Jason Whitlock: Jussie Smollett made a ‘clown’ of his defenders and the grievance industrial complex

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Sportswriter and host of the “Fearless” podcast Jason Whitlock reacted to Jussie Smollett’s sentencing on Thursday, calling it a “bad day” for his defenders and leaders of the grievance industrial complex who rallied around the former “Empire” actor.

“This was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in a courtroom, and on TV,” Whitlock told Tucker Carlson. “I’m just blown away by the acting display and the nutty display from Jussie Smollett, and I feel sorry for all of the idiots that leaped to his defense and were crying for mercy. This is a bad day for the grievance industrial complex.”

Judge James Linn speaks during a sentencing hearing for actor Jussie Smollett at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Chicago. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)via AP, Pool)

Judge James Linn speaks during a sentencing hearing for actor Jussie Smollett at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Chicago. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)via AP, Pool)

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Smollett learned his long-awaited fate when he was sentenced on Thursday after being convicted last year of staging a hate crime against himself and lying about it to Chicago law enforcement. The 39-year-old was sentenced to thirty months felony probation, restitution to the city of Chicago in the amount of $120,106, a fine of $25,000, and 150 days in the Cook County Jail. 

The judge ordered Smollett to be immediately placed in custody, prompting a loud outcry from the actor.

“I am innocent. I could have said I was guilty a long time ago,” Smollett yelled as sheriff’s deputies led him out of the courtroom.

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“I’m not suicidal!” he screamed repeatedly with a clenched fist in the air.

Whitlock said that while it’s clear Smollett suffers from mental illness, the display in the courtroom may have been staged by the actor seeking to serve out his sentence in a mental facility. 

“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this,” Whitlock said. “Jussie Smollett may be crazy like a fox, and I say that because he certainly has mental issues, what the judge said about his narcissism and the dark side to him, he certainly has it, but maybe that nutty display today was actually a play that he does these 150 days inside a psych ward or mental hospital, where he thinks he will be safer.”

Actor Jussie Smollett at his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Chicago. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

Actor Jussie Smollett at his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Chicago. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)
(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Whitlock added, “On a more serious side, my other thought that just ran through my mind, so many people from Jesse Jackson to the NAACP to so many people in the elite so-called civil rights movement, social justice movement, attached their credibility to that guy, a narcissist with a dark side who did something really heinous here, who clearly is starved for attention. They attached so much of their credibility to him.

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“I felt like what we just saw from Jussie when his sentence was rendered was like that movement, the social justice warrior movement, the civil rights movement, were these the death throes for Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the NAACP,” said Whitlock, “because I’m just not sure how you attach your credibility to that guy, and he makes a clown out of himself and you, I don’t know how you survive that.”

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