[2/4/19] – ‘Empire’ Star, Jussie Smollett, Attacked in Possible Hate Crime

On Tuesday, January 29th, 2019, Empire star Jussie Smollett, who is African American and identifies as gay, reported that he was physically attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. The Chicago Police Department has opened an investigation into the possible hate crime. The investigation remains active as they police work to find the two men responsible for the attack. The possible hate crime highlights a disturbing trend in the United States. According to the FBI, hate crimes have increased by 17 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Empire Star, Jussie Smollett, Attacked in Possible Hate Crime










  • Writing: How prevalent are hate crimes in the United States?
  • Debate: Jussie Smollett’s attack should be considered a hate crime.
  • Poll: Do you believe that police have enough information to classify Jussie’s attack as a hate crime?
  • Short Answer: What is a hate crime?


Current Events Quiz

1. According to FBI data released last year, hate crimes based on ______ are the most common, making up about 60 percent of the total.

a. race/ethnicity

b. age

c. sexual orientation

d. gender


2. According to the police statement, the perpetrators of the crime ______.

a. shouted racial and homophobic slurs at the victim

b. struck the victim in the face

c. wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck

d. all of these are correct


3. The alleged attack took place in which of the following cities?

a. Chicago

b. Los Angeles

c. New York

d. Dallas


4. The attack against Jussie Smollett has been officially classified as a hate crime by the Chicago Police Department. (T/F)


5. The severity of hate violence against LGBTQ people is increasing. (T/F)


6. According to various news reports, the perpetrators have been identified, but not captured. (T/F)


Featured Image: Sister Circle Live/wikimediacommons


Leave a Reply