Why the Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict Doesn’t Matter–Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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We should start by recognizing that a not-guilty verdict was inevitable, not because of racism but because of the law. Sure, the judge seemed a bit biased at times and of the 20 jurors only one was a Person of Color. But, from what we were able to piece together through news reports, the prosecution did not present a compelling case. The state laws about self-defense did favor Rittenhouse’s actions. In the end, the verdict did not seem to be the result of racial bias that favored him because he was white. The fact that we may not like why Rittenhouse was in Kenosha, or that the police were clearly prejudiced in supporting him as he wandered the streets with a loaded rifle, or that he’s become a poster boy for white supremacists and right-wing pundits, doesn’t justify conviction if the case presented in court doesn’t merit it.
America’s past is too littered with the bodies of people lynched, executed, or imprisoned because of what they represented rather than any legal evidence. We sent 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry to prison camps during World War II as symbols rather than verifiable threats. Two Black Muslim men convicted of the assassination of Malcolm X were exonerated this week, 55 years after their conviction, when it was discovered that the FBI and the NYPD withheld information from the defense that would have likely resulted in their acquittal.
If we are to be outraged by miscarriages of justice in the courtroom, we can’t be outraged by a verdict that is justified based on the case presented. However, if the three defendants who killed Ahmaud Arbery are found not guilty, that would be justified outrage.
Systemic racism in America won’t get worse because of this verdict. Actually, it’s hard to imagine it getting worse. Over 150 years after the end of slavery and Black people are facing legislation in nearly half the states to make it more difficult for them to vote while rampant gerrymandering insures that when they do vote, their effect of their votes will be diluted. Anyone who wanted to know the truth could read the hundreds of studies that prove Black Americans are disadvantaged from birth in terms of education, health, medical care, job opportunities, life expectancy, and the legal system. And if you think this disparity is something from the distant past, Scientific American’s December 2021 issue reveals studies that show how Black children fare worse than white children with routine surgeries because when they are brought into the hospital, they are less promptly diagnosed and less promptly treated than white children. These Black children had medical complications at a rate 18 percent higher than white children and were three times more likely to die. If these statistics were reversed and white kids were at greater risk, hospital reform would be instantaneous.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
November 27, 2021 at 6:16 AM #457539
November 27, 2021 at 1:25 PM #457551
November 27, 2021 at 3:55 PM #457555retired liberalParticipant
- Total Posts: 4,634
Justice, or what too often masquerades as justice in this country is a sham. Kyle Rittenhouse had no business being where he was in the first place. Let alone going armed with a AR-15. He murdered two people and injured a third. Arriving and leaving by walking past the cops, with his weapon in plain sight! Why didn’t the cops stop him? Anyway he went there looking to shoot some people he didn’t agree with. That is exactly what he did. And he walks?
This morning I received an e-mail from Change.org, about a women of color, a mother, serving a life sentence with no possibility of patrol, for 2 oz of weed, from a traffic stop. A life sentence! She wasn’t a drug dealer. She just got caught with some weed, while black. It it were to be the mayor’s son for instance, the worst we could hope for is he would have lost his stash at the scene.
Criminals convicted of a violent crimes don’t often receive such a harsh sentence in this country, as this woman did… Unless they are persons of color, that is.
We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.
The older we get, the less "Life in Prison" is a deterrent.
Don't forget that the S in IoT stands for Security.
Beware of geeks bearing GIFs.
November 27, 2021 at 6:12 PM #457567game meatParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,571
Rittenhouse’s legal fees were $2 million.
Whether you are willing to accept that the facts of the case favored Rittenhouse, or you insist on continuing to run with the msnbc version, the fact remains that he had to spend $2 million. He would never have been able to afford the defense he got if the case did not go viral. Regardless of what you may think of Rittenhouse, that is the reason he is now free. Naturally, it’s rarely mentioned.
State laws? Systemic racism? Lol, no. $2 million.
"He busted in, blessed be thy lord
Who believe any mess they read up on a message board
If so, I got bridges for the low low" ~ MF DOOM
November 27, 2021 at 6:38 PM #457569closeupreadyParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,989
Moving the goalposts – “this verdict matters 100% absolutely, unquestionably!; but if Rittenhouse is acquitted, then this verdict doesn’t matter at all, not to any extent whatsoever.” LOL
Due process is a constitutional right, just like speech or freedom of association or the right to bear arms. Don’t like due process? Lobby your elected officials to end trials, Miranda, discovery, a jury of peers.
“Idiocracy” was prophetic.
The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.
November 27, 2021 at 6:46 PM #457570Blue MeanyParticipant
- Total Posts: 223
I watched most of the trial and my take, based on the judge’s instructions and the evidence was that this was not self-defense. In the case of the first shotting, The video showed that he pointed the gun before the provocation for which he claimed to have raised it. I’m not sure if the jury got to see this, however, as the defense was trying to challenge the higher resolution video, saying they would have tried the case differently if they had access to it at the beginning. This, itself, was to me an admission of what he video showed. If he provoked the first person he shot, then there can be no self-defense for the second two, because they were attempting to subdue him for the first shooting and protect themselves and others.
But I don’t think they would have accepted self-defense in case if the judge had not thrown out the fire-arms charge on a technicality, just before jury deliberations started. A self-defense plea is precluded when the action occurs during the commission of a crime.
I wonder if Rittenhouse might know be charged with a federal civil rights crime. I think going on TV and saying he is pro-BLM is part of a plan to defend against such a charge.
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