Last Year’s Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict and the Coming Liberal Split
An extended essay on the media's effects, Part One: THE MEDIA BEFORE
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONTENT WARNING:
The topics discussed in this extended essay on today’s media coverage, the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, and American race relations, are likely to offend liberals; progressives; conservatives; gun owners; gun-control advocates; whites and blacks who want the words “white” and “black” capitalized; journalists whose parents supported them thru internships; and people who grew up in racial enclaves, and have racially limited social circles, but still want to act like experts on people of other races.
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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHAPTER 1: THE MEDIA BEFORE
I am a liberal.
I believe the rule of law is fundamental to a free society. I believe it’s necessary for our mental health to be treated equally, so the law should be applied equally.
I believe we have an inborn sense of what’s fair. I know even primates and monkeys have that sense, and that we all rebel against unfair treatment. I believe we trust society more and resent fellow citizens less if there is equal treatment under the law. When people say there is no justice in this world, or in this universe, I think yes there is, or we wouldn’t ever talk about it, nor feel its absence. Justice is within us.
I believe the freedom to speak our concerns without fear leads to trust. This might be a Freemasonic belief that made it into the U.S. Constitution (which also includes principles from Ancient Persian government and the Iroquois Confederacy) but it’s a liberal principle as well: we aren’t free unless we can speak freely. I think the American experiment has proven that even in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society, a high amount of trust can be created by equal treatment and free speech.
I believe trust is necessary for people to work well together, at anything—a project, relationships, in a workplace, at a county fair, in the club, on a subway… Trust is as necessary for people to achieve great things as it is for people to be happy.
I distrust centralization of power, such as in large corporations, or in law enforcement agencies that lack transparency. I especially distrust power that isn’t questioned. Most of all, I distrust people who lie about things that affect me.
“White supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two Black Lives Matter protestors last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin…”
I believe in the decentralization of power, because having multiple power centers lets those powers be checked by each other no matter what is going on. I believe in a society having built-in checks against power too, like a free press that investigates and reports honestly. I believe we should protect the press from the powerful, so that its reporting can be true, so mistakes and corruption can be identified and people can be informed enough to make good decisions.
I think our history has shown that this is how a democracy corrects and improves itself. I think we are forgetting this because our history is ignored now, except for the bad parts. I think that’s because of a magic trick, performed by selfish people.
“He placed himself at the center of the violence, then escalated it by shooting a man in the head.”
I tend to side with the underdog. If someone is injured or deprived unfairly, I want all of us to consider moving mountains, to change our procedures or distribute our treasure to redress that wrong.
redress: to make right or to provide remedy for [see 1st Amendment]
I believe the American experiment is the gamble that a nation can be bound together only by ideas, and I believe this nation has grown strong naturally and will stay strong because of the free sharing of people’s ideas, views, and truths.
I think the steady self-evolution of our nation to lead other nations in tolerance and equality, as well as in technology and the arts, has proven our freedom of speech sacred.
I cannot even imagine living in a society without the freedoms of speech, press, and religion, because a society that limits those limits truth.
I thought Arrested Development was hilarious, even the incest jokes.
I have never voted Republican, and I really don’t want to.
I am a liberal.
“… multiple posts in support of Blue Lives Matter on his Facebook page…”
“… obsessed with police…”
There are some countries that have no separation of church and state. That means the state cannot operate democratically or logically, and institutions of faith cannot operate freely and citizens cannot choose religious membership without pressure. Belief means more in the U.S.—and in countries where people can choose what they believe without punishment—because we aren’t pressured or incentivized here to pretend we believe in something we don’t, or don’t believe in something we do. We believe what we want and talk about it.
I think our understanding—the deep kind of understanding that comes from many, unpunished conversations about an issue—is being replaced with meaningless slogans and emotionally comforting beliefs. The slogans we’ve replaced our understanding with are beliefs that are leading us into tribalism. I despise tribalism, and have since I came here. I realized at a young age that I cannot relate to people on the basis of the small clubs we are born into.
But enough about me. The indulgence in sharing ones personal background is now too common. I hear it in everything from debates to stand-up comedy, and it has become another opportunity for spreading tribalist propaganda—for reinforcing the idea that our boring, unearned traits have much to do with who we are, and we are in tribes according to them, and your tribe is very important. And people outside of the tribe don’t understand you and shouldn’t be trusted. Tribalism. Like everyone else, I’m falling mentally ill from that propaganda. Our identity is not much about born traits.
I won’t be using any of the other propaganda techniques now common in our media either, but you should not take my word for that. You should think for yourself, and discuss with those you trust—those who will not punish you for considering.
propaganda: information presented in a leading way to convince you to believe something or to feel some emotion, generally to promote a political view or cause.
“‘We don’t have nonlethal,’ Rittenhouse said.”
That statement was made by Kyle Rittenhouse during a street interview recorded the night of August 25th, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shortly before he shot three men. The quote was transcribed into a Washington Post article published two days later. The night Rittenhouse was interviewed, a large group of people claiming to be racial justice protestors were smashing car windows, rolling dumpsters into the street to set on fire, and yelling at the Kenosha police. The police were on the other side of the protest from where Rittenhouse was, where he and several other armed men were guarding three car lots. He was miles away from his home in Illinois.
Rittenhouse and the other civilians who had armed themselves and gone to where the protest was scheduled were not there to join it. It was a demonstration against the police, generally, and specifically against the Kenoshan police who had just shot a man named Jacob Blake seven times, paralyzing him. Rittenhouse and his fellow armed civilians all claimed to be there to protect businesses from destruction. In that interview, Rittenhouse also claimed to be there to provide whatever medical assistance he could. He was seventeen years old.
A few of that group of racial justice demonstrators assaulted Rittenhouse, beginning with Joseph Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum had threatened all of Rittenhouse’s group earlier that night—that he would kill them if he caught any of them alone. Altho Rittenhouse was carrying a rifle and Rosenbaum was not armed, Rosenbaum crouched behind a parked vehicle when he saw Rittenhouse alone, and then ran at Rittenhouse from behind. Rittenhouse saw him and started running, but Rosenbaum kept chasing. An unknown demonstrator running toward them fired a pistol in the air.
Rittenhouse kept running until Rosenbaum caught up to him in between some parked cars. Richie McGinnis, the journalist who recorded the only interview of Kyle Rittenhouse, about fifteen minutes earliers, was at that parking lot and following Rosenbaum and Rittenhouse. Later in court, McGinnis described the cluster of cars into which Rosenbaum had chased Rittenhouse as a “dead end.”
McGinnis testified that Rittenhouse then turned toward his pursuer, holding his rifle in a “ready” position—meaning Rittenhouse was pointing it just lower than Rosenhaum’s torso. McGinnis said Rosenbaum then said “fuck you” to Rittenhouse and lunged for his rifle. Rittenhouse moved the barrel of his rifle out of Rosenbaum’s reach. Then Rittenhouse fired at Rosenbaum as Rosenbaum leaned and fell forward from his own momentum.
(It was also McGinnis who attempted to stanch Rosenbaum’s bleeding and stayed with Rosenbaum at the hospital until he died. We will explore a HuffPo representation of McGinnis’s account in Part 2.)
The Wash Post article, found both as “Who is Kyle Rittenhouse?…” and “Before a fatal shooting, teenage Kenosha suspect idolized the police,” represented the words Rittenhouse spoke in a video interview of him in a leading way, a way leading it WaPo readers toward a caricature of Rittenhouse as foolish, dangerously over armed, and politically biased as a WaPo reader should expect an uneducated member of the white working class to be. It seemed to me to be the whole point of the article, rather than a reporting of the facts.
“We don’t have nonlethal” is framed in the suggested he wanted to use his lethal weapon that night. That’s how the article originally interpreted his statement: as tho he and the other civilian guards “don’t have nonlethal” because they were intent on lethally defending the car lots they were guarding.
Later Wash Post corrected that representation to include the context of what Rittenhouse was being asked in the video. He had been asked if they had any nonlethal weapons with them, and he replied they “don’t have nonlethal,” meaning they did not have any nonlethal weapons, like tasers or clubs or pepper spray.
(Rittenhouse himself was pepper sprayed that night, before the shootings. He did not response with any sort of violence.)
The Wash Post article was written by Teo Armus, Mark Berman, and Griff Witte. It is presented as news, not as an op-ed (“op-ed” is short for “opinion editorial” or “opposite editorial”—an opinion piece that isn’t written by the publication’s own staff). It was news, my news, and it is still available online for the whole nation to read. Here is the corrected paragraph:
“On Tuesday night, Rittenhouse was with fellow armed men self-appointed to protect the streets of a city aflame, insisting he was there to render first aid and protect a business.”
Already, the wording of this news article concerned me.
“But asked by a reporter to clarify whether he carried ‘nonlethal’ weaponry, he cradled his rifle and insisted he did not.”
“But,” the writers chose. Why “but”? The corrected article still implies that there was some contradiction between what Rittenhouse said he was there for and what he was really there for. Can you find a reason for a “but” there?
Rittenhouse and the others were “self-appointed.” Obviously. They were not appointed by the public, like police officers are. Then, according to the Wash Post, Rittenhouse was “insisting” (said? claimed? No, they were insisting) that they were protecting businesses.
But they were protecting businesses, not just insisting they were. And they weren’t so much self-appointed as they were asked to, by the business owners. If you watch the video of what they were doing, which most of my liberal friends would not, you’ll never see Rittenhouse antagonize the protesters or even approach them, “but” he had a weapon with him.
What a strange selection of verbs and conjunctions, all gently implying, nudging me to believe, that Rittenhouse and his crew had other motives. Then “he cradled his rifle and insisted” (again insisting) that he did not have nonlethal weaponry.
Actually, he “insisted” that they did not have nonlethal weaponry, not just that he didn’t. But that’s a small point. I wanna know why cradle was used. He was already “cradling” his rifle during the interview. Did he then suddenly extra-cradle it? Was it over his shoulder and when the interviewer asked the question, Rittenhouse suddenly held it like a beloved, delicate baby? No, not according to the video of the interview Wash Post was representing. I watched the interview the article refers to and Rittenhouse simply raises the rifle slightly. So why “cradled”?
I love The Washington Post. They did a feature article on me when I infiltrated former Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s crew to provide them with a list of rights that are missing in Iranian legal practice tho they are explicitly protected in Iran’s constitution. [Dig the English version available on my website, turaj.com] The reporter, Tara Bahrampour, stayed with me as Secret Service led me to the side of New York’s Intercontinental Hotel—in front of which my angry people were protesting against the Iranian government, in sharp rhythmic unity.
Barahmpour refused the Secret Service’s request to leave my side, so they could question me without the press there (or do whatever they would have done with me). It proved to me the importance of what is called “the fourth estate,” our free press, and how uniquely empowered the press is under our Constitution. Without fear or hesitation Bahrampour reminded those agents of her right under the 1st Amendment, and kept jotting on her notepad. She didn’t even look up. I learned it’s important to protect the press because they protect us. (I also learned how a reporter should be: insisting on those protections, and fearless.)
The news article goes on:
“Instead of helping to keep the peace, authorities say, Rittenhouse turned an already chaotic situation into a murder scene.”
Which authorities say? I looked for such a statement everywhere online, because I was surprised that Kenoshan police—or anyone in charge—would say such a thing. No law enforcement authority is supposed to use a term like “murder” officially, unless and until it is proven that a killing was intentional. The article never mentions who those “authorities,” plural, were. There are no names or offices mentioned in any Washington Post reporting since, of such authorities.
I do not believe any authority at any time said that Rittenhouse exacerbated the chaos that night, nor that any authority said he turned the chaos into a murder scene. I believe this is false reporting, made up by a large group of people who call themselves journalists. It’s impossible that the three writers, plus the nine other contributors listed at the bottom of the article, all missed that glaring mistake.
“It is not clear precisely what fed Rittenhouse’s attraction to the police, which also appears to have extended to the military.”
Yeah, what would cause such an unusual attraction to police work, in a young male? The journalists are befuddled. That attraction must have been “fed.”
And how strange that a juvenile who admires the police would also admire the military. Weird kid.
The article then reports that Rittenhouse had tried to join the Marines but was rejected. That information is not inaccurate, but the focus on it suggests to me that I am supposed to ascribe Rittenhouse’s shooting of three men to some desire to be a cop or a soldier who gets to shoot people.
For whom are such statements crafted this way? As a boy, I never wanted to be a cop or a soldier or even be near anyone in uniform, but I don’t automatically consider the admiration of those professions evidence of murderous intentions or some kind of an uncontrollable urge to act out action-hero fantasies. Even the footage released before the court case showed Rittenhouse to be firing in what looked like self-defense.
I tried to get some of my liberal friends to watch that footage, about a year before the trial occurred, and they wouldn’t. Did they not dare to stomach the morbid violence? That could be, or maybe they didn’t want to consider any evidence that such a disturbing event had a cause and that cause was not Rittenhouse, not his mom, and not our “gun culture” (which I put in quotes because I still don’t don’t understand the meaning of the term).
Others, the type never my friends for long, do not want to see evidence that Rittenhouse isn’t part of the invisible menace today’s voices for Social Justice tell us is behind everything white males do. The possibility of self-defense—of Rittenhouse’s innocence—wasn’t discussed in any of the press I read. In many, it wasn’t even mentioned.
“He showed off his medical kit…”
Showed off? There is such precise and objective vocabulary in this article, as in most news articles, until the vocabulary refers to Kyle Rittenhouse. Then it becomes “insisted” and “self-appointed” and “showed off.” The dozen authors of this news report then quote Rittenhouse again:
“‘If someone is hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle. I’ve got to protect myself, obviously.’”
That’s not how he said it. In the video, he said, “That’s why I have my rifle I got to protect myself, obviously,” like that, as one sentence, meaning that he attained a rifle to protect himself from the potentially dangerous mob, not like he was stating his philosophy of running into danger, armed and bucking. This little… mistake, we’ll call it, isn’t a big deal. Just another little slant, another framing. Whoever at Washington Post watched the interview might just need a hearing check. And a vision check.
“The armed men were welcomed by police, who thanked them for being in the city — despite the fact that they were violating Kenosha’s curfew…”
That’s just blatant side-taking. There is no mention of the fact that the mob of vandals, burning and smashing and dragging dumpsters into the street, was “violating Kenosha’s curfew,” but it’s suddenly important enough to mention, and without any context of extenuating circumstances. (Like, say, the circumstance that arsonists were there at night, so guarding property against arson would have to happen at night.)
I would think reporters would either mention why those guys were out there after curfew, or just not mention the curfew at all. Instead they determined, as journalists, that the readers should know Rittenhouse was out past curfew, implicitly assuming that the racial justice protestors had every right and reason to break curfew.
Or perhaps they are just blind to the possibility those protestors could do any wrong.
So a dozen Wash Post contributors forgot to mention the protestors’ curfew violation. They also forgot to mention the reason for the city’s curfew. Curfews aren’t normal, or even generally legal in the United States. Why not discuss that?
The article then reports the sequence of violence accurately—given the information available in 2020—and then goes back to discussing Rittenhouse’s interaction with police, his previous police cadet training and ride-alongs, as well as his brief job as a lifeguard. It describes his Facebook posts of officers killed in the line of duty, consistent with his support of Blue Lives Matter, a group that tries to raise awareness of cops who have been killed on the job.
The article ends with a moral: a quote from one of Rittenhouse’s neighbors who is not a Kenoshan resident, but whose opinion, about an event she knew nothing about, they thought was worthy of quoting:
“That’s not your business to kill someone for messing with someone else’s business. That’s for the cops to deal with.”
How could so many journalists not only get basic, correctable facts wrong, but also end their reporting with a misleading quote from someone who couldn’t possibly have known anything yet about the shootings?
Rittenhouse didn’t kill or shoot anyone for messing with someone else’s business, and the reporters had no reason to think he did. So why close with that? Am I to agree with that neighbor, many miles away from the scene, that it’s the cops who are supposed to deal with vandals and arsonists? I already know that. What about what Kenoshans knew?
The cops weren’t dealing with it. Kenosha burned for two days straight, similarly to how other cities had burned during racial justice protests in 2020. According to another journalist who was actually present, Aldo Buttazzoni, the protestors I am calling BLM and Antifa or Antifa-affilliated “were burning down Kenosha” and “looting.” Kenoshan residents said you couldn’t find a cop then if you tried. Small and medium-sized businesses lost millions in damages. It took weeks to restore activity.
What would you do if you couldn’t find any police?
What would you do if your business were taken out of commission, for weeks?
… were questions I did not hear asked on my so-called liberal media platforms.
I watched footage of those nights. Armed masked men literally ran the streets while residents hid inside. Women stood on the roofs of random vehicles, breaking in their windshields with baseball bats. I saw a whole car lot on fire. It was crazypants town and Kenoshans expected it, having watched the same happen to other towns after police shootings of black people.
I’m not one to defend the police (ask anyone who has ever known me) but the ones in Kenosha seemed to be overwhelmed. Maybe they were just pretending to be. I don’t know. I do know Rittenhouse was invited to go protect “someone else’s business,” as the neighbor put it. I know reporting the opinion of some random neighbor who couldn’t have even known the basic facts yet, who said Rittenhouse shot people just for “messing with” a business, is willful misrepresentation. It’s probably some other things too, like propaganda and a clever way to get around making a false accusation directly. It is not journalism.
But those opinions and several like it echoed across my media for over a year, before the case went to trial in November of 2021, all without any supporting evidence.
In a Huff Post puff piece by Mary Papenfuss, Rittenhouse is described with almost as many nudging, suggesting denigrations as in the Wash Post piece. “Key Witness In Kenosha Protest Shootings Describes Chaotic, Heartbreaking Night” describes Richie McGinnis as a caring hero who attempted to rescue the life of the “unarmed” Joseph Rosenbaum.
Rittenhouse is described as being in violation of a Wisconsin state law by possessing a rifle while under the age of 18, which is not the actual law regardless of how many links Papenfuss includes to support the statement. Rosenbaum’s own shocking criminal record is not mentioned.
Rittenhouse is also described as firing at Rosenbaum after the gunshot behind him sounded, instead of as a response to being cornered by a life-threatening assailant who was trying to grab his gun. He is also described during his return to Rosenbaum’s body (to try to help) as “running off.”
As tho unaware of the obvious slant showing in her syntax and her uninformed insinuations of criminality, Papenfuss ends the report with an ironic quote from McGinnis:
“When something like that happens, we’re all human beings — and the politics melt away.”
And then my media went further. Almost every outlet I trust adopted the damning vocabulary and slanted perspective of extremely presumptuous commentators on the cultural Left. They went further and further into fantasy about Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions, his motives, and then his character.
“white vigilante murderer”
“white supremacist terrorist”
The Wash Post article was one of many news articles and broadcasts that agreed on a specific impression: 1) Kyle Rittenhouse’s shootings were a product of a gun obsession. 2) He was a wannabe just itching to shoot protestors, particularly BLM protestors. 3) White males out at night with guns who are not racial justice protestors must be the cause of any violence they are involved in.
And it got racialized like that almost immediately. Now six months after the trial, I still don’t understand why respected liberal media institutions like The Washington Post did not check that talk. They could have corrected their reporting by now, and apologized for mischaracterizing a boy who hadn’t even had his day in court.
So could have the The New York Times editorial board, NBC, ABC, and especially MSNBC and CNN. So could have at least a dozen well known Left-leaning outlets, like The Guardian, VICE, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Not one well established news outlet has acknowledged its witch-hunt journalism. You should wonder why.
I remember canceling my subscription to the Washington Post a few years ago, when the top story in my daily email from them was some nauseating remix of a Social Justice talking point I’d heard eleventeen times. Six stories down in the email were the final words of the only Republican I respected, selfless war hero John McCain, written to his country as he knew he was dying.
I remember thinking if this is the order of my favorite paper’s priorities, I cannot trust their judgment anymore. Now I see I was right.
And I wasn’t just “right.” Suddenly, to half my liberal friends and family members, because I questioned the unified view of the Rittenhouse case being presented in our media, because I said that what I saw on the videos of that night in Kenosha looked like self-defense, because I said we should suspend judgment till all the evidence comes out, I was Right.
Here’s an article from The New Yorker a liberal friend of mine sent to me a couple months before the trial: “Kyle Rittenhouse, American Vigilante”
Before the article is one sentence in italics:
“Police let Rittenhouse—who was openly carrying a rifle—leave the scene, underscoring a racial double standard.”
Police were letting a lot of things happen that night. They were overwhelmed by the demonstrators, according to everyone’s opinion, even their own. It seemed a glib statement about a cherrypicked fact of the event: that police let Rittenhouse—who had run towards them with his hands raised and told them what he’d done—go home…
They also told him to turn himself in, which he did the next day. The article did not mention that part, but I read the rest of it anyway, because my friend and I had had a discussion about vigilantism and she had said it always leads to bad stuff happening and no one should “take the law into their own hands.” I had said I don’t think Rittenhouse or people like him were trying to pretend they were the law, but instead just trying to make sure no one torched their friends’ businesses. She thought that was taking the law into their own hands. I thought nothing like that had ever happened in her life and she didn’t know half of reality.
So okay, I read the article, expecting her to want to discuss it afterward.
I don’t hear much liberal discussion these days—open debate or discussion of sensitive topics, in which each party can speak thoughts and ask questions without fear of being marked as a bad person—so I was down to participate, missing it. Let me read this view she thinks is so important, I thought, and then we’ll have a real chop session. Tighten up the the ‘ol critical skills, I thought. Iron sharpens iron, and all that.
I noticed the author chose to mention early the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the alleged inspiration for the demonstration that Rittenhouse got caught up in. I noticed she failed to mention the police’s claim, however, that their shooting was justified because Blake had a knife and was resisting arrest.
The author does, however, include a Tweet from Kevin Hart asking what the justification for shooting Blake seven times was. It was a good question.
I asked my friend what she thought about those choices by the author, and she said the two trials are related. I asked how, and why the author would bring up the treatment of Jacob Blake when we didn’t know the facts about that case yet either. And Blake’s case was completely different from Rittenhouse’s, in which the person on trial might be guilty of shooting three people and murdering two, with no cops involved at all. She said they’re related because one shows how cops treat white guys and the other shows how cops treat black guys.
The way Rittenhouse encountered the cops was not how Blake did: Rittenhouse had a lethal weapon hanging from him and was moving toward the cops with nothing in his hands and his hands up, turning himself in. Blake was evading cops when they were already arresting him, pulling away when his shirt was being held, and might have had a knife.
She had no answer. I asked her what she thought about Kevin Hart’s Tweet, because I personally think the cops use many bullets when a few would be plenty. She had no answer.
Then I realized she hadn’t even read the article. She didn’t need to! I needed to! She knew Rittenhouse was a vigilante, and did not have anything to say about the claim he was a “white” vigilante, by the way.
She didn’t care that he was a “murderer” even before his trial, and didn’t mind that he was being called a white supremacist—his “obsession” with the police was proof enough that he supported the racist system of murderous oppression we all live under, white supremacy.
Also he was a white nationalist. Unless you count an okay sign Rittenhouse made with his hand, in one photograph with some Proud Boys he’d never met at a pizza parlor after getting bailed out of jail, there is no evidence Rittenhouse is affiliated with white nationalism, but she and a so-called liberal family member of mine both believed that Rittenhouse “had those ties.”
(That okay sign’s association with “white power” started as a troll for reactions from Social Justice activists, predictable as those reactions are. It was made up by some pranksters on 4chan, as a troll. Given the media’s treatment of the Proud Boys, I suspect they make that sign as a troll as well, to mock the media’s tendency to make something out of nothing—a leaning into the vilification they know they will suffer anyway, like in NWA’s song about why those rappers called themselves the n-word.)
(I think we should all make the okay symbol with our left hand now, to represent our support for queer women, and by “we” I mean white people, since we’re the only people who are now being associated with a hateful racist ideology just by making a common physical gesture, and must now monitor the movement of our fingers.)
(A note to Very Necessary Emojis, which removed the okay hand-symbol emoji: You forgot to remove the one done by the skeleton hand. Quick, take that off too.)
Rittenhouse did not know those Proud Boys, nor any Proud Boys. The Proud Boys did not bail him out or claim him, and after months of looking for an explanation as to how or why the Proud Boys themselves are considered a white supremacist group, I couldn’t find any. You won’t find any either, and yet we all think they’re white supremacists when they would accurately be described as Western chauvinists.
The only action I ever saw involving Proud Boys was a street fight in Portland, Oregon, between them and some Antifa group, and one of the Proud Boy members arrested for fighting was polynesian. I don’t see how a group led by Enrique Tarrio could be white supremacists anyway. Tarrio’s the guy who just got charged with sedition for planning related to the January 6th insurrection. Look at his skin.
I’ve also noticed the Proud Boys, their black founder, and their black “pope” who made up their weird religion, are much more comfortable with queer sexuality than any white supremacist group in the world, today or in history, all of whom make quite clear they do not condone homosexuality.
I’m willing to agree that the Proud Boys are white supremacists, as my media keeps referring to them, but I need a reason first. I won’t just take Antifa’s word for it—nor the word of journalists known to be ideologically or directly allied with Antifa. My suspicion is that my tribe is too lazy to investigate the issue, relying on repeated assertions about the group by the media sources they’ve always trusted.
Or… they are too scared to question whether the Proud Boys are really racist.
This contradiction, between a claim you’re willing to agree with as fact and the unsettled matter of whether you believe it, violates liberal principles.
First, it violates reason. It is unreasonable to believe a serious accusation against someone you don’t know just because another person you don’t know made one.
Second, it violates the ethic of presuming that people are innocent until proven guilty, by reversing that presumption.
It also creates cognitive dissonance, which creates contradictions thru the rest of your thinking on an issue, a condition I believe is now common on the Left (the side of our political spectrum that includes liberals, progressives, democratic socialists, and communists, in order of decreasing valuing of individualism and reason, and increasing valuing of authoritarianism and collective thinking.)
cognitive dissonance: a mental state caused by conflicting thoughts or beliefs, usually accompanied by confusion in thinking or behavior
If we cannot discuss things without fear, we live under oppression, and should not pretend we live in a free society. Having come from a theocratic society, I can promise you you do not want your speech censored, guided, or compelled by people who want you to say you believe things that you do not really. You will hate life, no matter what, and your breathing will grow tighter.
Was I rare in my concern about these media phenomena surrounding the Rittenhouse case, these violations of our most sacred liberal values? It sure seemed like that in 2020. Most liberals were supportive, or at least silently tolerant, of the talk about white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse, so had I really slid to the Right? Consider the following questions, fellow liberals, and answer them for yourself (privately of course, so there is no fear of being labeled conservative/white supremacist/faithless).
Did you ever think Rittenhouse was a militia member?
Did you hear him referred to as an “active shooter” (as in “mass shooter”)?
Did you hear he made a “white power hand sign”?
That the gun he had was illegal?
That his mom had given him the gun?
That he brought a gun across state lines?
Was not invited to Kenosha to protect those businesses?
Was affiliated with white nationalists?
Shot black people?
Chased Joseph Rosenbaum before shooting him?
Created a dangerous situation?
Provoked his attackers?
What an unlikely collection of mistakes my media made. Maybe that’s why according to Nielsen Ratings, 40% of self-described Democrats (currently about 50% I believe, and climbing) watch FOX News. Also according to Nielsen, which is as unbiased as you’re gonna get, that is many more Democrats than watch either MSNBC or CNN. And the news host Democrats watch most? Tucker Carlson.
fact-checking: investigating a report or a claim to verify whether what was stated as fact is factual, rather than interpretative or false.
An Associated Press factchecker referred to white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse as “opposing” racial justice protestors. That assumes that he went to Kenosha not to protect three car lots from rioters, but because of those protestors’ politics, meaning he really just wanted to shoot people he disagreed with politically.
Another way that saying Rittenhouse opposed racial justice protestors changes the context of his actions is by not mentioning that recent BLM demonstrations had turned into night riots that overwhelmed police and burned and trashed businesses.
The AP factchecker seemed to me to be using that language deliberately. “Opposing” a cause few people would ever say they oppose, such “racial justice,” frames Rittenhouse as being in opposition to what some of the protestors might really have been there for, a racial injustice, specifically an unarmed black man being shot seven times by cops.
That subtle framing of Rittenhouse’s motive has spread thru American media unchecked, and I mean into books and music too. It has dovetailed with the Left’s vague blaming of other societal issues on “toxic masculinity,” which is never defined, and on “nationalism,” which is almost always presented now as “white nationalism,” as if the two nationalisms aren’t opposites in this country.
It is as tho there is a type of person bent on pinning crimes on a scapegoat they’ve already decided to blame for the country’s problems, and they just wait for something to happen they can pretend their scapegoat was the cause of. And their insistence, immediate and repeated, that Rittenhouse was an example of these things they
hate blame anyway, lasted for months and months.
There weren’t any such lasting mentions of the fact that many of the “racial justice demonstrators” out that night were armed too, nor that they were destroying things, just as there is no common knowledge of the fact that Jacob Blake admitted in court to picking up his knife while he was resisting arrest. Blake said he didn’t know what he was thinking when he picked it up. If he’s not hiding it, why did my media?
Misinformation makes the liberal ideal of coming to the best conclusion by open discussion, by the consideration of all available views and evidence, impossible. For a tribe that is supposed to be concerned with misinformation, we’re sure not very.
“The rise of white vigilantism…”
“It wouldn’t surprise me if this system set him free…”
Why? Because it looks like he’s acting in self-defense in the videos? Is that why Rittenhouse’s acquittal wouldn’t surprise you?
I kept watching CNN after I saw it turn into a bullhorn for one political candidate in 2016, drowning out the complaints that Bernie Sanders supporters like myself felt were quite legitimate. I used to prefer Left-leaning media to the cherrypicking and judgmental presumption that always annoyed me in Right-leaning outlets, but I cannot tell which is worse anymore, unless it’s the side now judging and condemning people based on nothing (the side that keeps interviewing Donna Brazile like she wasn’t responsible for the DNC’s selling out the candidate they knew from their own polls had a better chance at defeating Trump, like she has anything I want to hear).
Back then, in the Beforetimes of 2016, Islamist terrorism was still being reported with about quadruple the coverage as any white supremacist or white nationalist terrorism was, even by CNN, MSNBC, and The New York Times. The FBI had long considered white nationalist ideologies a more common motivation for terrorism in the U.S. than radical Islam, by about double. I know because I’ve been paying close attention to what feds have been concerned about since 9-11. (Heard me?)
That has shifted, and didn’t shift when, or in proportion to, the shift in terror threats.
Major news outlets have reported “white nationalism” and the vague, undefined threat of “white supremacy” to the point whites don’t believe most media claims of either. Those outlets’ vocabulary has changed too, incredibly. You hear the same new words—Social Justice terms—on NBC and ABC too, and read them in our largest newspapers. I have noticed that when those terms are used, they’re used without explanation, and the reports or commentary in which they are used are always off: never accurate, never fair, and based on presumptions I’m supposed to be comfortable with.
And there’s something even more sinister going on. I watched a beautiful special on CNN last year about our national parks, during which the narrator, out of nowhere, said in a snarky, disgusted voice, “until white people and their friends showed up,” suggesting white settlers were responsible for the loss of… trees, I guess, but it was left unexplained. It just went back to narrating about national parks.
White settlers were not responsible for the loss of nature in North America. Red peoples had burned most the trees around here and the carbon record proves it, but why am I even talking about that? The point is that in the middle of CNN’s special on the national parks, the narrator suddenly said, “until whiiite people and their friends showed up,” like there was any reason to say that, like it fit into the show somehow, like it isn’t an inappropriate and terrible thing to say about a whole color of people.
And for what? So nonwhite kids watching will blame white people for more stuff? So they’ll know it’s bad to be white people’s friends? So we divide into tribes, and people of color who are still cool with whites will now be seen as friends with the Devil?
Did you hear that language in that CNN special, or hear about it? Probably not. It’s the norm now, which brings me to a creepy observation about the context of that racial justice demonstration in Kenosha:
Kenoshans knew there would probably be more of the same destruction and danger we had seen across the country once one of their officers shot a black man. Kenoshans also knew it wouldn’t matter if Blake had provoked the shooting by picking up a lethal weapon or not, because the reliable pattern of BLM and Antifa rioters has been not to wait for more information. It has been to riot if they don’t like what they see, regardless of the law, regardless of the facts, regardless of who is really guilty of what.
Police officers are the wrong type of person to be considered innocent, and any support of the police, even the lives of police, equals white supremacy in their ideology. And if a black person is hurt or killed, then rioting equals defending “racial justice,” which is now a subset of Social Justice, which is an ideology that presumes the innocence of only certain kinds of people and approves of only the punishment of certain other kinds of people.
What kinds does Social Justice approve of punishing, of blaming no matter what happened? Cops, males, white people who don’t support BLM, and their friends.
I want to point out that CNN took a year to correct their stance on the importance of Vitamin D in resilience to covid. Only after the Israeli findings became impossible to ignore did CNN report what most the world already knew: that people with high levels of the vitamin in their blood were less likely to develop covid symptoms and much more likely to survive covid if they did.
A report came out in mid-2020 strongly suggesting covid patients were 9.5 times more likely to survive covid if they weren’t deficient in Vitamin D. Then another report of Vitamin D’s protective effects against covid came out of the University of Chicago the same year. The most recent findings—from studying people who caught covid before the life-unthreatening Omicron variant emerged—shows that people who have adequate levels of Vitamin D in their blood before contracting the disease are fourteen times more likely to survive.
When the first report was being circulated, CNN treated it as tho it were a dangerous myth, because—CNN’s brief article on the finding warned—you could hurt yourself by overdosing on the vitamin. Technically, if you take handfuls of Vitamin D every day, and you don’t have enough Vitamin K-2 in your system to process it, you could take too much. Unless you don’t have enough K-2, overdosing on Vitamin D by taking even double the recommended amount is impossible—so impossible I that can make that claim here comfortably, without being a doctor.
CNN has the medical and journalistic resources to have examined that fact, and could have reported it honestly. They didn’t even mention Vitamin D again for the following year, after they warned against taking it as a preventative measure, but found plenty of time for commentary on how dangerous white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse was to black people. Americans don’t go outside much, so we are more likely than most populations to have a Vitamin D deficiency. Guess which race is the most likely.
When CNN finally got around to reporting the importance of Vitamin D last year, it was another quick mention, and the report was absent of any acknowledgement that they had downplayed the finding in 2020. I was telling brothers from the jump, but I don’t care about black lives like CNN does.
[I might be doing too much there, but I don’t know another way to introduce two of the themes I’ll be exploring in this essay: 1) the difference between people like me and people from racial enclaves who act like they’re helping, and 2) the difference between really valuing black lives and Black Lives Matter. Oh there I go.]
In the months before the trial, every media source I trusted echoed at least a couple talking points I knew weren’t true, and not just about Rittenhouse’s actions. In an ABC news article about a judge’s pre-trial ruling (that Rittenhouse couldn’t be associated, in court, with the Proud Boys), the line under the article’s title referred to the Proud Boys as tho they are, for sure, white nationalists:
A judge says prosecutors can't argue a man who shot three people, killing two, during a protest against police brutality in Wisconsin is linked to the Proud Boys white nationalist group
I cannot find a single article or interview explaining why the Proud Boys are considered a white nationalist group. I’ve even asked people who have met them and consider them white nationalists, and I still can’t get an explanation.
The Proud Boys consider themselves advocates for Western culture. So you could say they believe Western culture is inherently better, or at least worth protecting. You could even call them nationalists. But where does the white part come in?
They claim they are defending the existence of Western culture in this country—not promoting its exportation to countries that don’t want it, which would be cultural colonizing. Even if a judge ruled Rittenhouse can’t be associated in court with the Proud Boys, the assumption at ABC and at most new networks that the Proud Boys are “white” nationalists, and not just nationalists, means Rittenhouse’s association with them for a couple photographs in a pizza parlor associates Rittenhouse with white nationalists anyway, in the court of public opinion.
So ABC’s representation still affects Rittenhouse’s reputation in the average citizen’s mind, and therefore our judgment of any ruling in his case.
Such representation doesn’t work on everyone, of course, because some of us care what words mean, like “nationalist,” but we all know liberals and progressives who don’t care enough to know what a nationalist really is, which is a patriot who believes in putting the values and interests of their country first.
The general, unconsidered assumption many liberals and progressives have now about nationalists is that they’re biased and probably racist people, and also that patriots must be racist, which is what racial enclavers on campuses across this country have been openly teaching for years.
This is based on the circular logic that only white people would want to prioritize American interests or defend Western culture, and therefore someone who cares about these things is a white supremacist. It’s because of the popularity of illogic like this that we need to value logic and reason and critical thinking again, each of which you could call values of Western culture if you want to (and Social Justice does), but are valued by people of every color in every country.
The teaching by black Social Justice activists and other anti-American activists that such values are “white values” is racist against nonwhite peoples. It’s also a sneaky way to undermine what makes society work. Other “white” values include precision and punctuality, according to this type. (Remember! They’re not racist. You’re the racist for calling them racist.)
Why would advocates of Western culture see Rittenhouse as someone to support? Is it because of his skin color and their white supremacy? Or is it because of some other things people might want to support him for—like that he exercised his rights and was being demonized for it, or that he was being convicted in the court of public opinion long before his trial—with false reporting and character assassination, two tactics that are beneath liberal standards? Those are all crimes against the values of “Western” (liberal) society. So how are the Proud Boys white nationalists? You don’t know. What is white supremacy now? You don’t know that either.
Politifact got wrong the gun law regarding Rittenhouse’s possession of a rifle, and then danced around admitting their mistake.
In the New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar wrote that Kyle Rittenhouse killed two people “during protests of a police shooting.” In the next sentence he writes that Rittenhouse was “a strong supporter of officers,” reinforcing the impression that people who support police must oppose people who protest police wrongdoing. Seems basic.
Without evidence, without explanation, a thousand public voices wrote and spoke opinions about white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse that portrayed him as a menace to society. He was:
“shooting people up”
“just running around shooting and killing protestors”
So deep is Rittenhouse’s racism that you can’t see it or hear it anywhere on the videos of that night, nor online in his posts, nor in any of his statements or behavior.
Did you hear that he shot “BLM protestors” or “racial justice protestors”? That at least was true, but did you hear at the same time that those men he shot threatened him with death or great bodily harm, attacking him from different directions? If not, why only that they were BLM or racial justice protestors?
How often did your favorite news source mention Kyle Rittenhouse’s race, as tho it were a factor? A lot, right? But how often was the race of the people he shot mentioned? How many people do you know assumed Rittenhouse had shot black people?
How long did they believe that?
Why does it matter?
Joseph Rosenbaum was on video that had already been released, clearly chasing Rittenhouse. Not one commentator on the Left even mentioned that. I concluded that they had either not bothered to watch the video that was available, before commenting on a fatal shooting, or just didn’t care.
Then I suspected that whether they had not bothered to watch the video or just didn’t care, they didn’t believe they even needed to know what they were talking about. Even when talking about murder, the fact Rittenhouse is white was more important than his actions.
Many repeated that “Kyle Rittenhouse chased Joseph Rosenbaum.” I only heard one media platform issue an apology for saying that exact reversal of the truth. Admissions from liberal voices that they had got the facts wrong were very rare. They were almost nonexistent from those farther left on the political spectrum.
“I am highly educated and reasonably perceptive, and it was only today that I learned [that] Kyle Rittenhouse[’s] victims were white. My progressive bubble made this seem like a very different case than it is.”
—a Tweet by Sarah Beth Burwick
Media has become very selective when it reports violence. Even conservative media outlets mention the races of both parties when it’s news about violence perpetrated by whites against blacks. If it’s about white cops shooting blacks, it is guaranteed the races will be reported. When cops kill white males, however, you only ever hear about it locally, and briefly, tho it happens twice as often as cops killing black males (there are a lot more white men in this country tho, so proportionally black men are still much more often killed by authorities).
You never hear the races of authorities who kill white males, if you hear about the killing at all. (Did you know Jack Barnes and Tony Timpa couldn’t breathe either?)
So police violence “is a black and brown issue.” Never mind the obvious stupidity of assuming police brutality is only committed against people of color; and never mind my being kicked against concrete with my hands up at age fifteen, and then having my head bounced against that concrete; or my redheaded co-worker being choked with a nightstick from behind for walking across a hotel lobby to the elevator to get to his room; or my best friend getting tackled just for suspicion of shoplifting; or having drugs planted on me okay now I’m off track.
BLM has taught enclavers that “police brutality is a Black and Brown issue,” (gotta capitalize the separate nationalities) and that is why black enclavers think police misconduct is just a racial issue and why white enclavers stand in the back of the crowd at BLM rallies when they’re told to.
CNN was commenting regularly about white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse before the trial, making statements like “political violence is rising.” Meanwhile, the violence of the political Left’s most radical white extremists, who tend to affiliate with Antifa and other anarchist or anarcho-communist groups, was completely ignored by them and by most national media.
I only learned most of what I know about Antifa’s political violence because I went to some places where those groups are active, and talked to residents—in Portland, Oregon, L.A., and the Bay Area of California.
I’ve only ever seen political violence in America on local news or on YouTube. It’s always started by Far Left demonstrators. Such violence, and threats of business destruction, are part of these groups’ tactics, but their activity is barely reported in the national media, and never discussed by commentators in so-called liberal media.
It is to that source of violence and property destruction, whether by black BLM protestors or their white counterparts in Antifa groups, that business owners of every color have been responding by standing armed guard in front of their shops during demonstrations, not trusting that the police will protect their businesses or that they’ll even be able to.
I’ve been watching that civilian guard phenomenon grow for the past two years—in these few cities I’m familiar with—and it seems to me the national news networks and major newspapers make great effort not to notice the recent proliferation of civilian and private guards.
Footage of business vandalism and public vandalism and smash-and-grabs and gang beatings that occurred in L.A. and Portland and Dallas during nighttime demonstrations are sent to major news studios by private citizens, and the gang beating videos are kept from being broadcast because they are dangerously divisive (except by Tucker Carlson, who showed some Dallas footage and then said he doesn’t show such footage because it’s too divisive).
So people who don’t live in those cities, whose residents know how dangerous a race-fixated mob is, think residents of those cities who would arm themselves against such mobs must be racists… because those people watching from outside see what the media shows them—not the bullying of diners and passers-by; not the people of color standing with rifle ready in front of minority-owned businesses; not Rose City Antifa mobbing into Tom McCall park on a permitted religious gathering to menace parents of every color and toss firecrackers near children.
But an armed white male caught in a rioting mob who did not get gang-beaten (much), now that’s a story.
In the weeks before the Rittenhouse trial, NBC and ABC News anchors and guests started using language I had grown accustomed to on CNN and MSNBC. Maybe I shouldn’t have.
“white nationalist ties”
“shown here making the white power hand sign”
Kyle Rittenhouse had new lawyers by then, and would later claim that his original defense team had been using him, implying that they had arranged the photo opportunity with the Proud Boys for fundraising purposes. But there were other evils to associate Rittenhouse with by then.
I know a lot of Trump supporters. I don’t think any sympathize with the man. Ask yourself why people would use the term “Trump sympathizer” in this case.
“racially charged killing”
Racially charged killings lead as headlines, and as feature story segments on the evening news, and as discussion topics on panels, and on commentary shows, and in forums too. Because they want high viewership and the topic of race triggers our immediate concern, the media flocks to events that activate our primal instinct to understand potential tribal danger—threats to the public space, to social interaction in general, maybe to ourselves.
Rittenhouse’s killings were racially charged because my media was racially charging them. I see much more of this racialization from dying networks’ and newspapers, in their desperation for ratings: enraging us, shocking us, disturbing our sense of humanity with events that are framed as throwback acts of racism but aren’t.
And it isn’t just the media racializing events. In 2020, I watched candidate Joe Biden tell Anderson Cooper that Rittenhouse was allegedly part of a militia group. I was expecting him to say that’s why his presidential campaign had Tweeted out a photo of Rittenhouse below the words “white supremacists,” but Biden moved right to his next point, about then-president Donald Trump:
“Have you ever heard this president say one negative thing about white supremacists?”
I thought that was a very good question, because I had not, and I got distracted: I searched for examples of Trump saying things about white supremacists and what I found shocked me and a liberal friend who happened to be sitting next to me: There, on YouTube, was a CNBC clip (“President Donald Trump On Charlottesville: You Had Very Fine People, On Both Sides”) that doesn’t end after Trump first says there were fine people on both sides of the Charlottesville event. That clip and several others show Trump’s whole response.
Suddenly it was clear Trump did not consider racists very fine people. Listen just one minute longer to the same press conference:
“… you had people, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis or the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally, but you had many people in that group other than Neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”
My friend and I looked at each other, probably thinking the same thing but not saying it: we had been misled.
We would have stayed believing all Trump had said about the Charlottesville demonstrators at that press appearance was there were “very fine people on both sides.” Why had my media cut the clip right after those words, leading me to believe my own president approved of Neo-Nazis and white nationalists—actual white supremacists? Why did they hide from me that he had condemned them, without being prompted to, the minute after he said there were fine people on both sides in those Charlottesville demonstrations about the taking down of a controversial statue?
“white vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse”
“white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse”
It was crazymaking. I started daring my liberal friends to watch the whole clips of videos from Kenosha. They had only seen excerpts on the news, our news. Just look at what happened, I begged! Look with your eyes! But I’ve learned a very hard truth I am still trying to accept: Most people don’t want to see the whole clip.
Maybe that’s because of the terrible violence in those videos. Maybe they’re concerned enough by such deadly violence to have strong opinions about it, even to send a stranger to prison for it, but don’t consider it important enough to examine for themselves. That sure isn’t a liberal attitude tho. Seems like a witch-hunter attitude.
Many wouldn’t look even when I made it easy for them. I sent them links, to sources I thought they would trust. They also wouldn’t watch videos of brown people standing in front of businesses during other BLM and Antifa demonstrations, strapped and wrapped like Rittenhouse was, like they’d lose too much just by looking. Here it’s on my phone. It’s playing. Look at the phone I’m holding up in front of your face.
It was like calling after a ship that had become unmoored and already drifted out beyond shouting range. So I don’t consider these friends liberals anymore, not if they’re going to shoot their mouths off on matters they won’t even look into, spreading the misinformation I know they’ve been fed. I even suspect they know.
Here’s CNN just before the trial:
“You can’t separate this trial from Jacob Blake’s.”
You can, and you should. The riot in Kenosha was a response to Jacob Blake’s shooting, and Rittenhouse walked into that riot, but that doesn’t connect the two cases in any real way. They’re only connected by the repeated insinuation that Rittenhouse went there to shoot BLM protestors. I take that back: I think the media strategy of racializing both trials is the only thing that connects them. And I think when you start a segment on your show with a sentence like the one quoted above, you’re trying to keep your viewers from changing the channel.
“Ahmaud Arbery was murdered. Kyle Rittenhouse is a murderer. Decent white people can admit that.”
With that Tweet, John Pavlovitz informed me that if I’m a decent white person, I should “admit” that someone I don’t know, who shot people at an event I wasn’t at, is a murderer. I don’t even know how I can admit a murder for someone else, even if I did know the facts, but I do know I’m not a decent white person. I’m just a decent person, and not living up to the duties of decent whiteness people like John Pavlovitz regularly prescribe for me. I’m one of those indecent white people who just can’t admit one of my fellow whites is a murderer, because he’s white and I’m racist.
(It’s getting much harder, black people should notice, not to be a terrible white person. There are a growing number of very strange things we must voice agreement with to prove that we’re decent, and we always have to do it without question.)
The problem (because Pavlovitz and many other Social Justice voices say there’s a problem) when people don’t agree to condemn a stranger, is that those people who do not condemn that stranger unfairly are reinforcing white supremacy.
What’s the connection Pavlovitz is implying, between the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers and the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse?
People’s opinions on these trials determine if they are decent white people or terrible white people, real Blacks or Uncle-Tom sellouts, hispanic allies or hispanic Right-wingers, woke asians or white-adjacent asians (I’d mention red folk but they don’t seem to falling for any of this crap.)
The correctness of your view on both trials is determined by whether you will pre-convict the white people involved. Pavlovitz thus makes his own decency regarding racial matters clear in one Tweet, by telling the rest of us what verdicts we should have already formed in our minds. He’s given us a way out of being called racist during this cultural revolution, and we should take it: preemptive condemnation, the way of Social Justice.
As decent whites, we should acknowledge our special powers and always use them how we’re told, especially to condemn other white people. It doesn’t matter whether we know enough yet about their actions or intentions or the situation to be able to explain why we condemn them. We should even condemn other whites who do not condemn those whites. (If they won’t say “Heil Hitler” when they greet each other, then we know they are against Social Justice. If they just say “hello,” then they are against the rise of our national social movement for racial justice.)
MSNBC’s Joy Reid wants to give white men “the right to inflict violence.” That’s how she regularly referred to the implications of this trial: that it “will decide” whether we white males “still” have “the right to inflict violence.”
In Reid’s mind, only black teenagers should leave their homes to try to kill people, according to the three times she defended 17-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant’s attempted stabbing of another minor, a black girl who had retreated outside a shared foster home to wait for police, police who had been called on Ma’Khia Bryant by a third black girl, because Ma’Khia was threatening people in the home:
Last summer, a white cop responded to a panicked black girl’s call for protection against someone who was trying to stab her and other black minors. When the police arrived, some youth were gathered in a yard near some parked cars. On police video of the event, a black female teenager in a bright salmon dress stands leaning back against a car on the left, facing the police car and starting to talk to the cops.
Tho no one on any news show commented on it, the footage also shows a young black male on the right side of the scene, kicking the head of another black youth who is lying on the ground. But the cop’s attention is turned from that to a teenage black girl running onto the scene from the house, yelling at the girl in the salmon dress, in front of the cops, “I’ma stab the f- - out of you, b- -h!”
Ma’Khia Bryant then starts stabbing at the girl in the salmon dress, who is still leaning against the car. That girl reflexively moves her head back as the knife comes at her, and the video shows the knife would have gone into the front of her neck or her mouth if she had not moved, but she was trapped against the car so all she could do was move her head back to barely out of range, once.
Bryant then steps forward and lunges to stab at the girl’s throat and/or face again when an officer shoots Bryant four times, possibly saving the other girl from a fatal cut to her carotid artery, which would have been fine with Joy Reid.
“And if that is going to be the new standard [PAUSE: It’s not a new standard—that attempted stabbing is attempted murder on all seven continents plus the moon] then no black person is truly going to be safe [Pay attention, the media’s telling you why you’re unsafe again] if we can’t be having a bad day [“we,” meaning black folk, should not be expected to control their stabbing urges if they’re having a bad day], then we cannot defend ourselves when we think we’re gonna get jumped [Remember she said that, about defending ourselves when we think we’re gonna get jumped… and also how convinced you are right now that Joy Reid has ever had to worry about getting jumped], and we call the cops and they can’t show up and tell who the victim is and who the perpetrators are…”
How would she know? Does anyone who isn’t a white enclaver believe that Reid has ever been in such a situation?
TANGENT: Reid is so scripted and so disconnected from the reality most Americans share that she recently informed MSNBC viewers that Americans are talking about inflation because we’ve “been taught this word.” In Reid’s world, people don’t know the word “inflation” until inflation becomes a problem and Right-wing media teaches them the concept. Never mind that I learned it at age twelve when a comic book I used to buy went up in price. The Right-wing media taught me this word, and that’s the real problem. Massah don’t like us learnin’ them book words.
Reid assumes her audience will believe her reiteration of a common concern about cops not being able to tell who the the violent criminal when they’re called to a black community will work here—will play, as the con-artists say. I point this out as an example of the very common use of such blacks complaints by the media’s ignorati, pretending they know the struggle and that what their talking about now is yet another example (which is why they’re so tired) of racial profiling, or misinterpretation of normal legal activity by blacks, or exotification of people of color, or sexualization of black women, or adultification of black youth, or whatever category they can pretend something fits into, as long as its racialized. Gotta be about race. You’ll watch.
Reid assumes her audience—like she—will not bother to review the most basic facts of the Bryant shooting, because they’ll assume Reid is on top of it. (Just look at her!) That cop could tell very easily who the victim and who the perpetrator were. He responded quickly and heroically, by shooting Ma’Khia Bryant. Reid is just spinning a web out of pure racial gossamer, to suspend her tired, learned tribal talking points over the facts of what happened, completely disconnecting those who trust her web of interpretations from the reality of what she is interpreting for them.
Yes, it’s tragic Bryant grew up so confused and violent she’d run a distance just to stab someone, and so lacked competent parentage that she was unwise enough to do it in front of a cop. Yes, when the cops show up and hurt a black person it’s usually after a black person called them to come deal with a problem, tho the race of the caller never makes into the news unless it’s white. Yes, rich professional liars are so disconnected from the real world they make fools of themselves trying to sound like they’re down.
There are many problems to discuss in this situation, but unconscious bias causing cops not to know who the threat is isn’t one of them. Every one of Reid’s sentences was a thread drawn from Social Justice’s fantasyland, meant to come across as some deeper understanding of the facts of the situation, when really the viewer is being kept away from them, caught in sticky nonsense instead. Again, watch the video.
Or is something frightening you away from watching the video?
Joy Reid and voices like hers want you to know that cops get it wrong because they don’t understand the black community. Reid informed her audience that when she was in high school, fights broke out (gasp!), and also someone once brought “a penknife to school.”
Dang, a penknife? Into a high school?! I can’t even imagine what people like you go thru. You’re right, then, I guess: no cops for stabby black kids. (I’m trying to imitate the white enclaver who might watch this upside-down explanation and think it makes sense.) I guess that’s what it is for black folk. Cops should not get in the way when black minors are using lethal weapons against each other, because for all that white cop knew, the girl in the salmon dress was the threat, and should have been allowed to have her carotid artery severed! Thanks, Joy Reid!
LeBron James posted a photo of the hero cop who saved that black girl’s life, showing it to tens of millions of Twitter Followers with only two words: you’re next.
BLM sent me an email with the cop’s name, and a statement that Bryant was shot “at point-blank” [wrong] “in a matter of seconds” [thank god], and then ended the email in bold, as they usually do on their emails to mind people of the takeaway:
“Another Black life stolen with no regard.”
What would they have emailed out if Bryant had been allowed to take that girl’s life? “Another Black life taken fairly and with plenty of regard”? They would have said nothing. They don’t even mention it when a black cop takes a black life. Racialize-able killings are much better for fundraising, just like they are for TV ratings.
Here’s a typical Social Justice activist’s Tweet on the Bryant shooting:
“Teenagers have been having fights including fights involving knives for eons.”
Let’s pause mid-Tweet to appreciate the passive sentence structure. You’ll see these verb tenses, which avoid direct subject-verb causation, used by people who discuss crimes without assigning blame. For example, the CEO of General Motors they appointed after GM was found to have had ignitions in some of their cars in which the deaths of at least thirteen drivers occurred (see how I did that?) said that “mistakes were made,” without saying who made them.
That sounds a lot better than saying “GM knowingly murdered at least thirteen people, and we’re not going to tell you who was responsible for ignoring repeated warnings from the engineer.”
When I see corporate obfuscation techniques in the language of people now calling themselves activists… there is a compulsion that exists after which a calling of it out happens.
“… We do not need police to address these situations by showing up to the scene & using a weapon against one of the teenagers…”
Let me interrupt just one more time, to ask Newsome what she thinks a knife is. Bree Newsome, is a knife a weapon? Okay, please continue.
“Y’all need help. I mean that sincerely.”
You probably do. It sure is terrible that someone showed up and was “using a weapon against one of the teenagers.” Thank you, Newsome, for your clear thinking on this matter. We need self-appointed experts like you to tell us what is right and what is wrong when one girl stabs at another girl’s throat repeatedly. We will try to get the help we need, and be tolerant of the “fights including fights involving knives” that teenagers “have been having.”
(That sure is a lot of euphemism to avoid saying somebody tried to stab somebody. Can someone check on her?)
cognitive dissonance: a mental state caused by conflicting thoughts or beliefs, usually accompanied by confusion in thinking or behavior.
Social Justice is now an ideology, not a defined type of justice. In law, social justice was a term used to describe uses of law that do not concern criminal behavior (which the state, or “the people” charge you for), nor the realm of civil suits (which civilians file against each other or companies). It could be, for example, getting restitution or compensation for people who were dispossessed by a city’s declaration of eminent domain that forced them to sell property or cost them unfairly somehow, or correcting policies that effectively deprive people of an equal opportunity to vote.
Social Justice, capitalized, is whatever anyone who claims any kind of group-based complaint says it is, even if the complaint is nonsense. The values Social Justice pretends to have are constantly contradicting themselves. People do not point out the many moral and logical contradictions in this movement, which is how it survives.
In the above example, Bree Newsome exhibits a cognitive dissonance typical of Social Justice’s hypocritical and self-contradicting values: She cannot simultaneously condemn a white cop and express concern about the life of the teenager in the salmon dress.
Social Justice tells here that the cop is always wrong, the white person is always wrong, and maybe even that the male is always wrong. That’s just too much identity-based wrongness to side with, so she has adopted concern for the black teenage girl who got shot by the cop, regardless of the fact that that black girl would have stabbed another, innocent black girl if she hadn’t been shot.
The mind infected by Social Justice ideology must bounce like a bead of mercury thru an ever-twisting maze, finding whatever way it can thru the strict tribal rules, even if it means showing compassion for a violent maniac and ignoring the life that violent maniac threatened, and even if it makes the mind look really, really crazy.
Follow thru some Social Justice thinking that has infected liberal media some time, for yourself. It will usually lead you in a loop, arriving back at the assumption it started with, as tho it were a conclusion. That’s called circular logic.
For examples, white people who deny that white privilege benefits them just don’t see the benefit of being white because they are blinded by their white privilege, and white people who deny they are unconsciously racist deny their racism because their white fragility is unconsciously resisting the realization that they are unconsciously racist.
Reid, like every Racial Justice activist, is really arguing that there should be special laws for black people, special exceptions I doubt 99% of black Americans would ever want. Reid hasn’t apologized, nor explained how wrong her view of the attempted stabbing was. She just stopped talking about it, confident the public would not remember, because we don’t.
So Reid had time to say she thought Bryant’s death was wrong, that what looked like attempted murder is just “regular old everyday community conflict” (oh yes, I don’t make up quotes: “community conflict”), but not that that cop did the right thing, nor that she condoned minors’ use of lethal weapons on each other.
She’s trying to convince us both that this kind of lethally armed violence is okay in black communities and that she’s ever been a part of one. So, The Reid Out’s fine with black kids stabbing each other and not getting any police response for it, because the black community requires different rules, and because Black Lives Matter.
The momentum of racialization has only increased the past few years. On ABC’s political talk show The View, Joy Behar, who is known to believe people shouldn’t own guns, asked a black female co-host why she had recently become a gun owner.
The co-host responded that she is a single mom, and that she was in her home with her son when a riot was going on outside. Her son told her he was scared, and she replied that she was too. So she bought a gun, because if someone came in the house she didn’t think it would be someone she could overpower without one.
(I mean, do you really have to break it down like that? I guess so for some people.)
The host went on to say what black-owned gun store in L.A. she bought her gun at, and how often she went to the range to shoot with her girlfriends, and Behar said…
Nothing. She did not criticize that particular, black, female, parent, for owning a gun. Who knows why? I don’t know why. It’s not like we judge each other differently based on different standards because we’re so different. (Wait, I mean, we should. Yeah, that’s the right answer. We should base our judgment of the same behavior differently based on whose behavior it is, and by “whose” I mean which identity group’s.)
It was like watching someone explain the problem to a toddler. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t guess why a single mom living in in L.A. would buy a gun. I don’t think anyone would guess duck hunting. They would guess she wanted to protect herself and her children. From violent crime. Every time.
I’m guessing viewers of the The View are fine with that, and that they also think it’s good she went to a black-owned gun store, because every business of color is an essential business, because people of color need their businesses to survive. (I read that during the shutdown.) But what would The View viewers’ view be of someone like me, a childless male, going to an iranian-owned gun store to buy a gun? (Hold on. Those probably don’t exist.)
Behar had recently said the only reason Governor Ron DeSantis opposed vaccine mandates in his state was “so that he could appeal to his white supremacist base.” Except then data came out of NYC that the most vaccine-hesitant group was blacks, followed by hispanics. Is Behar now going to call blacks and hispanics white supremacists for not getting vaccinated?
She didn’t. That would break the code people like Behar follow when commenting on anything racial, or rather, when racially commenting on anything that isn’t racial. She knows there are different rules for blacks and whites.
(You see, ninety years ago a thousand-and-a-half blacks with syphilis were cruelly experimented on without being informed of what a medical study was doing to them. Therefore, blacks’ hesitation to get vaccines in 2020 is different from whites’ hesitation to get vaccines, and we should tolerate the different standard for blacks. Because we’re different. Also never mind the millions of soldiers of every color who could have been subject to every manner of chemical and medical experiment without their knowledge once they signed their lives over to military command. Also forget the Downwinders in Utah. And the depleted uranium in Puerto Rico. And burn pits. Remember the Tuskegee experiments and tell yourself you’re being anti-racist.)
Few reading this would expect Behar to criticize a worried black mother for buying a gun. We so don’t expect such criticism that we don’t even notice its absence. But Behar can freely condemn Kyle Rittenhouse for having a gun, and also his mom.
(The white 2nd Amendment gun nuts I found online while researching this piece were all very supportive of that woman becoming a gun owner, by the way.)
Maybe Behar’s too compassionate not to side with people who get hurt or killed, regardless of whose fault it was. My friends who condemned Rittenhouse are compassionate like that too, so I understand. In fact, Behar is so compassionate that she voiced concern, on The View, about the Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Western Europe… and interfering with the trip to Italy she’s been planning for four years. Yes.
So, who should be allowed to defend themselves? Seriously, I’ve thought about this a lot so now I want you to: would society condemn my decision to defend myself with a lethal weapon faster than it would condemn a mother’s decision to protect herself? Faster condemn a white person’s decision to arm himself than a person’s of color (person of color’s?) decision to do the same?
I’ve never owned a gun, but I’m iranian enough to know there are very good reasons for the 2nd Amendment. (Why do you think the Iranian Uprising of 2009 failed?) So would arming oneself to protect against tyranny, as some people very literally interpret the 2nd Amendment to be about, be condemned or approved of by my liberal tribe?
The 2nd Amendment always seemed to be more important to conservatives, maybe because they have more fears and nightmares on average, or maybe because they care more about the survival of the United States than most liberals do, because we are much more likely to denigrate our country, take its freedoms for granted, and speak automatically against it as tho it were guilty of more wrongs or even as many wrongs as other countries commit, maybe because American-born liberals can be spoiled brats who think rights and liberties fall out of the sky into their cribs at birth, and that being critical of America to make it better means acting like there’s some other country out there that is more just, or more tolerant of more kinds of people.
I consider effective self-defense part of the 2nd Amendment, but self-defense goes way beyond that. It’s our first natural right, one every animal on this planet has. (I think that’s because every animal will practice it anyway, right or not.) Like with abortion, outlawing certain means of self-defense would only make us more vulnerable and deceptive: Criminals would still be able to get guns in this country, even if Joy Behar could criminalize them. That mother would not, legally.
Does my getting a gun seem different to you because of my gender? What if I carried it out at night, where danger was? Would I be creating a dangerous situation? How? Packing while male? What if I took it to a protest with me—regardless of what side I was on? Or would it matter to you—be honest—which side I was on? Would you feel differently if a woman carried a gun to a protest to protect people from any mass murderer who might drive up (like that woman in West Virginia just did)?
What if I just felt nervous about my store’s front windows, or its merchandise? What if I would happily hire private security for a coming demonstration that’s totally about justice, but I couldn’t afford it? Can I get a gun then? Or should I hire that security, even if it hurts me financially? What if I do have kids, and I can’t afford that private security because my kids need braces?
What if it isn’t a scary-looking rifle, the kind that kill a tiny percentage of the people killed by guns every year, but a small handgun, the kind that are responsible for the vast majority of annual gun murders? Would you feel differently then? Should we legislate our gun laws based on those feelings?
During his weeks in jail, Rittenhouse claims to have befriended some people inside. He claims to have explained to them what occurred that night in Kenosha, and then they invited him to play Spades. You know what that means. It probably helped that he only shot other white people, but the point is if a minor in jail for the first time was able to convince strangers that his actions were justified, it’s because they were willing to listen to his story. Would you be? Before condemning him to prison?
Nicole Wallace called Rittenhouse,
“The seventeen-year-old accused of committing those murders”
(Not accused of murder, but of committing those murders, like murders happened.)
Read what she asked Senator Ron Johnson:
“Do you condemn it?”
Johnson was like, uh, condemn what now?
“Do you condemn it?”
Johnson said the “unresolved deaths,” still under trial, were a tragedy but—
“It’s a tragedy but do you condemn it?”
Who writes these interview questions, George Orwell? Just so we’re all on the same page, a murder is an intentional illegal killing of a human being. It has to be unlawful and premeditated. That premeditation can be over the course of one second, but the intention to kill has to be there, and so does a lack of cause for using lethal force against a living human body. Was Wallace asking a senator if he condemns deaths she’s already decided were murders, or is she the type of journalist we’ve come to accept—someone who will read anything off a script?
(After all, we can’t possibly know who’s responsible for the words these neo-journalists speak to the masses, can we? Like criminal actions that were taken as part of the dispersed, deindividuated activity of a corporation, words any critically listening audience hears as crimes falling from the lips of news anchors and news channel commentary show hosts were written for them. Nobody wrote them.)
Wallace was talking like all of society had decided Rittenhouse’s killings were murders. Does she want important officials, like our lawmakers, to pre-condemn certain actions? Doesn’t condemning a killing in self-defense, as tho it were murder, blur the difference between self-defense and murdering?
Do y’all not see the garbled, tricky language she just used in her assumption that someone should, or even could, condemn a thing before it’s a thing? So, why’d she ask that? Because it’s not important whether the shootings were justified, just that you condemn. Condemn white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse. Have you not condemned him yet?
ideology: a system of thought based on a set of ideas and values.
Chris Cuomo once seethed at his viewers that we whites don’t empathize with blacks, even when black lives are lost. It didn’t make sense to me when I was watching it, because I’m pretty sure most CNN viewers went out to march after George Floyd died, under an uncaring, unlistening cop’s knee. But there Cuomo was, on national television, telling me when it’s my people dying in the streets, “when those bodies start piling up,” then I’ll care.
“‘Cause it’s your people.”
All I could think watching this wealthy white male was, what country is he from? Is it where White people with a capital W are from? I haven’t been to Whiteland, but I’m glad Cuomo was teaching whichever whites he was talking to how to feel compassion for people with other skin colors. I still don’t think the typical CNN audience, or any American audience, contains a significant percentage of those whites. My people includes black people, and a bunch of other kinds of people. Let’s see what Cuomo had to say about Kyle Rittenhouse:
“It’s hard to believe that somebody chasing you is going to beat you to death.”
Ohhh, that’s where you’re from. Chris Cuomo isn’t from New York or any other city on this planet, not really. Just speaking from my own perspective: real violence must never have happened to him, and also he’s never seen any. That’s why it’s hard for him to believe Rittenhouse could legitimately fear being beaten to death by a stranger chasing him.
I wonder why strangers normally chase people like Chris Cuomo, because people who know anything about violence never say such incredibly stupid, dismissive things like that. I only ever hear that kind of things said by media’s chattering class, most of whom seem really convinced that they can convince us they know what’s up.
I guess Chris Cuomo would stop and allow someone who is behaving aggressively, threateningly, or irrationally, to beat him until that person was done beating, regardless of whether he might be beaten to death or brain death, regardless of the chances other strangers would jump in to contribute to the beating, because he totally knows stuff about violence and concrete.
(Ask Florida man Justin Jasper about violence. He didn’t even mean to kill that guy.)
Chris Cuomo, and millions like him, don’t realize that denial of physical reality itself just sounds to other people like ideology. Maybe Cuomo, Reid, Pavlovitch (a thousand other commentators, ten thousand college professors, a million Social Justice voices) know their audience has been saturated in an ideology, one that denies facts, denies physics, denies biology, refuses to consider contradicting information, and blocks all incoming information with a set of beliefs about how to be a good and caring person.
It’s those ideological beliefs that are guiding people who have adopted Social Justice rules. Rather than their own personal understanding of what it means to care, or even before developing their own understanding, they play it safe and follow the new rules, and nod when others incant them. And that’s how the spell gets passed on.
That is the only explanation I have for the things I hear from people who clearly don’t know what they’re talking about, why they would parrot obvious nonsense without any concern that that nonsense will reveal their ignorance of a situation: they believe that the rule they’ve been taught must cover the situation, must be what’s right… or they’re too afraid to question it, because of all the other nodding people around them.
Now here comes Cuomo’s black friend, Don Lemon, who used to tell Cuomo on national television what white people do and don’t do. (Picture Cuomo nodding.)
“It’s not incumbent upon Black people to stop racism.”
Lemon was voicing another Social Justice talking point: racism is not only an ever-present problem, it’s white people’s problem. We whites can stop racism, by ourselves, because we are now the only people who can be racist, which leads me to another Social Justice belief: black people can't be racist.
Lemon’s words show that he has been studying Social Justice scripture, or maybe he figured out this new truth about racism all by himself, living in his 3%-black town. I’m attempting to point out something about those who parrot Social Justice talking points: how rarely their beliefs about race relations are expressed in their own words, and how never they are based in personal experience.
They’re always copying, is what I claim, from an ideology of lies that makes any meaningful discussion impossible, and then they cover controversial trials on news programs, publish historical books, and get tenure at universities that then cannot remove them. The infection of inauthenticity spreads from there, thru the youth especially. Like any unchallenged lies, Social Justice beliefs find their way into places you would never expect to find them. [More on that in Parts Four and Five.]
I first heard the new definition of racism about six years ago, that racism = prejudice + power, and whites always have the power, so black people can’t be racist.
I knew that day, when I happened to be walking on UC Berkeley campus, where a crowd of students of color were blocking the main bridge—forcing white students to walk around and down, to cross a creek instead, while letting nonwhites pass thru on the bridge—that an extremely dangerous line had been drawn.
Five years later, in 2021, I got back in touch with my best friend from high school, Preacher. He kept telling me his new ideas, which conflicted with his old ideas—things he had stood for since we were teenagers.
We used to believe that racism is the philosophy that holds one race superior and another inferior, and that to act in a racist way meant to act as tho some people were lessers to some other people because of race. Everyone believed that definition.
Preacher used to complain regularly about how racist some of the blacks he knew were. At our high school, most black racism was against polynesians and “mexicans,” some of whom were racist right back. But Preacher would also complain of racist talk he would hear about whites, from black people who he knew avoided interaction with whites, and who didn’t know what they were talking about. Enclavers.
Black enclavers and white enclavers often have lots to say about other races, some positive and self-abnegating (granted, that’s mostly from economically comfortable white female enclavers), but mostly negative. These black and white enclavers don’t know what they’re talking about because they avoid personal interaction with the other races they have lots to say about. But let’s get back to the black racists:
The racist black enclavers Preacher used to complain about would make negative assumptions about how whites think, what we must be saying in private to each other, what problems we have with black guys dating white women, what we must secretly be thinking of blacks at workplaces, and even about how we are all secretly racist.
Preacher knew so many whites for so long that he knew those beliefs weren’t true, were born from ignorance, and poison to pass on. You know, like racism is.
Somewhere in the middle of our last conversation (we spoke four times on the phone last year and he spoke for over 90% of each conversation), Preacher paused during a long speech and said, “I don't even think black people can be racist,” like I had never heard that before, like I was so ignorant of all the new beliefs he was sharing with me that I hadn’t heard Social Justice’s re-definition of racism: blacks can’t be guilty of it, because New Racism = prejudice + power, and blacks may have racial prejudices, and may speak on their racial prejudices and act on their racial prejudices, but they are never in a position of power, so that’s all cool.
Because whites are always in a position of power over people of color. Therefore, if you add prejudice to that power, you get New Racism. And whites are always racist.
People of color are any people who aren’t white.
Whites are always in power over every nonwhite.
This may be very hard for whites to believe, only because we do not see it in our personal experience, and we do see plenty of evidence of when nonwhites have power over whites, but there is an invisible network of white power that permeates America, called “whiteness.”
At least that’s my definition of whiteness. It’s another Social Justice word I can’t find a good definition of. Not one person I’ve asked to define whiteness for me can even give me a bad definition of it. And everyone seems fine with that. Sometimes I listen to academics talk about whiteness and it sounds like they’re just talking about white skin, or white people, or being white, but I’ve been told that is because I am being too sensitive. Here’s a recent definition I found, but I think it might just be a description:
“Whiteness is an unrelenting, demonic force of evil.”
(Twitter just decided that was perfectly fine to Tweet, and Swan made fun of those who complained, calling them “cornstarched critters,” which was fine too.)
I know, Preach. Only whites can be new racist. You really must be in your own world now to assume you wouldn’t sound a fool saying that to me as tho it were your idea. I just couldn’t speak long enough to tell you that I already know that one, because you kept talking over me, and interrupting me, and correcting me.
I also could have told you that you probably shouldn't say that to white people like we haven’t heard it by now, like you just thought it up yourself. You used to complain about racism from every race. Remember?
I remember yelling at that waiter at Village Inn, that he wasn’t going to get a tip, and I remember when he came back and pointed right at you and said no one talks to him like that, assuming you were the one who got loud and used the curse word I called him. Remember how we all got out of that booth and he ran off and the manager came to apologize, for the racism?
Remember getting clocked by the cops when you and Rome and I went dragging State Street on Friday nights? Remember that racism? Remember my holding the peace while you two peed, because of the beef between blacks and polynesians back then? Remember that racism?
I sometimes wonder how much the two black friends I’ve lost during the past six years have forgotten about our shared history, about their own history. Sometimes I can’t tell if this spell has taken their memories or just their desire to spend time with me. Either could threaten their new ideological friends, and I don’t want to cause a violation of some membership requirement for their new blackcard.
Maybe I’m just hurt they’ve forgotten me and our pasts together in pursuit of a greater connection to blackness, sorry, Blackness, but that’s not the case with Preacher. He was always black, grew up with blacks, and stayed around blacks. I think he just always wanted a cause to be a part of, a movement to join.
The other ex-friend really wanted that connection tho. She grew up in an all-white town with her white mom as her only parent and felt hurt when kids in Afrika called her “that white lady” tho everyone in America sees her as black. I’m not the only white friend she’s lost. She had many. Now she has none.
My now very interrupting friend Preacher now agrees with things now oppressed people like Don Lemon now say: it’s on white people to stop racism, and it is not on black people to do anything about it. How could they? Given that American blacks have no power in American society, they are incapable of succumbing to the same awful tribal tendencies of humanity that white people are susceptible to, like racism.
If black people do succumb to such tribal tendencies, it doesn’t matter, because their behavior, their attitudes, their beliefs, their mindsets, have no effect on society. It only matters if white people act tribal, because it’s white people who have the power, in every situation, and all the time, amen.
Our whiteness gives us that power because America is a white supremacist nation, still. We have to remember in all our discussions about race relations and everything else that we whites have endless, invisible power over nonwhites. And we will never discuss times when that is not the case. This should work.
“white supremacist terrorism”
If my theory is right, that this senseless new ideology has infected language to the point that people can’t talk sense, even when they’re discussing important topics, then discussions about important topics by people using this infected language should be less connected to reality, and therefore much less likely to be helpful.
Test it yourself. Test how well you can understand events, actions, or motives with Social Justice thinking. Test how well you can make predictions based on the Social Justice worldview. Or listen to people in media who use this language—you can identify it by its vocabulary and presumptions. Listen to their predictions, like of how court cases will turn out and why. Remember what they say, and examine for yourself if it proves true. And if it doesn’t come true, notice if they act like it came true anyway.
That is the mark of a religious fanatic, someone with whom you cannot reason.
My favorite thing about liberal ideology is that it processes information in a way that makes it useful to me. I think the deliberate invasion of Social Justice ideology into liberal ideology, its co-opting of our words and its re-definition of what it means to be compassionate, is not only crippling the Left’s ability to speak, but to think.
In turn, this is destroying the marketplace of ideas, poisoning the fruits of open discussion, and outlawing debate with strict rules about blasphemy. You can’t say that. I’m sorry, this discussion is over: you simply cannot say that. It’s unacceptable.
Over the past few years, have you noticed a steady increase of distrust in our society? How about in suffering, in any ways that free speech would normally find solutions to? The lack of a common vocabulary our whole society can use—words we can agree on the meaning of—makes our society dysfunctional and weakens us all, because it makes communication dysfunctional, and communication is necessary to humans.
Social Justice’s suspicious focus on redefining the words liberals use to describe our most important concerns—like justice, equality, speech, violence, oppression, racism, and inclusion—is why I consider this invasion deliberate (that and the fact that some of its generals openly described their strategy to “expand” the liberal sphere in their published academic theories).
Beyond the effects of its perverting, self-contradicting vocabulary, Social Justice writes prescriptions for society that will only sow more chaos, because its prescriptions are usually based on made-up or misdiagnosed problems. I say “more” chaos because I believe the discord and increased tension we are experiencing is not because of race relations or racism or even past race crimes, but because of how long Social Justice has influenced our thought and speech with confusion and hate.
The disconnection between my media and my lived experience had grown to a canyon, and opinions I heard repeated by liberal friends about the Rittenhouse case had become too disturbing to ignore. Had there been so much smoke in mirrors that they literally couldn’t see what was right in front of them? Is that why most of them wouldn’t watch the videos, even when I told them they’d be convinced Rittenhouse was probably innocent? Was the fog of their confusion, from being taught to see the world with so much bias, that thick?
Or was it because they knew they shouldn’t see what they would see, that it was too dangerous for them?
“Taking a man’s livelihood away from him is akin to killing him.”
I knew I wasn’t the only liberal disturbed by the coverage. As the trial got going, even billionaire liberal Bill Ackman stated publicly how misled he felt by our media:
“With respect to my own political bias, I am not a gun owner, nor a member of the NRA. On balance, I support stronger gun regulations and removing loopholes in the sale of guns. Unfortunately it seems that society's view of Kyle's innocence depends more on one's views about gun control rather than on what actually took place last August… Kyle Rittenhouse's life is at risk. Justice demands a fair trial. Society would benefit greatly if politics did not enter the court room and convict innocent people.”
The media contacted Ackman immediately after he posted that statement and others like it on Twitter, in Rittenhouse’s defense. According to Ackman, a reporter who contacted him simply could not understand how he could be defending Kyle Rittenhouse, because Ackman is known not to be conservative. You’d have to be a conservative, our media was convincing itself, to defend white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse. Ackman said the reporter asked if his Twitter account had been hacked.
The media’s irresponsibility, their misrepresentation and sensationalist racializing of important issues, has become so bad that it’s reached the level of evil, and evil is hard not to notice unless you’re scared to look at it. If you don’t confront it tho, you end up going along with it and committing yourself not to see it every time it reveals itself.
Eventually it becomes a regular part of your world, and then you start ignoring more things that evil commands you not see. And not see, and not see, and not see, until it’s in every part of your life.
That’s the commitment I see way too many people who call themselves liberals making these days, to not see an insidious corruption of our national conversation, even of our personal conversation. Some of my liberal friends cannot see me now, like Preacher, and a few more. It feels safer, more comfortable for them, to not see.
Some commit to this blindness because of compassion, compassion misdirected by those who pretend to represent the people they want to express compassion toward.
Some commit out of fear of being targeted by a fanatical mob—losing their social status, important opportunities, career, and livelihood.
All Ackman and his wife claim to have done is view coverage from sources other than their usual “liberal” ones, and then process what they saw, in contrast with what they had been shown by their usual sources.
They concluded, thru seeing evidence for themselves, thinking for themselves, and discussing with each other (being liberals) that they had been deceived by their normal media sources, especially with regard to Kyle Rittenhouse’s character.
I had completely lost trust in my media’s coverage of the case. The country’s current sensitivity to racial issues must be making my media outlets overreact—I told myself—maybe to protect themselves from being called racist too, which is weak, but would explain the months of talk about “white vigilantism” and “white supremacy,” for which they will surely apologize afterward—I also told myself.
I had already lost my trust in information coming from social media (after the second time I accidentally shared a false news report with my friends) and I had noticed that in the past few years FOX News had been using a new method to ridicule the Left: they had started pointing a camera at controversial events, and pressing record.
So I checked and, yes, FOX was promising to show all the footage of the trial, and all the video footage that was going to be shown in the trial. None of the other networks were doing that, or have since.
[Part Two coming soon: COURT]
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