In his first performance since surviving a racist, homophobic attack in Chicago last week, Jussie Smollett told the crowd, “I couldn’t let those mother fuckers win.”
Performing for an audience of more than 300 fans at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California, Smollett also addressed some of the rumors about the attack:
“I was bruised, but my ribs were not cracked; they were not broken. I went to the doctor immediately...I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors in L.A. and Chicago cleared me to perform but said to take care, obviously. And above all, I fought the fuck back.”
Police are investigating the January 29 attack on Smollett as a “possible hate crime,” after two men wearing ski masks yelled racial and homophobic slurs while they beat him, placed a noose around his neck, and doused him with an unknown chemical substance.
Earlier this week, Smollett’s family issued a statement that called the attacks “domestic terrorism”:
“We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such.”
Chicago police are still looking for two persons of interest in connection with the attacks. The suspects are described as white men, one of whom was “5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1 and about 170 pounds,” according to The Washington Post.
After his encore, Smollett told the crowd to “Be as black, be as brown, be as gay as the fuck you want to be. Now is the time. Be blacker, be gayer, do it right the fuck now.”