Kyle Rittenhouse Ethics, Part 3: Et Cetera


Remaining ethics notes in no special order, (but numbered because numbers work better than bullet points in WordPress’s terrible “block” system):

1. No evidence has surfaced indicating that Rittenhouse is a “white supremacist.” Nonetheless, many news media sources have reported that he is. Worse, Joe Biden has said so twice, once as a candidate and once since his election. Kyle’s mother appeared on Fox News and accused Joe Biden of defaming her son to win votes. That’s as good an explanation as any, I guess.

2. Trump Derangement is embedded in the trial. The Great Stupid moment par exellance: while Rittenhouse was on the stand, a cell phone tone rang out. It belonged to the phone of Judge Schroeder, and was Lee Greenwood’s patriotic country anthem “God Bless the U.S.A.” This immediately sparked deranged pundits and activist to demand the judge’s removal, because Donald Trump likes the song and has played it at rallies.

Morons. What songs a judge likes or doesn’t like isn’t evidence of any bias or conflict of interest whatsoever, and while the news media wants this trial seen as such, it’s not political. However, some judges have punished lawyers for allowing a cell phone to disrupt testimony. For a judge to have his own phone ring is bad.

3. Someone was explaining to me that the judge was biased because he appeared to be “anti-rioter.” All judges and all citizens should be anti-rioter.

4. Judge Schroeder also has been criticized for allowing the defense to use terms like looters and rioters but banning the prosecution from calling those shot by Rittenhouse as “victims.” As for the former, they were rioters and looters. There is no reason to disguise it. I agree with the “victims” ruling as well. I’ve often wondered about permitting the word in such trials: “victim” is an ambiguous term that can imply innocence. One meaning is “someone who is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment.” Someone who is killed in self-defense hasn’t been mistreated. The word biases the trial against a defendant like Rittenhouse.

5. Well, maybe this is even dumber than #2… Judge Schroeder was speaking about the court’s plans for lunch when he said, “I hope the Asian food isn’t on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor.” “Did the judge just make a slight against Asian people??” reacted MSNBC contributor Katie Phang. Others of her ilk followed suit. Is it racist to say “Asian” now? In what universe or version of English is an obvious joke about the supply chain “racist”?

Race or Trump, race or Trump–which has progressives more ready for the padded cells? It’s a close call.

6. Now this was unfortunate. On Veterans Day, the judge requested everyone applaud for the veterans in the courtroom. Unfortunately, the one veteran turned out to be the next witness for the defense. That was careless—I assume it was unintentional—because a judge’s praise can influence a jury and make a witness seem especially trustworthy.

7. One of MSNBC’s resident race-baiters—this one is named Ja’han Jones—was among the many jerks who proclaimed that Rittenhouse was “acting” when he momentarily appeared to break down on the stand. He wrote, in part,

Kyle Rittenhouse, the man charged with homicide in the deaths of two anti-police brutality demonstrators, seems to have spent much more time at the gun range than in acting classes. Rittenhouse, who was 17 last year when he shot and killed the two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was called to testify Wednesday by his own defense team — a move that appeared to signal their confidence in the outcome of the trial….While testifying about the moment he shot Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the protesters, Rittenhouse sniffled, quivered, contorted his face, bloated his cheeks and did just about everything else you’d expect of a novice actor attempting to convey sorrow. …Though photos captured a single tear streaming down his face, I couldn’t tell whether it was from actually crying, or if he’d merely worked up a sweat from trying. 

I’m too lazy to check whether this guy expressed similar skepticism when Christine Blasey-Ford, a middle-aged adult, hammed her way through Senate hearing testimony as she “recalled” a 30-year-old trauma that nobody, including her, could place exactly in location or time. I doubt that he did, because he’s obviously a fan of confirmation bias. Thus he finds suspicious the emotion of a teenager, recalling the day he was in fear of his life and killed two people, as he stood trial to try to salvage his future.

8. In the rest of Jones’ article, he keeps mentioning that the jury and the judge are white. So? The individuals shot by the kid were also white. Again: why are those rooting for Rittenhouse to be convicted of murder seeing this as a racial controversy at all?

I know, and it’s disgusting: they see his conviction as a validation of the rioting. MNBC’s stomach-churning headline was “Kyle Rittenhouse’s white crocodile tears hold value in America/The man charged with homicide in the deaths of two anti-police brutality protesters put on quite the show for a nearly all-white jury this week.” How odd: there was no police brutality in the shooting of Jacob Blake. Nor could it possibly be called a racist shooting. The rioters were wrong, even for rioters. They will remains wrong regardless of the Rittenhouse verdict.

9. Back to Judge Schroeder for a second: another decision that supposedly showed his “bias” was excluding a video of Rittenhouse watching from a car as someone was looting a CVS. He says on the video that he wishes he had a gun to shoot them. The video was taken a couple of weeks before the incidents that put the teen on trial. The theory in presenting the video would be to show his “state of mind.” But a random comment by a 17-year-old about what he’d like to do as he boasts to friends weeks before has limited probative value, and a judge can legitimately decide that its prejudicial effect on jurors outweighs its value.

10. The venom being focused on the judge is signature significance. These partisan,vengeful and vicious activists want to wreck a teenager’s life, brand him a “white supremacist,” and see him convicted for murders despite strong evidence of self-defense that should make an acquittal on the most serious charges mandatory. Before this trial, Schroeder had a reputation as a strong law and order judge who had no sympathy for lawbreakers. But in the wake of the George Floyd Freakout, making sure a white defendant gets a fair trial when he’s been falsely labeled a racist takes courage and diligence.

Vanity Fair has a particularly ugly article.

11. Ann Althouse calculates that the news media is going to assist the impulse to riot “if Kyle Rittenhouse is acquitted (or the judge grants the motion for a mistrial with prejudice).” That will be perfect: an acquittal on charges based on deaths during a riot triggered by false assumptions and lies itself becomes a spark for riots.

And the Great Stupid lumbers along…

17 thoughts on “Kyle Rittenhouse Ethics, Part 3: Et Cetera

  1. 2.) At least it wasn’t “Cancion de Trump (Trump Song)”

    8.) If a racial angle can conceivably be introduced, then, as sure as the sun rises in the east, it will be. I was reading somewhere that Ben & Jerry’s put out a tweet inviting us to imagine what would have happened had Kyle been a young black man who travelled across state lines with an AR-15 (which didn’t happen, by the way) and had done what Kyle did. This exercise was intended to lead us to conclusion that the justice system is hopelessly racist. Surprisingly, I agree — I imagined that this imaginary black Kyle wouldn’t face any charges.

    • Sorry, that had a slight mis-statement: Christian was arrested like his friend, but proceedings were only completed against Faithful.

  2. The fact of the matter is that the left and its black supporters want a very lopsided system of justice that works only in their favor. If you’re on their side, you have immunity, but if you dare stand up to them, you’re going to jail.

    • That does seem to be the end goal doesn’t it?

      There is a revolution of sorts going on, and you had better make sure that you are on the right side of it, lest you find yourself the wrong side of history books, and not to mention the justice system.

  3. I have been watching the entire trial and an absolutely appalled at how the media is mischaracterizing events, taking things out of context, and paint the race narrative on each little detail. Gaige states under oath that Kyle did not raise his rifle until Gaige had pointed his pistol at Kyle and lunged forward, yet the media headlines proclaim “lone survivor shot by Kyle Rittenhouse at Kenosha protests says he thought he was going to die”. The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act is destroying America.

  4. The left is angry the judge is actually holding the prosecution accountable, and he is not allowing false leftist narratives to parade around unchallenged in court. The people Rittenhouse killed were also all white, so, he’s an odd white supremacist to kill no black men but kill two white men.

    The left wails about nuance, but they completely lack nuance in this case. Your take is reasonable. Rittenhouse violated some laws and should be held accountable for doing so, but he is not a murderer. The issues are separate. He’s also 17, so I think he should be shown some leniency. I am actually more angry at his parents for allowing him to even do what he did. What parent allows their 17 year old to go into the middle of a riot with a loaded weapon?

  5. 1. You know, this is so Barack Obama. Obama did the same thing in the infamous “beer summit” matter regarding Henry Louis Gates Jr. Even more toxic was his rejection of the jury verdict in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin matter, and his subsequent filing of federal charges in response.

    This is an unfortunate tendency of presidents with a long history – Nixon on the Manson case, Trump on Roger Stone and Manning, Biden on Chauvin, and no doubt many more Jack can come up with that I have forgotten.

    I guess pronouncing criminal defendants guilty of racism is just the same thing metastasized into something even more socially destructive.

    2. Left in 2021 – “All patriotic songs are evidence of right-wing Trump loving neo-Nazi facists!”

    Get with the new rules, Jack.

    3. Someone was explaining to me that the judge was biased because he appeared to be “anti-rioter.” All judges and all citizens should be anti-rioter.

    Oh, my God. I have… absolutely nothing. This can only be a sign of the Second Horseman’s arrival.

    4. I think these are valid criticisms. If he is on trial for murder, aren’t there alleged victims? Then again, if was just defending himself, calling them victims is surely pejorative. It’s a tough call either way, and I don’t condemn criticism of decision. I also find myself in agreement with the rulings, but I think that’s probably bias on my part.

    What I do condemn is drawing some kind of conclusion of bias from the rulings. They seemed well-considered, and could’ve gone either way.

    5. The Asian food joke was clearly a) not in any kind of racial context and b) pretty funny. It was also, given the context of the trial and media attention, a failure by the judge to “read the room” and consider the impact of his words on societal discourse. It had the effect of giving the unethical media a chance to make up a charge out of the thinnest possible veneer of circumstance.

    The judge should not have made that joke. This is 2021, the time of radical conformity and zero tolerance of anything that can be connected by any stretch to a racial slight. Anything that contributes to making this trial more divisive is, by definition, bad. Sometimes self-censorship is not a bad thing.

    6. Yes, what the hell was that? A man is on trial for his life, and we are applauding military service in court? Poor judgment, again.

    7. This was totally predictable. The Julie Principle should probably apply.

    8. There were no black people involved here, so what difference if a jury in a state that is 87% white? I don’t get it.

    9. Bah. Judge Schroeder was correct to exclude that utterly irrelevant video.

    10. Indeed it is, of a great many things. Let me list a few:

    – Leftist racism;
    – Leftist determination of guilt by association;
    – Leftist support for wanton destruction of property and endangerment of persons;
    – Leftist “ends justify the means” commentary;
    – Leftist rejection of innocence without proof of guilt;
    – Leftist rejection of due process;
    – Leftist rejection of rationality and fairness;
    – Leftist cowardice;
    – Deliberate stoking of violent feelings and hope for a violent response to a “wrong” outcome.

    I’m sure there are tons more.

    11. What will happen if the community decides it’s had enough rioting? We might find out…

    • 4) From what I’ve read, it has been a policy of this judge not to allow the term ‘victim’ to be used in his court room during cases where the trial was about whether they were indeed victims in a legal sense.

      If the jury acquits him because of self defense, then those people are legally not victims of a crime, because the jury has determined that there was no crime. Unfortunately, they’re still dead, though.

      But I would agree with this policy — it is both a perception issue and a matter of attitude or orientation. If you have ‘victims’ that you refer to as such, logically and emotionally someone had to do something illicit to them to make them victims. If it is self defense, then I believe legally they brought their fate upon themselves.

      If he’s convicted, then of course these folks are crime victims.

  6. It is hard for me to condemn anyone who seeks to mitigate riot damage while carrying a weapon when the POLICE stand around with their thumbs up their butts watching as mayhem ensues. The Jacob Blake riot was not the first nor the last in which the POLICE stood down so it does make some sense that if you are going in to a riot scene for the purpose of doing what the POLICE should be doing, but are not, then you should carry some type of firearm. Don’t police carry firearms just for that reason – self protection?

    We should be asking why have the adults who served in government allowed rioters to act with impunity which gave rise to a sense of need to protect property by a teenage armed civilian. Rittenhouse is no hero but he behaved just as expected when those charged by the government and trained to protect and to serve decide that they are unwilling to do just that.

    What is a shame is that too few are willing to step into the void to try to stop the violence chaos when it erupts and then those who allowed it by their silence suddenly become vociferous critics of those that do.

    • Well, you hold authorities accountable, and don’t let them duck the issue by shifting blame to misguided teenagers. The bottom line is that two people are dead who would not have been if Rittenhouse didn’t add more chaos where it wasn’t needed. Untrained citizens are not likely to make a riot situation better. Punish the mayor, the governor, the police command. This stuff, however, doesn’t help.

      • Jack,
        You made my point. Unfortunately, no one is demanding that they be held accountable as to why they let things spiral out of control. Instead we are either about to make a martyr out of violent rioters who should not have been rioting or a criminal out of 17 year old misguided young man. No one I know truly thinks Rittenhouse is a hero.

        I remember the Baltimore riots is 68. I was 12 and confined to the house for my own protection. But in those days the Mayor and police command were actively trying to hold the line and not simply saying screw you all you are on your own.

        You said “The bottom line is that two people are dead who would not have been if Rittenhouse didn’t add more chaos where it wasn’t needed.” I could say two people are dead because we have allowed the systemic racism narrative to go on so far unchecked that violent riots are taking place all over the country creating the chaos and police forces that choose to do nothing to protect life and limb.

        When the trained forces do nothing they add to the chaos which leads to more chaos when untrained forces coming to fill the power vacuum and make things worse. Case in point the Amhed Arbery fiasco.

        I don’t consider Rittenhouse a vigilante but vigilantism arises when those who are to be protected no longer have faith in the ones who are charged with the task. I also don’t blame an abused animal who bites when it has been conditioned to fear through beatings.

        • Interesting analysis, Chris, as always.

          It is telling how the media have framed the narrative. In Florida, Martin was a good kid hunted by a white Hispanic wannabe cop.

          In Ferguson, we were told that Michael Brown was a young adult and a gentle giant, with baby-faced photos showing his youthful innocent and budding career as a business student (I think). Officer Wilson was a racist, brutal, ill-trained cop who shot Brown to send a message to the Blacj community.

          Rittenhouse is described as a hate-filled, gun-obsessed racist vigilante man driven by rage to kill people, even though he just turned 18. His victims are portrayed as demonstrators and protesters, searching for justice and an end of racist policing policies.

          Rittenhouse should not have been anywhere near Kenosha and, for the life of me, I can’t wrap my head around what his parents were thinking. We have a 17 year old son and there is no way we would have allowed him anywhere near those riots. Hell, there were demonstrations in Houston and we chained him to the sofa so that he couldn’t go there.


      • Repeating a comment,

        I f Rittenhouse changed nothing but carrying the AR-15, he likely would be dead or dealing with grievous bodily harm. That is the definition of self-dense, in my book.
        Police are a common good, in their absence, the public is going to take a hand, were the minutemen violating the King’s law?
        Stipulated there were many many poor choices that night that leds up to the result, not just the decision of a young man to go where he felt he needed to go..

  7. It should be noted that the authorities and the media, on behalf of society’s elites have focused infinitely more attention on railroading this boy than they ever did on Epstein and expanded (and expansive) circle of elite perverts.

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