If the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse was an affirmation of our system of justice, the reaction to the not-guilty verdicts in his case exposes an ongoing, foundational threat to the rule of law.
The progressive clerisy — and its fellow-travelers in the media — had no interest in the facts or the law. They demonstrated this with easily disproven false statements about the trial from beginning to end. The only thing they cared about was an outcome in keeping with their ideological presuppositions.
Indeed, at the same time that much of the left-wing commentariat has pooh-poohed critical race theory as an obscure academic doctrine taught only in the law schools, it has clearly absorbed CRT’s contention that even seemingly race-neutral proceedings that have seemingly race-neutral outcomes are instruments of white supremacy.
This belief pervaded the cable-news coverage of the verdicts and the pronouncements of top-level Democratic elected officials from Kamala Harris to Gavin Newsom, in an ominous indication of how a once-fringe view now is ensconced at the heart of the center-Left.
The logical endpoint of the obsession with race — and the accompanying disdain for the protections afforded to defendants considered symbols of white power — would be the overthrow of ancient Anglo-American legal norms in favor of a politicized, kangaroo system of justice.
The Rittenhouse case didn’t seem a natural forum for racial contention, since it involved a white man shooting other white men. Why should the president of the NAACP, for instance, be exercised by the confrontation between Kyle Rittenhouse and Joseph Rosenbaum, a white 36-year-old mentally ill man who had spent significant time in prison? Neither is a cop, and neither is black; neither is an instrument of the state, and neither is a victim of racial discrimination.
Yet the Left saw everything in the case through a racial lens. Rittenhouse’s tears were “white tears.” He was a “vigilante” of the sort that once hunted down innocent African Americans. He was a white supremacist, as a video tweeted by then-candidate Joe Biden suggested.
Such was the racial focus that even after lavish coverage of the trial, some progressive commentators still thought, after the jury’s verdict, that Rittenhouse had shot three black men.
The Left’s theory is that since Kyle Rittenhouse was out that night in Kenosha to protect private property from getting ransacked and burned down, he is effectively a racist, and since his assailants were protesting supposedly under the banner of Black Lives Matter, they are black by proxy.
Nikole Hannah-Jones declared that this dynamic was set 400 years ago:
Ida Bae Wells@nhannahjonesIn this country, you can even kill white people and get away with it if those white people are fighting for Black lives. This is the legacy of 1619.
Really? The legacy of slavery is that one white person can’t chase down another white person and lurch toward him threateningly in the midst of civil unrest without triggering a self-defense claim? If slavery had never existed in America, would we allow white people to attack one another with impunity? What possible sense does this make?
Joy Reid piled on with a tweet saying that the Rittenhouse verdict was a sign that the system worked as intended:
Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid @JoyAnnReidWe knew, but it’s sometimes helpful to remind ourselves how America was designed to work. It continues to work as designed. We have learned again what is considered legal for *some* people to do in America. It’s helpful to know where you stand in your country. Be safe out there.
She, of course, didn’t mean this favorably. But she was right. The system is supposed to run based on the evidence and the law, regardless of the political passions surrounding a case. This is an ideal that has, tragically, been honored in the breach at times in our history, but that it is the standard we aspire to is one of the glories of this country.
At the end of the day, many of the people outraged by the Rittenhouse verdict have no use for the notions of armed self-defense, trial by jury, and reasonable doubt — long-standing bulwarks of our system — if they are obstacles to punishing and acquitting people based on a grand woke narrative of America.
In this worldview, Kyle Rittenhouse is what was once known as a class enemy — guilty by definition.
What woke progressives ultimately want is a justice system that looks more like campus sexual-assault tribunals, where the accused is presumed to be guilty based on his status and the tried-and-true practices of our adversarial system have been discarded. Then, Kyle Rittenhouse wouldn’t have stood a chance, and a righteous blow would ostensibly have been struck against white supremacy.
This is obviously a dangerous tendency that is going to get more pronounced and powerful in the years ahead. The Rittenhouse verdict shows that it hasn’t yet perverted our system of justice, but all people of good will who believe in fair play and the rule of law will have to resist it with all their might.
Content Source: By RICH LOWRY,https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/11/woke-racialism-is-a-clear-and-present-danger-to-the-american-system/
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