dragging his name through the mud.

Right.

That’s like Al Capone suing Chicago for letting him under-report his income.

The biggest problem with the entire nation seeing a clown show like this one is that not everyone grew up or lives in Illinois so there is a huge group of people out there who don’t understand the Chicago Way and don’t understand that in Chicago, truth is often stranger than fiction.

As we’ve observed before, maybe Law and Order’s Dick Wolf will explain it to the audience writ large with a one or two episode show next season on Chicago PD, ripped from the headlines.  That he didn’t come up with a scenario similar to this up to now is only a reminder that you cannot make this stuff up.

Sweet Home Chicago, indeed.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe here at www.pennypressnv.com. His column has been reprinted in full, with permission. 

Published in Opinion
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Why do we have hate crimes?

The horrific Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 people dead last week was, for good reason, called “the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.” It was a ghastly crime of appalling proportions. Robert Bowers is charged with 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder and multiple counts of hate crimes. If he is convicted, as he most assuredly will be, then the death penalty would, and should, be fully justified.

“The crimes of violence are based upon the federal civil rights laws prohibiting hate crimes,” said Scott Brady, U.S. Attorney, and Bob Jones, the FBI special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh office. Brady further avowed that Bowers could face the death penalty if he is convicted of a hate crime.

So, what’s a hate crime you ask?  If someone is premeditatedly shot and killed, that’s commonly murder. When you’re dead, you are dead, and there is a strong penalty for that; generally, life or the death penalty. But hate crime supporters want more than justice. They want vengeance.

Under federal law, one can be charged with a hate crime if the crime was motivated by hatred involving race, religion, national origin, color or sexual preference. Penalties for crimes against these groups already exist, but under the law such crimes are enhanced by what’s in the perpetrator’s mind. What ever happened to double jeopardy?  Simply put, a prosecutor can bring charges not only for an accused’s conduct, but they also can go after him for his thoughts. In the Four Lads song, Standing on The Corner, Watching All The Girls Go By, there is the lyric, “Brother, you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking.” Well, in the case of hate laws, apparently you can.

Having deeply troubling concerns over a thought police is nothing new.  George Orwell’s novel, 1984 paints a disturbing and chilling scenario where one can be accused of a crime, arrested and prosecuted merely for thoughts in your mind. “The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed… the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime they called it… Sooner or later they were bound to get you.”

Have you ever gotten so mad and pent up that you went into a rage and said things you really didn’t mean?  “That sorry, no count blank, blank, blank, blank!  I’ll get even with him!” Have you ever used a racial slur? Oh, no, you say.  But then, upon reflection, maybe you did once or twice. Does that make you a racist?

If there is supposed to be equal justice under the law, shouldn’t the punishment be based on the crime, and not on who the victim is?  If a deranged killer opens fire in a shopping mall, is this less of a crime than a maniac opening fire in a club filled with African Americans or gays?  Otherwise, when a life is taken, aren’t we making a determination that that the lives of one particular group have greater value than the lives of another group? Isn’t it a fundamental principle of a democracy that the punishment fits the crime, not the victim?

Ayn Rand wrote about the divisiveness that takes place when preferences are given under the law. “There is no sure way to infect mankind with hatred – brute, blind, virulent hatred – than by splitting it into ethnic groups or tribes.”

Freedom in America means the freedom to have bad thoughts.  I may not like what you are thinking, but ideas alone should not be a crime.  A criminal should be punished for bad acts, not bad thoughts. James Madison said it well: “We have extinguished forever the ambitious hope of making the laws for the human mind.”

When it comes to crime, yes there should be a protected class that gets full protection from the criminal justice system. That protected class should be all Americans.  And every American should be treated equally.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

 

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Jim Brown is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions, if expressed, are his own. His column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show, Common Sense, each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am Central Time on the Genesis Communication Network.

 

Published in Opinion