Gospel songwriter Fred Hammond sends prayers for ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett following brutal attack
Article By Alexis Davis // EEW Magazine
Gospel singer-songwriter Fred Hammond may not agree with “Empire” star Jussie Smollett’s gay lifestyle, but he isn’t willing to sit back and let hate prevail.
The 58-year-old award-winning composer tweeted, “Prayers go up for Jussie Smollett,” and condemned the brutal attack on the well-known actor.
Smollett told police he was walking downtown near the Chicago River at around 2 a.m. when two masked men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him, threw an "unknown substance" on him and put a rope around his neck.
TMZ reported the substance was bleach and the assailants appeared to be Trump supporters.
The 36-year-old actor, who plays the gay character Jamal Lyon on the Fox television show, took himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was discharged.
When word got out that Smollett had been attacked, the news began trending all over Twitter, as supporters and well-wishers directed kind messages to him.
While some members of the faith community have remained silent due to differences in belief systems regarding homosexuality, Hammond is not one of them.
“As humans we may not agree on tons of issues,” noted the “No Weapon” singer, adding, “but one thing I do agree with [is] any group of people who believe [in] senseless violence and hate crimes are from the dark side of humanity.”
Gospel singer, Erica Campbell, 46, also posted a warm message to Smollett on social media. She said, “I’m praying for your speedy recovery. Sending love your way! You’re such a beautiful soul!”
The nationally syndicated Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell host, who blames polarizing Republican President Donald Trump for the rise in hate and bigotry, continued, “I’m so sad and so angry. I don’t understand how (not all) but some Evangelicals support this hateful, ungodly President. How does someone in their right mind not see he’s behind this uprising of terrorism?”
Hammond, who chose not to politicize his views, ended his message to Smollett by saying, “God’s healing power rest on you fam.”
At the time of writing, the Chicago police say they've reviewed hundreds of hours of footage from downtown surveillance cameras but haven't found footage yet of the alleged attack.