Pundits rushed to argue that Rittenhouse’s acquittal was a function of his race, but dozens of examples suggest otherwise.
Consider a couple of the more striking examples cited by Swearer. On the very same day that Rittenhouse was declared not guilty, Andrew Coffee, a black man from Florida, was, too. Coffee shot and killed his girlfriend after he mistook the use of a flashbang grenade during a police raid as gunfire, and exchanged fire with officers. He was cleared of all charges. In another blow to the racial narrative being pushed by many in the press, a white cop from Missouri was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of a black man on the same day that the Rittenhouse and Coffee verdicts came out.
In another emblematic case, Stephen Spencer of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., shot an unarmed white man during a physical confrontation. He was acquitted on the same self-defense grounds that kept Rittenhouse out of prison.
And on Sunday, a father daughter duo made use of their right to open-carry, standing guard alongside a protest of the verdict. Per the New York Post, they themselves were defending property on the night of the Rittenhouse shootings.
Estimates vary on the number of times firearms are used for self-defense purposes in the U.S. every year, but even lower ones peg it at around 100,000.
Headline Fail of the Week
Adam Serwer at The Atlantic reacted to the verdict by writing “Of Course Kyle Rittenhouse Was Acquitted.” In the piece, Serwer concedes only that “it is one thing to argue that the jury reached a reasonable verdict based on this law,” and makes only a feeble attempt to submit evidence for the argument that there was a sort of race-based inevitability to the outcome of the trial. Notably, Serwer himself puts no effort into grappling with the facts of Rittenhouse’s case, attributing it only to political and racial forces.