If He Did It, He Did What We Do Every Day. Iyanla Vanzant Weighs In On Jussie Smollett

February 22, 2019  |  

2019 Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon - Red Carpet

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Leave it up to Iyanla Vanzant to provide some auntie wisdom in the time of deep confusion for some of us. Jussie Smollett and his alleged attack—which the Chicago Police Department is claiming he staged, is dominating the news cycle. And with 20-minute updates, it can be hard to sort all of it out and make sense of any of it.

And since Iyanla has made a whole career out of making sense out of confusion, she shared her thoughts on Jussie Smollett, the man and spoke to the fact that we may have more in common with him than we’d like to acknowledge. See what she had to say below.

How do we make sense of Jussie Smollett?

We make sense by saying, ‘Wow, look at us.’ He’s one of us. He did— if he did this, at the core he did what we do every day. He told a lie. That’s what he did. Now, we can make up whatever we want to make up about it. He told a lie, the same way the leader of this country does every day. At the core, if he did this, it means that he has an unheard, unspoken, unacknowledged pain. Because people in pain seek to get attention. If he did this, it speaks to how we aren’t really taught to really live in fame and live before the cameras. If he did this, if he did it, I say we each have to look at ourselves and ask ourselves if he were to come forward and tell the whole, complete truth right now, would we condemn him and persecute him? Would we rather him go through a legal battle and adversarial process? For what?

Would we let him tell the truth now? That’s not about Jussie. That’s about us.

Do you think the world would forgive him?

I would. I already have if he did this. Because I’ve done it. I’ve lied to get my way. In my other life, I’ve done it. People do it every day. People do it in fear, people do it pain, they do it anger. Instead of making this about him because he’s on “Empire,” let’s make it about the fragility of who we are as human beings. We are so fragile.

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