The Real Lesson of the Rittenhouse Trial

In a critical assessment of the Rittenhouse trial, Conrad Black denies that the outcome of the case vindicated the American justice system

Because of the confluence of a competent and determined judge, courageous and diligent jurors, ludicrously incompetent and dishonest prosecutors, and enough intelligent media attention to counter the 15 months of biased reporting that could easily poison the jury pool, justice was clearly done, to peals of horror of the Americophobic riffraff that infects most of America’s media. It would be a tragedy if this exemplary outcome were to whitewash what is in large measure an evil justice system.

Black is mainly concerned here with the plea-bargaining system that state prosecutors use to condemn defendants even before a trial has taken place. But this is not the part of Black’s criticism that riveted my attention. The American justice system has become “evil” for a reason that Black only mentions in passing, namely the role of the media in inciting mob violence by racializing criminal cases.

We saw this play out in the Rittenhouse case; we are now witnessing something similar taking place during the trial of three white men in Brunswick, Georgia, who shot a young black, Ahmaud Arbery. During the thirteen days that the trial was in session, blacks, many of them carrying guns, demonstrated in front of the courthouse. The mainstream media, which raged against Kyle Rittenhouse for carrying a rifle in violence-wracked Kenosha, took no offense that the antiwhite Left paraded around with firearms. Those bearing these arms enjoyed the status of victims, which was applied to the rioters and looters in Kenosha as well as to gun-toting BLM members in Georgia. Apparently bearing arms, even illegal ones, is not a bad thing, if the bearer is a nonwhite racialist or a crazed white leftist, even one with a long criminal record.

The media also didn’t protest too loudly when demonstrators appeared to intimidate the judge and jurors during the Rittenhouse trial. By then they had made prodigious effort to present the defendant as a white nationalist, who went to Kenosha by crossing state lines with an illegal gun to kill blacks. Too bad for the facts! Rittenhouse lived part of the time in Kenosha with his father, and was carrying a rifle to which he had a legal right; moreover, he shot whites, not blacks, in self-defense. Although Rittenhouse was fully exonerated in court, Black is correct that he was lucky to be let off. Justice was done because the judge and jury withstood threats and physical intimidation and ignored ‘the peals of horror of the Americophobic riffraff that infects most of the media.” The outcome could have been different, and Kyle might have spent the remainder of his life in prison, to appease the mob incited by the mainstream media.

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