Simpson students respond to attack on Jussie Smollett

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

by Alyssa Craven, Video Editor

UPDATE: The New York Times reported Jussie Smollett was charged with a felony count of disorderly conduct after an Illinois grand jury found probable cause he staged the assault he had initially reported to police in January.

Jussie Smollett, an actor and LBGTQ activist told police that he was attacked in Chicago by two men. It is believed that he was targeted because he is African-American and is also part of the LGBTQ community.

“In light of the Jussie Smollett attack, Simpson Student Government Association, Black Student Union, and PRIDE are coordinating on a statement to be released condemning the nature of hate crimes and attacks,” said Kaylyn Fisher, president of PRIDE.

This event reminded students there are still people in the world that do not believe in equality for everyone.

“This attack reminds us that there is still work to be done,” Student Body Vice President Jailyn Seabrooks said. “These things are still happening, and we need to make sure in whatever way we can we’re working towards a more addressed world.”

Simpson has policies that are intended to help prevent attacks like these from happening on campus.

According to the Simpson student handbook, “Simpson College is also committed to providing an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination that constitutes harassment.  Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated.”

However, minority students may be worried that a hate crime similar to this could happen on campus.

“Simpson PRIDE will continue to take a stand against these bias-motivated crimes and attacks that show injustice in our society,” Fisher said.

Resources are available on campus to support students if an incident occurs.

“If a student is a victim of a crime, they should first seek medical help if necessary, file a report, and reach out for support. Resources on campus include SARA, a Mentor in Violence Prevention, or another trusted source,” Fisher said.

By going to these resources, students can get the help they need in order to help them with their situation.

“I think a lot of times people think attacks on black people or LGBTQ people is something that happened in the ‘60s or ‘80s before our time,” Seabrooks said. “This attack reminds me this is still a problem that we are dealing with.”