Smollett AND Chicago owe Trump supporters an apology

By DOUG E. IBENDAHL • February 23, 2019

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Many are now saying Jussie Smollett needs to apologize to Chicago. But why? How is the hate exhibited by Smollett towards President Trump and his supporters materially different from the hate many pillars of the Chicago community direct towards President Trump on a daily basis?

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Smollett specifically set out to defame Trump supporters, and by association President Trump himself. Smollett’s long running hatred for Donald Trump is well documented in past interviews, and some of his tweets attacking the President are especially vile.

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From the evidence we have thus far, it certainly appears that Smollett simply decided to take his hate to the next level.

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Okay, sure, Smollett crossed a line. He actually allegedly went out in the cold, spent his own money, hired assistants, and choreographed a fiction intended to portray Trump supporters in a false light. Had Smollett stayed focused on channeling his Trump hate exclusively through his keyboard like so many in the media do, he would have been fine.

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But where would Smollett get the idea that hating on all things Trump would win him kudos in Chicago or that being victimized by the President’s supporters would make him a hero deserving of an even larger paycheck?

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Well, let’s start at the top with the soon-to-be-former mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who gloats about declaring Chicago a “Trump-Free Zone.”

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And hardly a day goes by that the city’s two dying dailies, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times aren’t lazily rehashing the very fake “Trump is a racist” narrative.

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Let’s also not forget Chicago maintains the distinction of being the only place in America proven unsafe for a Trump rally, after leftist violence forced cancellation of the then-candidate’s March 11, 2016 event on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. One of the anti-Trumpers onsite and proudly organizing the hate was a man with a lot of experience with hate and violence, an actual terrorist and Barack Obama’s old chum, Bill Ayers.

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I don’t recall any condemnation from Mayor Emanuel or any other official in Chicago in response to the violent trampling of free speech in Chicago. In fact, I’m quite sure most were elated that Trump was forced to cancel his rally.

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Similarly, and while of course they’ll never admit it, the biggest disappointment amongst the Democrat establishment in this town over the Jussie Smollett affair centers on the fact no hate crime was actually committed by Trump supporters.

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The Mayor and the rest were so looking forward to riding their high horses–finally they had something to back-up their hackneyed talking points.

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Maybe we should give Smollett some credit. While I definitely see him as a self-centered, egotistical fraud who deserves at least some jail time if he’s convicted on the charge, at least he recognized that if you’re going to call Trump and his supporters racist, you need some evidence.

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Unfortunately for Smollett and his fellow Trump haters, actual evidence of Donald Trump’s racism is non-existent. We’re talking about a man who is working literally night and day on three main objectives: keeping Americans safe, creating jobs & opportunity, and building stuff.

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And our President has been very successful on all fronts. In just two years he’s already exceeded the high expectations I had for him. If Chicago politicians could put their petty hate aside, city residents could be sharing in the rebirth much of America is already enjoying.

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Imagine for example if we didn’t have a mayor who buffoonishly declares Chicago a “Trump-Free Zone” — who knows where we might be on getting federal help with much needed infrastructure repair and new construction. Plus how many new jobs? And consider inner-city kids and the prospects for a better future they would have if Chicago leaders would work with the President on school choice, an initiative Trump is eager to expand.

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Unfortunately, the Chicago Democrat establishment worries more about losing control of a voter base they’ve always taken for granted than in actually helping those people they pretend to care about. Trump Administration policies offer liberation, so of course he’s despised by the overseers.

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While Democrat officials focus on hating the President, a person is shot about every three hours in the city, and children remain trapped in horribly failing public schools with little hope of ever getting one of the professional or tech jobs Chicago does offer.

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Perhaps most telling, the same Democrat officials who would eagerly stand with Jussie Smollett in leveling the racist smear at President Trump, preside over a Chicago that lost 24% of its black population in the years from 2000 to 2017. There’s little doubt even more black families would be voting with their feet and fleeing unsafe neighborhoods and awful schools if they could, but lack the resources to do so.

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Chicagoans do deserve an apology, and it needs to come from our public officials.

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And while they’re at it, those Chicago politicians can join Jussie Smollett in making a past-due apology to President Trump and his tens of millions of supporters.

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Rahm Emanuel could leave office on a positive note instead of as a failure if he delivered that apology donning a “Make America Great Again” hat. I’ll even lend him mine.

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Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.

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