A few days ago I started sharing some of my personal observations regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse case. My point in that article was that without the necessary background acting as a buffer to inform you of the events surrounding the situation, then your conclusions will be inaccurate. Which, oddly enough, is the nature of today’s post. As I stated at the close of my last article, there were a few layers to this onion that need to be peeled back and weighed in on.
It has been argued…strenuously so…in various social/corporate media outlets that this incident was instigated because of race. In other words, it has been said that the Rittenhouse shootings were racially motivated. I disagree with that sentiment. Racism, as it has been traditionally understood, was not what led to the death of two men and the injuring of a third. However, if we are speaking in light of reactions post verdict, there seems to be an element of truth to this notion. Just not in the direction that popularizers want you to see it. Before I get into that though allow me to admit something from the “get and the go” as it were. A buffering agent, if you will.
Admitting a few things…
Empathy1 demands that I at least consider the plight of others before I begin treading through this historic event offering my own insight. I’m not black. I didn’t live during the civil unrest of Martin Luther King Jr.’s day. I didn’t experience Jim Crow laws or feel the harshness of segregation. I wasn’t a slave in the antebellum south, but I can see those things for what they are. Horrible abuses of fellow human beings. Mistreatment based on externals. A demonstrable illustration of the moral depravity of mankind and its hatred for one another.
Given the current status of our cancel-culture’s wokeist ideological demands I realize that such comments, regardless of their sincerity, will fall deaf on ears. There will be some that will hear them, but not many. We do live in some interesting times. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when a person or a community of persons disregards the expressed thoughts of another.
Why do I say that? Am I speaking about my own experiences? Well…I have had them. But, no, I’m not referencing my personal encounters here. I am, however, speaking about what I’ve heard after the Rittenhouse verdict.
The young man gave his testimony. He said, “This is the reason why I did what I did.”2 He felt like his life was threatened, and he acted in kind. The argument of whether you should bring a gun into the equation, and whether or not that disqualifies you from using “self-defense” as a legitimate reason for acting in the way he did on August 25, 2020 is something I want to address in another post. But let’s get something straight: he didn’t come to Kenosha to shoot someone. He didn’t come to Kenosha to incite violence. According to his own testimony, Rittenhouse came to Kenosha that night in order to protect his neighbors (members of his community) from harm.
What was heard…
What was heard in Rittenhouse’s testimony? What was seen in the eyes, in the minds of the watching populace? Racism. Not just in what Rittenhouse did, but in how his case was decided by a jury of his own peers. As a comment quoted by Mario Koran writing for The Guardian reveals:
“What happened today is not right,” [Brook Love] said. “Any reasonable person can see that. People call this a judicial system. I call it a non-system, because most systems work. This non-system is not working. It’s a miscarriage of justice. If a person of colour [sic] would have shot those people, they’d be under the jail. There’s a double standard. How dare anyone call this a judicial system?”3
Though I do not fault the 63-year old black woman who made this statement, I do blame the reporter for the Guardian. Had Koran did a little research before having his article published, he’d have seen that a similar situation occurred in 2017.
In that case, a black man named Stephen Spencer (31-years old) was acquitted of murder charges by a jury of his peers in October 2018. Spencer fatally shot an unarmed white man outside a bar in Pittston, PA. Spencer, like Rittenhouse, claimed self-defense. And, like Rittenhouse, he was found “not-guilty.” And to quote Spencer’s testimony after the verdict had been reached in his behalf, “Justice was served.”4
So was Koran being lazy, over zealous, or committed to a particular agenda when he wrote this recent article for The Guardian? I’m sure we’ll never know. But a man of integrity would have did a better job.
The Spencer case is not unique. There are others like it not reported in the media, nor spoken of that often in social media-verse. Like, for instance, Andrew Coffee.
Haven’t heard of him? Haven’t seen much on his trial and the circumstances surrounding it? No wonder, it doesn’t fit the popular narrative. Coffee was charged with six felony counts, but was found not guilty on five of them. The five dealing with the death of his girlfriend Alteria Woods. She was shot 10 times being “caught in the crossfire…during an early morning drug raid at [Coffee’s] home back in 2017.”5 As a part of his legal defense, “Coffee’s attorneys claimed that police did not announce themselves upon entering, and Coffee shot in self defense. Police fired back at him, and Woods was shot…later dying from her injuries.”6 Though Coffee was found not guilty in regards to the murder/attempted murder charges, he was found guilty of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.7
What was (is) reality…
Two cases that prove the opposite of what is being claimed. If it was injustice that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of wrong doing, when he defended himself against three criminal assailants, then how was it justice that Stephen Spencer (a black man) defended himself against what he claimed was a mob of white men? If the system is so broken (and I do not deny that there are many things wrong with it), then why was a man like Coffee (also black), a convicted felon in possession of a gun, found not guilty of murder in the first degree?
More importantly, why has the media been relatively silent on these things? What is the agenda here? Is there an agenda? One might be tempted to think, “No, there’s no agenda here.” There’s not? Really?
Let us look at one more case before I wrap this up. A couple days after the Rittenhouse verdict another mass killing took place. This time it was in Waukesha, WI.
What happened? Depends on who you turn to for your news. According to CNN, an “SUV plow[ed] into [a] Christmas parade killing 5.”8 An SUV killed and injured adults and children during a town Christmas parade. A vehicle, not a person? An object not an individual is said to be responsible. At least initially, until the progressive news organization experienced backlash.
The argument of bias here is blatantly obvious. Rittenhouse killed two and injured another, and the first word out of the media’s mouth is “racism.” It was a “white versus black thing.” Another stain on the American legal system that is against people of color. But a couple days after the “not guilty” verdict in Kenosha, WI, a black man named Darryl Brooks (39 years old) kills and injures a much larger group and its crickets. Even when it can be demonstrated that the individual (Brooks) hated whites.9
And when its not crickets its objects, not a person driven by evil motives. Not a person who has a criminal record. Not a person who has been known to be violent in his past. Nope. Nada. No way! Racism is only the “white man’s problem,” its never an issue for a person of color. Herein lies the element of truth that I hinted at in the beginning of this article. Color is an issue, but it is an issue that one group plays the hypocrite referencing it.
What We Know…
So what do we know? There is a blindness that has plagued our nation. A blindness to true justice. A blindness to right and wrong.
It would be bad enough if it were just the stereotypical attitude you sometimes find prevalent in various little clicks. You know, the kind of thing that you had to deal with in high school (or even middle school for that matter) where one group of people thinks and acts like they are better than all the rest. Not only that, but they will lie through their teeth in order to perpetrate the reality that they want others to believe in.
That is our current social-corporate media verse. The big names in Media, groups like CNN, MSNBC, and yes, I would throw FOX NEWS into that bunch depending on the subject matter (say like, pertaining to COVID-19), are purposely setting out to mislead and stir up strife within the American populace. Propaganda is being put on display as real news. This we witness on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the like. The proof that this is in fact the case, and I’m not just blathering my own opinion, is seen in the great wash of censorship going on to any dissenting narratives. My only hope is that Americans are wise enough to catch on before its too late.
For my next post I want to look at the biblical argument for true justice, but until then have a great weekend.
1Often confused with sympathy, to be empathetic means that you are not so emotionally detached that you cannot at least put yourself in another person’s shoes. If you want a more technical definition, here you go: “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experiences fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus, def. 2, 2008 desktop version.
2 “Full video_Prosecutors Cross-Examine Kyle Rittenhouse.
3Mario Koran, “As Kyle Rittenhouse walks free, Kenosha is left to pick up the pieces,” The Guardian, November 20, 2021, accessed 11/20/2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/20/as-kyle-rittenhouse-walks-free-kenosha-is-left-to-pick-up-the-pieces.
4“Black Man Acquitted after Killing White Man During Racially Charged Bar Dispute,” BlackNews.com, August 12, 2019, accessed 11.29/2021, https://www.blacknews.com/news/stephen-spencer-black-man-acquitted-killing-white-man-racially-charged-bar-dispute/.
5Kimberlee Kaye, “Another self defense case, Andrew Coffee found not guilty on 5 counts, including murder, attempted murder,” Legal Insurrection, November 20, 2021, accessed 11/29/2021, https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/11/another-self-defense-case-andrew-coffee-found-not-guilty-on-5-counts-including-murder-attempted-murder/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=another-self-defense-case-andrew-coffee-found-not-guilty-on-5-counts-including-murder-attempted-murder&fbclid=IwAR23f_cY2igVRoXArMbcPBmbp7LYBdpLIrz392nTuPxboEX6La1hx5FA0Go.
6Leah Anaya, “Who is Andrew Coffee and Why is the Media Mostly Silent on His Acquittal?” Red Voice Media, November 21, 2021, accessed 11/29/2021, https://www.redvoicemedia.com/2021/11/who-is-andrew-coffee-and-why-is-the-media-mostly-silent-on-his-acquittal/.
7The truly sad note in this case is that Woods, Coffee’s girlfriend that died as a result of that fatal morning, did not receive justice. The defense blamed the SWAT team, and the prosecution blamed the young man who had a gun illegally and opened fire after the officers had announced themselves. Had Coffee refrained from getting a gun, had he withheld from pulling the trigger at police, then the events as they unfolded would have went much differently. Someone was responsible for the death of Woods. Someone ought to be held accountable. And the color of their skin, nor the type of uniform being worn, should factor into the decision. If the officers came in unannounced or if Coffee fired at them knowingly, someone should have been held accountable for that girls death; even if it was only accidental manslaughter.
8Aditi Sangal, Meg Warner, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, and Mike Hayes, “At least 5 killed after SUV plows parade into Wisconsin holiday parade,” CNN, updated (modified) November 23, 2021, accessed 12/2/2021, https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/wisconsin-waukesha-christmas-parade-car-plow-11-22-21/index.html.
9Lee Brown, “Darryl Brooks shared pro-Hitler memes, called for violence against white people,” New York Post, Updated November 24, 2021, accessed 12/3/2021, https://nypost.com/2021/11/24/darrell-brooks-called-for-violence-against-white-people/. Brown points out in his article that many of Brook’s “…disturbing memes and messages on social media…have been deleted since his arrest for Sunday’s [11.21.2021] deadly carnage” (par. 2).