Friday, November 19, 2021

Reactions to the Rittenhouse Acquittal

 I don't know what the pundits on CNN have been saying about the acquittal, but I caught some of the CNN coverage shortly after the verdict was announced and was actually surprised by how neutral and reasonable was the content. I suspect a lot of liberals have realized that they were duped by the progressives and other leftists about what happened the night Rittenhouse had to defend himself. 

    But that hasn't meant that the radical leftists have changed their tune. Here is a short round-up of articles from the lunatic fringe:

    Conservatives are encouraging white vigilantes like Rittenhouse to police progressive spaces by all means. As one Slate article put it last year, “'Own the Libs' Is Gradually Morphing Into 'Kill the Libs.'”

    The jury’s decision was a dangerous endorsement of that vision.

  • Zeeshan Aleem, also writing at MSNBC, opined that "Kyle Rittenhouse's not guilty verdict is a symptom of a bigger sickness."  Aleem claims that "the Rittenhouse verdict easily reads like a referendum on the nation’s ongoing clashes over the state of racism in American life: not just an expression of mercy toward Rittenhouse, but white vigilantism." The author also had three other takeaways:
    1. That the verdict was only possible because of what the author believed to be overly generous self-defense laws in Wisconsin.
    2. That the event itself was the result of widespread gun ownership.
    3. That Rittenhouse is a sign of a growing vigilante culture.

We have to act: It should be clearly illegal under federal law to menace protestors while armed. The right to keep and bear arms must not obliterate the right to peaceably assemble. We have to consider this an act of political intimidation on its face moving forward, if the ballot is meant to prevail over the bullet.

    Protesters and civil rights groups said Friday they are outraged but not surprised at the not-guilty verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse’s racially charged homicide trial.

    Demonstrators outside the Kenosha courthouse lashed out with anger shortly after his acquittal, calling it a shameful racial double standard.

    “If [Rittenhouse] was black, he would have been f–king executed on the street,” a protester, who identified himself as Brandon, said to The Post. “If he was black, he would have been dead or in jail.”

    Another protester shouted through a bullhorn, “Guilty, guilty, guilty!

    “The whole damn system is guilty as hell!”

    A female protester shouted “F–k America!” before collapsing onto her knees on the courthouse steps.

“Ever since Trump, hate has been unbottled and uncloseted,” said Jill Ferguson, from nearby Milwaukee. “This is a precedent-setting case — I have eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild coming. I’m terrified for them.”

 The foreign media reaction was also pretty much as you would expect:

  • German media giant, Deutsche Welle, mostly focused on the negative reactions to the verdict after getting through the facts about the case.
  • The BBC, surprisingly, had what I would consider an evenhanded article about the acquittal, but a follow up article--"Kyle Rittenhouse case: Why it so divides the US" by Nomia Iqbal & Anthony Zurcher--trots out the same themes in other leftist pieces that the right to self-defense needs to be more narrowly circumscribed, questioning a racial motivation for Kyle not being arrested when he surrendered (the officers didn't realize he was trying to surrender), raising the specter of vigilantism, and, of course, calls for more gun control. Interesting, they also fault the judge--a Democratic appointee--as being pro-defense: something the Democrats consider important when it comes to "their" defendants.
  • The Guardian's coverage was pretty much as bad as the second BBC article above--except that was its supposedly factual coverage. But the reporter that drafted the article obviously wasn't the brightest bulb in the bunch as demonstrated by this excerpt:
The verdicts of not guilty were read for each charge Rittenhouse faced, including for crimes normally classed as murder in most courts but in Wisconsin were charged as intentional homicide, reckless homicide and attempted intentional homicide.

The rest of the article was a sympathetic recounting of the wailing and gnashing of teeth from various leftists. But that one article wasn't enough, so the Guardian followed up with "‘A travesty’: reaction to Kyle Rittenhouse verdict marks divided US" which lists even more of the reaction from the left including this:

    “The verdict in the #KyleRittenhouse case is a travesty and fails to deliver justice on behalf of those who lost their lives as they peacefully assembled to protest against police brutality and violence,” tweeted the NAACP.

    Bernice King, a minister and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr, said on Twitter: “Justice is not just about verdicts. It is a continuum. We can galvanize around changing our culture, including challenging the difference in how a Black male teen would have been engaged in Kenosha.”

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that if the races had been reversed--a black teen shooting three black men--it wouldn't have even barely been newsworthy because it is such a common occurrence in the Milwaukee area.

    If this all sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. According to the law, this was a very cut-and-dry self-defense shooting, unfortunately carried out by someone who wasn’t even 18 years old at the time. 

    And Binger has found himself at the center of controversy so many times in recent weeks because he’s been prosecuting a case that wasn’t based on fact. Celebrities and liberal activists continue to refer to Rittenhouse as a “white supremacist” and yet absolutely nothing has been evidenced to prove this. 

    This entire case comes down to the fact that Rittenhouse happened to be on the wrong side. He was not on the side of rioting demonstrators, he carried an AR-15, and he played video games. This is what the prosecution used to try and prove motive. They were simply painting a picture of someone the culture at large currently shames. Binger’s arguments had no legal basis because they were merely half-hearted attempts to try to bring sense to the Twitter debates that filtered Rittenhouse’s actions and somehow determined he was a racist, intent on hunting down righteous liberal protesters. 

    Politics has long infected the US justice system, but the Rittenhouse trial shows it has been infected on a dangerously individual basis. Prosecutors such as Binger are arguing cases based on radical political beliefs and a deeply flawed understanding of the law fueled by those radical beliefs. No prosecutor cashing a state check every payday should be caught in a courthouse arguing that simply having a weapon means you have murderous intent, or playing video games means you fantasize about killing others. 

Hear, hear.

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