Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey have spoken out against the racist and homophobic attack on actor Jussie Smollett and think that Congress should get involved, according to NBC News.
Law enforcement authorities said the Empire star was attacked by two men in Chicago early Wednesday and hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Cops are looking into the incident as a hate crime.
“The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe,” said Booker. “To those in Congress who don't feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime—I urge you to pay attention.”
Last year, Booker and Harris, along with South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott, introduced The Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018, which would make lynching a federal hate crime.
Harris, who announced last week that she’s running for president in the 2020 elections, echoed Booker’s statements, adding that Smollett “is one of the kindest” people she knows.
“No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate,” she wrote.
Smollett received an outpouring of love and support from fans and celebrities following news of the attack.