The United States of America, United Kingdom and most of the western world adhere to a very important legal principle: the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial.\r\n\r\nThe\u00a0presumption of innocence\u00a0is the\u00a0legal principle\u00a0that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty. In many\u00a0countries and states, presumption of innocence is a\u00a0legal right\u00a0of the accused in a\u00a0criminal trial, and it is an international\u00a0human right\u00a0under the\u00a0UN's\u00a0Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11. Under the presumption of innocence, the\u00a0legal burden of proof\u00a0is thus on the\u00a0prosecution, which must collect and present compelling evidence to the trier of fact.\r\n\r\nWe are currently living in a world where some very prominent and influential people are trying to remove this basic human right, which is not only in contrast to the previously mentioned law but is deeply irresponsible and we will set about explaining why in this video.\r\n\r\nLet\u2019s start with Tarana Burke; social activist and community organiser and founder of the #metoo movement who recently tweeted her insistence that we MUST start by believing alleged victims.\r\n\r\nAs commenters on twitter rightly pointed out, this is problematic for many reasons:\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li>It defies law within the united stated and many other countries<\/li>\r\n \t<li>It is deeply irresponsible to believe any and all accusations made against an individual when the evidence overwhelmingly points to a case of false accusation<\/li>\r\n \t<li>It encourages witch hunts and trials by media. Any reasonable person would agree that serious accusations against a person should be dealt with in a court of law and not on twitter.<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\nLikely, when Tarana refers to \u2018events in the news\u2019 she is talking about the alleged hate crime hoax involving Jussie Smollett. One the strangest and biggest celebrity news stories of the year so far.\r\n\r\nOn January 29<sup>th<\/sup> 2019, Smollett alleged that he was attacked in\u00a0Chicago's\u00a0Streeterville\u00a0neighborhood,\u00a0in what was initially investigated as a\u00a0hate crime.\r\n\r\nHe told police that he was attacked outside his apartment building by two white men in\u00a0ski masks\u00a0who called him\u00a0racial\u00a0and\u00a0homophobic\u00a0slurs, and said "This is MAGA country,\u201d and used their hands, feet, and teeth as weapons in the assault.\r\n\r\nAccording to a statement released by the\u00a0Chicago Police Department, the two suspects then "poured an unknown liquid" onto Smollett and put a\u00a0noose\u00a0around his neck. Smollett said that he fought them off.\r\n\r\nThe police were called after 2:30 AM;\u00a0when they arrived around 2:40 AM, Smollett had a white rope around his neck. Smollett said that the attack may have been motivated by his criticism of the\u00a0Trump administration\u00a0and that he believed that the alleged assault was linked to the threatening letter that was sent to him earlier that month.\r\n\r\nOn January 30, many public figures expressed support for Smollett on\u00a0social media.\u00a0Entertainment industry figures and celebrities such\u00a0Shonda Rhimes\u00a0and\u00a0Viola Davis, tweeted their outrage over the attack and support for Smollett.\u00a0Democratic\u00a0senators and presidential candidates\u00a0Kamala Harris\u00a0and\u00a0Cory Booker\u00a0both described the attack as a modern-day\u00a0lynching.\r\n\r\nThe news quickly went global, was discussed on every single major news network around the world and instantly went viral on social media platforms. People from all 4 corners of the earth were outraged at what appeared to be an utterly repugnant act of racism and homophobia.\r\n\r\nShortly after, Smollett began to face scepticism regarding his allegations due to apparent inconsistencies in his account of events. He responded by saying that he believed that, if he had said his attackers were\u00a0Mexicans,\u00a0Muslims\u00a0or\u00a0black people, "the doubters would have supported me much more... And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now."\r\n\r\nSmollett gave a detailed and emotional account of the alleged attack shortly thereafter to ABC news.\r\n\r\nFootage emerged of Smollett at his first performance since the alleged attack, seemingly relatively unscathed and defiantly referred to himself as "the gay tupac"\r\n\r\nOn February 13, Chicago Police raided the home of two "persons of interest" in the case. The men were two brothers of\u00a0Nigerian\u00a0descent, who were paid\u00a0extras\u00a0on\u00a0<em>Empire<\/em>, the show that Smollett stars in. Police recovered bleach and other items from the home.\u00a0The brothers were held in\u00a0police custody\u00a0on suspicion of battery but were not charged.\u00a0According to the brothers' attorney, they know Smollett from working on the show, and have also spent time with him at a gym.\r\n\r\nThe two men were released without being charged with a crime, with Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stating their release was "due to new evidence" from the interrogations.\r\n\r\nOn February 16, two unnamed Chicago police sources informed\u00a0CNN\u00a0that Chicago police had discovered evidence indicating that Smollett had paid the two brothers $3,500 to stage the attack. Financial records indicate that the brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett's neck at a hardware store in\u00a0Ravenswood\u00a0over the weekend of January 25.\r\n\r\nSurveillance footage was released of the two Nigerian brothers, who were seen buying masks, gloves and caps hours before the alleged attack:\r\n\r\nOn February 20<sup>th<\/sup> , Smollett was charged with a class 4 felony for\u00a0filing a false police report.\r\n\r\nMembers of the LA civil rights activist group, who originally supported Smollett, distanced themselves from him and called for his arrest as the new evidence came to light:\r\n\r\nOn February 21, 2019, Smollett surrendered himself at the Chicago Police Department's Central Booking station. CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that Smollett was named as suspect in a criminal investigation for filing a fake police report, under a class 4 felony. Smollett faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison.\r\n\r\nDespite the heavy evidence currently against Smollett, it is important to note we do <strong>still <\/strong>believe in the presumption of his innocence and a fair trial and that applies to Jussie as well. But at the same time, we ask \u2013 is it reasonable that 2 presumably innocent men were, by many, immediately believed to be guilty at the word of one man, who had, according to the police, a financial motive to lie? Had the surveillance evidence not been found \u2013 would those two men, or two other innocent men be deemed to be guilty? While you ponder the wider implications of such dangerous reasoning, let\u2019s take another look at Tarana\u2019s reaction to the story:\r\n\r\nIt is rather strange that the founder of #metoo would continue to blindly believe any and all accusations, especially since former \u2018MeToo\u2019 leader, Asia Argento, has been accused of sexually assaulting actor\u00a0Jimmy Bennett\u00a0in 2013 when he was 17 and she was 37. Argento had first met Bennett when he played Argento's son in the 2004 film\u00a0<em>The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things<\/em>\u00a0when Bennett was 7 years old. The alleged assault occurred in 2013 when he was only two months past his 17th birthday and she was 37 in a hotel room in California where the age of\u00a0consent\u00a0is 18.\u00a0According to Bennett, in their encounter Argento gave him alcohol, performed\u00a0oral sex\u00a0on him and engaged him in\u00a0sexual intercourse. The actress had quietly arranged a $380,000 nondisclosure settlement with him in the months following her accusations of sexual assault towards Harvey Weinstein.\r\n\r\nArgento denied the allegations, claiming that she never had a sexual encounter with Bennett and explained the settlement to the alleged victim by claiming that her partner\u00a0Anthony Bourdain\u00a0paid him to avoid negative publicity.\r\n\r\nFollowing Argento's denials, a photograph of her topless in bed with Bennett was published, as well as her alleged admission of sex with him in text messages to\u00a0Rain Dove.\r\n\r\nIn a letter published online in September 2018, Argento's attorney admits there was a sexual encounter, but claims that Bennett "sexually attacked" Argento.\r\n\r\nAfter increasing outrage at the blatant hypocrisy of the metoo movement, Tarana finally weighed in on the issue:\r\n\r\nTarana finally acknowledged that men too can be victims of sexual crimes, in a series of tweets that were considered by many, too little, too late.\r\n\r\nAs many people have pointed out to Tarana, the presumption of guilt despite evidence is exactly this type of thinking is extremely dangerous and has directly resulted people such as Emmett Till\u2019s murder.\r\n\r\nEmmett Till was born on July 25<sup>th<\/sup> 1941.\u00a0 Born and raised in Chicago, during his summer vacation in 1955, at the age of 14 he was visiting relatives in the\u00a0Mississippi Delta\u00a0region. He spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the white married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Till was accused of flirting with or\u00a0whistling at\u00a0Bryant. In 1955, Carolyn Bryant testified that Till made physical and verbal advances. Several nights later, Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam went armed to Emmett\u2019s great-uncle's house and abducted the boy. They took him away and beat and mutilated him before shooting him in the head and sinking his body in the\u00a0Tallahatchie River. Three days later, Till's body was discovered and retrieved from the river.\r\n\r\nTill's body was returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket. The open-coffin funeral that was held exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till's bloated, mutilated body.\r\n\r\nIn September 1955, Bryant and Milam were acquitted\u00a0of Till's kidnapping and murder. Protected against\u00a0double jeopardy, the two men publicly admitted in a 1956 interview with\u00a0<em>Look<\/em>\u00a0magazine that they had killed Till. Decades later, Mrs. Bryant disclosed that she had fabricated part of the testimony regarding her interaction with Till, specifically the portion where she accused Till of grabbing her waist and uttering obscenities; "that part's not true," Bryant stated in a 2008 interview with historian\u00a0Timothy Tyson.\r\n\r\nYou might be thinking \u2013 thank goodness we have moved on since those days \u2013 and I would agree that many improvements have been made in our society since the 1950\u2019s , particularly in regards to the civil rights movement.\r\n\r\nBut Tarana Burke and many others are forcing us back into an era where evidence and facts are disregarded to make way for slander, character assassination and witch hunts.\r\n\r\nTarana has openly congratulated Dan Reed (director of Leaving Neverland) and offered her support to accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege that Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children.\r\n\r\nDespite the many inconsistencies in Robson\u2019s and Safecuck\u2019s stories that we have detailed for you in our previous videos;\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li>despite the fact that Michael Jackson was acquitted during a criminal trial on all 14 counts in his lifetime<\/li>\r\n \t<li>despite the fact that Michael Jackson was investigated covertly for years by the FBI, who found no incriminating evidence despite all efforts to do so<\/li>\r\n \t<li>despite the fact that Robson testified during the 2005 in defence of Jackson, who later said that he did not realise (as an adult) that the alleged rape by Jackson was \u2018abuse\u2019 at the time<\/li>\r\n \t<li>and despite suing the estate of Michael Jackson only when he was turned down for a lead role in an MJ Cirque de Soleil tribute show,<\/li>\r\n \t<li>despite Safechuck\u2019s graphic allegations of abuse eerily echoing the fictitious book of Victor Gutierrez called \u2018\u2019Michael Jackson was my lover\u2019\u2019, who was successfully sued by Jackson and was ordered to pay him \u00a32.7 million in damages,<\/li>\r\n \t<li>despite both accusers cases being thrown out of court,<\/li>\r\n \t<li>despite all of this \u2026 Tarana choses to put her faith in 2 known liars who have a huge financial motive instead of carefully examining the evidence in order to reach a reasonable conclusion.<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\nTarana is not alone in holding this troubling ideology of abandoning facts and reason to make an informed decision. Currently in most states in the US and in the UK, there is no law to protect the deceased from libel or defamation. So the media are free to run any and every story about Michael Jackson and any other deceased person, that they please, regardless of the accuracy.\r\n\r\nIt is entirely forgivable that people might give abuse accusers the benefit of the doubt when telling \u00a0stories of abuse. But should the same courtesy not be given to the accused? Is it not reasonable to look at both sides and to make an informed decision based on evidence? Should we not demand that journalists, politicians and leaders approach such allegations with a balanced and fair view? Or should we remove the judicial process entirely and replace it with trial by media?