Just last week I posted a piece whose thesis was that, contrary to the beliefs of elites over the millennia, non-elites often behave more responsibly than those who appoint themselves our betters. The outcome of the elections of November 2nd demonstrated the point. From Seattle to Virginia, We the People rejected the woke narrative that all white people are racists, that the fewer the police the safer the community and that kids need to learn early to divide themselves into warring tribes.
The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict is more of the same.
For over a year now, much of the MSM and countless others have peddled a false narrative of the Rittenhouse case in which two men were killed and another injured in the context of the riots occurring in Kenosha, Wisconsin. That narrative held that Rittenhouse is a white supremacist who was bent on murder from the moment he decided to travel from his home in Illinois to the scene of the riots. There he stirred up conflict in order to kill people who were peacefully protesting the shooting of a black man by police.
The reality was entirely different. As videotape and witness testimony demonstrated, the riots were anything but peaceful and Rittenhouse was there to protect property that was in danger of damage or destruction. He began his stay by removing graffiti from the wall of a store and, that night, was pursued, violently attacked and only discharged his rifle to defend his own life.
A week or so into the trial, experienced defense lawyers were taking to the airwaves and the pages of national newspapers to opine that the only proper verdict would be acquittal on all counts. That came after the prosecution’s own witnesses testified against the state’s (and the leftist media’s) theory of the case. That the defendant had acted using reasonable means to protect his own life was apparent to all with a balanced view of the facts. The state’s case had collapsed.
But that didn’t deter the woke. Before, during and after the trial, leftist commentators shouted their standard claims of racism and white supremacy on the part of Rittenhouse, the judge, the jury and anyone else who posed a threat to their desire for vengeance.
Meanwhile, outside the courthouse, protesters tried to intimidate the jurors.
But the jurors refused to be swayed by the threats they knew about or the ones they could surely guess at. After all, they’d seen what happened during the Derek Chauvin trial when thinly-veiled threats of mayhem emanated from everyone from the president on down. So they could reasonably have anticipated a violent response by the mob to evenhanded justice.
Still, that’s exactly what they delivered. The state got nowhere close to proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and the jury delivered the only verdict possible. It was a clear-cut victory for the notion of impartial justice delivered by 12 everyday people and should be celebrated by all. As in the Chauvin case, the jury got it right, delivering a verdict based on the evidence and the applicable law.
But, while the jurors did their jobs responsibly and even courageously, those on the outside continued to bay like a pack of demented Beagles, demanding conviction, irrespective of the fact that the defendant had committed no legal wrong. The difference between the demands of the woke and a lynching had worn uncomfortably thin, but everyone from demonstrators in the streets to California Governor Gavin Newsom, seemed entirely unaware of the barbarism with which they so thoughtlessly made common cause.
As if to prove their own distance from reality, the woke have always imagined Rittenhouse’s actions as race-based wrongdoing. Somehow, the killing of two white men by another white man is both a racial incident and an anti-black one. To the woke mind, the killing of two white men by another white man, is an act of white supremacy. The stupidity runs that deep.
Well before the Rittenhouse verdict, journalist and commentator Glenn Greenwald pointed out what he saw as contradictory messages coming from the woke mob. One held that reform of the criminal justice system is urgently needed, that the police need to be defunded, policing reformed and sentencing made more lenient. But now we hear the opposite, that defendants like Kyle Rittenhouse be denied basic due process rights and spend their lives behind bars – just because.
I fully understand Greenwald’s point, but must cavil. I think the woke are being consistent in exactly the way a three-year-old is: they want what they want and they want it now. White males who injure others must go to prison or the guillotine, regardless. Anything else is racism.
For the woke, “equity” is a demand that outcomes change. Whether the process by which those outcomes are achieved is fair, just or even legal is irrelevant. So, if there aren’t enough black students attending a certain school, to the woke, the only thing to do is add black students, whether or not they qualify for admission and regardless of what other better-qualified applicants suffer as a result.
Much the same is going on in legal proceedings. The woke wanted Kyle Rittenhouse’s head and threw a tantrum when they didn’t get it. That the procedure to get to the result was fair and legal is irrelevant to them. Only one outcome was acceptable – a white man’s blood. This, you understand, is “equity.”
Fortunately, everyday people, like the ones that voted two weeks ago and who sat on the Rittenhouse jury, see more clearly and act more responsibly. May it continue.