Democratic presidential candidates were quick to weigh in on the attack that hit the news at the end of January, with some using vitriolic language to denounce it:
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
To those in Congress who don't feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie. https://t.co/o8ilPu68CM— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) January 30, 2019
The racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett is a horrific instance of the surging hostility toward minorities around the country. We must come together to eradicate all forms of bigotry and violence. https://t.co/2accVEJrCG— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 29, 2019
This is a sickening and outrageous attack, and horribly, it's the latest of too many hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color. We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it. Praying for Jussie and his family. https://t.co/eylvxhLT0u— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 29, 2019
Racism, homophobia, & all forms of bigotry & hate have no place in this country. The fight for equality isn’t over – no one should have to live in fear of being beaten on the street because of who they are. https://t.co/CF0G95CkTc— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 29, 2019
While the struggle for basic hate crime legislation continues here in Indiana, this horrible attack calls all Americans to stand against hatred and violence in all its forms. https://t.co/AfXJt8DpOf— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 29, 2019
This is so heartbreaking. @JussieSmollett, you are not alone - we are with you. We must stand up and condemn this hate, bigotry & violence wherever it rears its ugly head. No one should live in fear because of the color of their skin or who they love.— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) January 30, 2019
1/ If the reports of Jussie Smollett's attack last night are true, and this was a racially and homophobically-motivated attack, then God-willing, justice will be swift and thorough.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 29, 2019
2/ That this happens in today's America is not surprising, but it is no less heartbreaking. This shakes us to our core.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 29, 2019
They all jumped in and denounced it, with both Booker and Harris calling it a ‘modern day lynching’.
Notably Julian Castro was the only one to give the conditional caveat “if the reports are true’. Bet he’s glad he did that now, heh.
I hate the vitriolic language, but I don’t necessarily blame them for pouncing on this with a statement. They are all running for president and they are all in the spotlight. If they didn’t release a statement condemning the attack, their potential voters would have been demanding they do.
The truth is they got played by Smollett. What’s ironic is that now both Gabbard and Booker aren’t commenting further because they want to wait for the investigation to play out. Yeah…
It’s just another lesson for everyone to ‘wait for the facts’ before jumping the gun.
In case you are wondering, I got this list of tweets from CNN. So if I left anyone out, blame them.