The left still has not gotten over its hissy-fit in the aftermath of Kyle Rittenhouse being found innocent of all the charges launched against him by a woke Attorney General. All of them. This young man was not found guilty of not even a one of these indictments: first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree attempted intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.
But this has proven an embarrassment for the so-called “progressives.” It has been by now established that the three men Kyle shot were chasing him; that one of them tried to hit him in the head with his skateboard; that another one of them actually first aimed a gun at and testified to that effect at the trial. If that is not self-defense, then nothing is, and the unanimous jury saw the matter in exactly that way. Should the socialists of the nation back down admit error in their initial assessment of the trial and apologize to young Mr. Rittenhouse for the calumny they have heaped upon them.
Yes, of course. But, no, that will never happen. The cancel culture never backs down, never admits error. Instead, they double down. So what is their “Plan B” in this case? It is to assert that had a young black man done exactly what Kyle Rittenhouse did, he would have not walked away unscathed. Either the police would have murdered him, or he would have been found guilty of all charges had the case gone to trial.
Let us delve into this matter.
Suppose a young black man, an African American, had picked up a gun, crossed state lines with it, tried to bring succor and safety to the local inhabitants from a riot in their neighborhood. What would have been his fate?
Let us break this down into three parts. First, would he have even been brought to trial in the first place? The odds against this are enormous.
Thomas Binger, Kenosha County District Attorney General, is a died in the wool wokester. Imagine him bringing charges against a young black man who was chased by three white men, threatened with a skateboard to the head and a gun aimed at him. Fughedaboudit, as they say in Brooklyn. It does not compute. No way this would have happened.
Second, suppose, arguendo, that this counterfactual did take place. Posit that Binger did indeed bring these charges. Those videos are definitive. There is no “he said, she said” about them. Binger would not have waited to give them to the defense team, nor would he have proffered an inferior hard-to-see video.
It took a jury 27 hours to acquit Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges. If it took 27 minutes from them to do so in behalf of this theoretical black kid of 17 years of age, that would have been a long time.
The left is on firmer ground with regard to the third element of this hypothetical case. How would the police have regarded a heavily armed black youngster? Not too well, it must be said. The cops would likely have seen him quite differently than they viewed the young white man. They would have interpreted him as far more of a threat, a danger to themselves and others.
Does this point to “systemic racism?” Not a bit of it. It is crucially important to realize that both white and black constabularies would have looked more askance at the black than at the white well-armed teen in this manner. It is imperative, especially in our racially charged epoch, to ask why? Hatred of blacks? That would hardly explain the reaction of African American cops. What then is the causal agent?
If you can’t figure this out, you are a product of a woke university, with its sociology departments, with its black, queer and feminist “studies” programs, with its social “justice” philosophy departments and law schools. Hint: the very different reactions would be due to the widely divergent experiences cops, all of them without exception, have had with the two different demographic groups.
Walter Block is the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics at Loyola University, New Orleans.