The aftermath of the Rittenhouse verdict
As is my habit as a commentator, I do more than absorb news reports – because they are generally unreliable. If you want to weigh the facts of a situation, you have to get to primary sources. In the Rittenhouse case, that means listening to the actual testimony and view the videos.
Based on what I saw and heard, I previously expressed my belief that Rittenhouse would be acquitted – and acquittal was the just outcome. In fact, I found the evidence overwhelming in his favor. I believed that any objective observer would see this as a clear case of self-defense. But objective observers of politicized cases are few and far between.
I believe that was why virtually all the pre-verdict television analysts expressed their belief that Rittenhouse would be acquitted – even those who said they would be unhappy with that outcome. But once the verdict was in, the media talking heads spun the case beyond the borders of reality.
Interestingly, their original assessment that Rittenhouse would walk, was not based on the actions of the judge. Most of those who were lawyers and prosecutors said he was a good judge, and his calls were proper. That was not the post-verdict view.
Initially, they did not call the jury a bunch of racists. In fact, as the jury deliberations carried on for several days, most observers opined that they were doing a good job by taking their time and considering all the evidence and the jury instructions very carefully. The left-wing media opinion flipped after the verdict.
I was most impressed by those with legal backgrounds and courtroom experience – not so much the jaded political pundits and race baiting activists who wanted a conviction regardless of the evidence – and were poised to use an acquittal to fuel their false narratives.
Unfortunately, once the verdict was in, it was the jaded political pundits and the race-baiting activists who dominated the news. They reacted as if this was one of those kangaroo court deals that typified the old Democrat southland. They played the race card even though neither Rittenhouse nor those he shot were minorities.
The most provocative and incendiary responses came from MSNBC … of course. The Joy Reid show was hosted by Morgan State University Professor Jason Johnson — with Reid making a guest appearance on her won show. The panel included Al Sharpton, former federal prosecutor Paul Butler, and Elie Mystal. Not only was the panel all black, but it was composed of the most strident race card players – using MSNBC’s accommodating platform and outright misrepresentations of fact to stoke racial anger.
They presented the verdict as empowering white males to go around willy-nilly shooting peaceful black protesters indiscriminately — and then plead self-defense. Anyone who followed the case and educated themselves on the self-defense laws would know that is totally untrue. Self-defense is not an easy case to win unless the facts are compelling – and it never applies unless there is a clear case of aggression on the part of those killed.
The problem with the left is that they do not seek justice but insist that their side must always win — evidence be damned. Most Americans – white and black – saw what happened in the George Floyd case – and called it a murder. And police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder based on the FACTS. This case was different.
The FACTS established that Rittenhouse met the legal requirements for self-defense. And the jury correctly acquitted him.
But those on the left refuse to accept a just decision in a court of law. Suddenly, it was the judge putting his thumb on the scale in favor of Rittenhouse. Suddenly, the verdict was attributable to the failure of the prosecutors. Suddenly, the three rioters were public servants sacrificing their lives and bodies to stop a shooter. Had they not attacked Rittenhouse, no one would have been shot. The riot, itself, was referred to as a peaceful protest.
In our justice system, the criminal background of the three thugs cannot be entered into evidence. But in response to those on the left making heroes of them in the court-of-public-opinion, it is reasonable to actually look at the character of the three.
On CNN, Chirs Cuomo said that none of the individual involved had records of violence. What? All three of those shot by Rittenhouse had convictions for an array of serious felonies – assault, domestic violence, and even sexual abuse of children under the age of 10 in the case of Joseph Rosenbaum.
Still unanswered is whether authorities will charge Gaige Grosskreutz. He was the fellow who pointed gun at Rittenhouse and established the strongest case for self-defense. As a convicted felon, Grosskreutz was not allowed to possess a gun. He could get up to 60 years on that charge. But will he be above the law based on prosecutorial discretion?
Whatever happened in those few minutes of confrontation, the dead and the wounded were not nice guys. They were thugs and worse. They were not peacefully protesting. They were rioting.
What bothers me most about the left-wing media reports is that those who produce those shows and appear on those shows are not stupid. They can see the same facts as everyone else. They are even more informed than the average citizens – and maybe that is the problem.
They twist and spin the story to reinforce their false narrative that white folks in America are hopelessly – even genetically –racist. These media personalities are intentionally stoking racial division for political and personal reasons. Virtually all the black personalities on CNN and MSNBC played the race card – all the way up to the Vice President of the United States. Booker T. Washington was spot on when he said:
“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”
Those who propagandize rather that report are the profiteers of prejudice – achieving fame and fortune by stirring the pot of racism. They cause the unrest and divisiveness they purport to oppose. Their gross misreporting of the facts and they fraudulent spin have converted too much of the so-called news media into a propaganda mill. They are not journalists. The Rittenhouse case is just the latest example.
So, there ‘tis.