The evidence was plain and present.
- Rosenbaum was an aggressive, unstable man all night, making threats and trying to start fights with people and starting fires. This is on video. He chased Rittenhouse. This is on video. Rittenhouse retreated. This is on video.
- After shooting Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse again retreated. He told people, including the third person shot, he was running to the police who were fully visible and not far away. This is on video. He continued to retreat until he was chased down and attacked. First by an object to the back of the head, then by a man kicking him in the face, then by Huber with the skateboard.
This is on video.
- The third victim pulled back, raised his hands, then pulled his gun forward towards Rittenhouse after Rittenhouse pointed his rifle away.
This is on video. The victim testified to this under oath.
If people are angry, blame the media. They misled us on all of this from day one. What we were told was not true. That Rittenhouse was the one chasing Rosenbaum. That Rittenhouse was randomly shooting people. That he crossed state lines with a gun and driven by his mother. Again and again - for over a year, and with the video evidence available for all to see - we were told lie after lie, mischaracterization after mischaracterization by the media.
Why? Ratings. Partisanship. Polarization. Right now, they're salivating at the prospect of riots. "Oh no, wouldn't that just be the worst for us?!" And we let them do this, because we get lazy and readily believe what fits with our politics, beliefs, and narratives without questioning as vigorously as we should. And I include myself in this. I do it sometimes, too.
When I first started watching this trial, I had assumed Rittenhouse was guilty. I knew little. Only stories here and there. What got repeated on social media. Look at DU. Even during the trial, all kinds of false information was posted again and again, despite efforts to correct it. People thought the victims were black. A year after this all happened, still it persisted.
Justice cannot be about partisan teams. It can't be "We lost this one. Maybe we'll win the next one." People cannot be guilty just because we dislike them and they're on the "other team." They have to be guilty because of what the law and facts say. That's it.
The law and the facts prevailed here. There was no way reasonable jurors - unanimously - looked at all the available evidence and didn't have at least reasonable doubt in their minds. They had little choice but to acquit based on what was presented in this trial.
The judge had nothing to do with it. All this, "He's biased, a right-winger, a white supremacist, etc." came from the times he ruled for the defense. But he ruled for the prosecution plenty of times. He gave the prosecution plenty of leeway. The biggest point of contention - the video the defense wanted scrubbed from the trial - went the prosecution's way. He could've dismissed the trial at multiple points because of the prosecution's bad behavior. He didn't.
I'm sorry people are upset and surprised. I'm not happy, even if I agree with the legal outcome. People are still dead. People will still fight about this. Some will feel emboldened to worse behavior. Some will feel an injustice was done that will justify future violence.
No part of any of this is good.
But it shouldn't have been a surprise.
Apparently, someone who claims they're a producer from MSNBC said his boss in New York told him to follow the jury bus after it left the courthouse last night.
Yeah, that's a no no.
The judge just banned MSNBC from the court for the rest of the trial.
This is painful. They're arguing over the drone video the prosecution is using to prove provocation.
A defense attorney just buried the prosecution about the fact the state did not give the defense the same video they possessed.
Now the judge wants a hearing and testimony under oath.
It's a 6th Amendment issue.
This'll be interesting.
Edit: The prosecution was explaining why the Zaminsky's weren't on the stand, asserting they had a 5th Amendment privilege. However, it is untrue for the wife.
But when it came up, the judge looked furious. They argued a bit, the judge thought about it, and found a solution.
If he'd let the two sides to get into it, it would've allowed the possibility of giving the defense a rebuttal. The judge found a way to avoid it.
They've asked for dismissal with prejudice because of the prosecution's behavior.
With prejudice means there will be no second trial. It will be over.
I'm not sure if anyone else is listening. But this is the victim with the gun (so, third person shot?) on the stand. I don't know if it's prosecution or defense asking him the question.
Attorney: "It wasn't until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him . . . now your gun is down pointed at him, that he fired, right?"
All that's left is to hash out what's going to happen with the weapons charges.
I've been trying to articulate this. That people simply perceive everything very differently from the partisan Left perspective. And the defenses have been terrible. "But we don't teach CRT in schools!" And that defense has more and more started to remind me of people who said (and many still say) "But Antifa doesn't exist." You're asking people to disbelieve their lying eyes. It's bad politics.
The meat of the Op-Ed:
The problem with the McAuliffe strategy is that it fell back on technicalities as in, yes, fourth graders in the Commonwealth of Virginia are presumably not being assigned the academic works of Derrick Bell while evading the context that has made this issue part of a polarizing national debate.
That context, obvious to any sentient person who lived through the past few years, is an ideological revolution in elite spaces in American culture, in which concepts heretofore associated with academic progressivism have permeated the language of many important institutions, from professional guilds and major foundations to elite private schools and corporate H.R. departments.
Critical race theory is an imperfect term for this movement, too narrow and specialized to capture its full complexity. But a new form of racecraft clearly lies close to the heart of the new progressivism, with the somewhat different, somewhat overlapping ideas of figures like Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo enjoying particular influence. And that influence extends into schools and public-education bureaucracies, where Kendi and DiAngelo and their epigones often show up on resources recommended to educators like the racial-equity reading list sent around in 2019 by one state educational superintendent, for instance, which recommended both DiAngelos White Fragility and an academic treatise titled Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education.
That superintendent was responsible for Virginias public schools.
This stuff plays in our Bubble. The voters we need to win elections, the ones who are responsible when things shift fluidly between Red and Blue, don't like it. And when they say they don't like it, the response is, "They're all white supremacist racist poopy heads."
Now there's blood in the water, and Republicans have gotten a strong whiff of it. They're going to nationalize the strategy in Virginia. They're going to start going into school districts all over the country (even more hard core than they already are), and if there's even a whiff of this stuff, parent groups are going to start rebelling.
We're going to have to have a better response than "They don't teach CRT to children." As Douhat says, technically they may not. But CRT has become a shorthand to many - including independents and moderates - for what is described above.
Our side is framing all this as "racists vs anti-racists". Their side is framing this as "elites vs. average citizens". And all they need to do, to kick in that primal fear and get people into voting booths is, "They're coming for your children."
Worked a treat in Virginia. We need good responses to it, and not ones tailored to online spaces populated by people who already think exactly like us.
Profile InformationMember since: Fri Feb 14, 2020, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 7,918
- 2023 (25)
- 2022 (41)
- 2021 (49)
- 2020 (18)