Jussie Smollett staged an attack and has recently taken a "sweetheart deal" wherein forfeiting his $10k bond and having done 16 hours of community service was deemed good enough for having wasted police time and causing an immeasurable amount of cultural damage.
Why he was offered such an unreasonably perfect deal nobody has yet worked out. How he was allowed to still feign innocence after the fact I also can't fathom. What is clear is that, despite what his hoax aimed to pretend, his skin colour is not a hinderance to his success. It seems fame trumps even "white privilege" when it comes to being treated favourably.
I wouldn't want to see Jussie harshly punished, but his lack of remorse upsets me. If he had stated that he was utterly embarrassed by his actions and that would be seeking psychological help I would be fine with his walking away relatively unscathed, but his doubling down on his faux-victimhood is hard to swallow.
The damage done to the way society will now approach claims of hate crimes cannot be easily repaired. Maajid Nawaz was a victim of a genuine racist attack around the time that the story originally unfolded, and he was met with far more skepticism as a result of this shambles - that isn't okay.
Finally, I want to clumsily try to articulate this feeling that there appears to be a tactic of casting "just enough doubt" such that those biased in one direction can believe they were right, while those biased in another can do the same. The judicial system and the media reporting come together to be incapable of unequivocally saying that something is true. I know why it is this way, and I don't know how it could be otherwise, but it's bloody annoying.