The Rittenhouse Case Was Never About Race - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Rittenhouse Case Was Never About Race
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Kyle Rittenhouse, during reading of verdict on Nov. 19 (Fox News/YouTube screenshot)

President Joe Biden is “angry and concerned” about Friday’s “not guilty” verdicts on all counts against Kyle Rittenhouse — the then 17-year old who, acting in self-defense (according to the jury’s evidence-based conclusion), killed two men and injured a third during the riots in Kenosha following the police shooting of a thug named Jacob Blake. This is the same Joe Biden who baselessly characterized Rittenhouse as a white supremacist prior to the 2020 election and who never repudiated that slander despite an utter lack of evidence to support it. 

Sunlight Pertab, “a 19-year old Brown non binary person, who also struggles with mental illness and is currently working full time until they return to college…,” told the Washington Post that the verdict “sent a message that even White people who stood in solidarity with people of color were not safe.” As if a white (sorry, style-guide people, I think capitalizing races is moronic) convicted rapist-of-young-boys trying to wrest a gun away from its lawful owner after repeatedly challenging people to “shoot me, nigga” or another white guy swinging a skateboard at Rittenhouse’s head represent the truest forms of anti-racism.

Following the verdict, Bill de Blasio, arguably the worst mayor in New York City’s history (who nevertheless believes he can win a governor’s race in the state), called the two now-dead people who unwisely attacked an armed person “victims.” Of course, he’s also one of the few politicians who actually did defund police, apparently believing then as now that criminals are society’s true victims. De Blasio also said — after the trial, not months ago during the initial confusion about the facts of the case — that Rittenhouse “chose to take a gun across state lines,” which is false: the firearm was purchased in Wisconsin and never left the state.

But perhaps the most egregiously false and offensive take on the Rittenhouse verdict comes from a “journalist” named Erin Aubry Kaplan — whose views I’m sure are widely held within woke racist-masquerading-as-anti-racist circles — who writes that “the acquittal was another in a long line of legal wins for an undying force in this country: White animus against Black grievance.” 

Do tell, Ms. Kaplan, how a white guy not expressing any political views, looking to protect property and perhaps people, put out fires, and offer medical assistance, being attacked by other white guys and defending himself against them, says anything about anyone’s opinion of “Black grievance.”

The subtitle of Kaplan’s article bemoans “the embrace of Rittenhouse as a hero.” Let’s discuss, shall we?

Kyle Rittenhouse thought he could help protect his community (his father lives in Kenosha, despite the left-wing media constantly suggesting that Rittenhouse was essentially a stranger there). It was an overly ambitious goal for a 17-year old heading out into the chaos of rioters, looters, and a handful of actual protesters. 

The inclination to protect property and help others when law enforcement and other first responders can’t or won’t is admirable. But, in the immortal words of Detective Harry Callahan, a man’s got to know his limitations. Rittenhouse’s open-carrying an AR-15 into such a situation, especially alone, was a mistake. To be sure if I were walking into those riots I would have been armed, though I would have concealed … which Rittenhouse was not legally allowed to do so his choices were open carry, being unarmed, or staying away from the fray. Although Falstaff was justifying his own lack of apparent courage, today’s non-ironic use of “discretion is the better part of valor” would have been wise counsel for the young man despite a commendable motivation.

Kyle Rittenhouse strikes most as a kid with a savior complex who put himself in a dangerous situation, a situation best left to those with more experience and plenty of backup, none of which, contrary to the outrageous suggestion of the prosecutor, limits his right to defend himself with necessary force against bodily harm or death. (Would this guy lose his right to self-defense as well because he is walking down a street in Kenosha carrying an AR-15? I suspect not.)

Kyle Rittenhouse is neither a hero nor a villain. He’s a kid who made a slightly bad choice leading to events in which others made even worse choices. 

Ms. Kaplan says that the verdict “reinforced the validity of that animus” (against so-called Black grievance) “giving it alarming new currency and legitimacy.” It’s an assertion I heard from several liberal listeners of my radio show before and after the verdict: an acquittal would cause an epidemic of racist white guys shooting people in the street and getting away with it. Puhleeze. 

This isn’t complicated: As much as Biden, de Blasio, Kaplan, and non-binary brown teenagers want to claim otherwise, the Rittenhouse trial was not about race. 

The trial was about an overly aggressive assistant district attorney whose political ambitions caused him to bring charges before the facts were known and to “overcharge,” including “Count 4: first-degree intentional homicide,” something any objective observer would have known could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt … or beyond an unreasonable one, such as those held by Biden, de Blasio, and Kaplan.

Those who claim that the Rittenhouse trial was about race are the same people who claim that everything is about race. Erin Aubry Kaplan gave away the game when calling critical race theory — a fount of unreconstructed racism whose grifting practitioners earn big money, fifteen minutes of fame, and tenure by telling tens of millions of Americans of goodwill that we are evil racists who should suffer legally, professionally and financially — a “modest measure of racial redress.”

The Rittenhouse case wasn’t about race. It was about self-defense. The verdict was just, although most of us didn’t learn anything we didn’t already know: if someone is trying to hurt you, you are allowed to stop them. 

Despite the two-week spectacle, other than faux-outrage from the left and predictable protests in Brooklyn, looting in Chicago, and riots in the lawless and murder-plagued police-defunded progressive utopia of Portland, most of the nation reacted to Kyle Rittenhouse’s verdict with a yawn of “can we stop talking about this now?” Indeed, that is all this case ever deserved. 

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