This correspondent has reported extensively on the Kyle Rittenhouse incident and trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for AmmoLand, with over two dozen articles in the last 14 months.
Repeatedly, the prosecutor, ADA Binger, informed the court the firearms charge was based on what the prosecution believed the law had to be, rather than on what the law was. It is a microcosm of the left. Decisions are made on what the left believes reality *should be* rather than what reality *is*.
The firearms charge was important to lend the air of illegality to what was obviously legal and ethical self defense.
The case should never have been brought. The performance of the prosecutors during the trial confirmed the prosecution was done for political purposes rather than to bring justice.
The job of a prosecutor is to pursue justice. It is not to obtain successful prosecutions.
The decision not to charge is every bit as important as the decision to charge a suspect.
Six charges were brought against Kyle Rittenhouse less than 48 hours after the self defense shootings occurred. Wisconsin does not require indictments by a grand jury. Charges are commonly brought exclusively by prosecutors.
Kyle Rittenhouse tried to turn himself in to the police within minutes of the events. He had successfully turned himself in to police about an hour after the events. This was characterized in the media as “being arrested” or “being taken into custody” rather than the factual “turning himself in to police”.
A seventh charge, of violating curfew, was added to the first six charges, in late December, 2020, months after the events in August. The prosecutors botched this late, attempted pile-on. It was later determined no lawful order about the curfew had been entered on August 25.
The next strategy was to hold Kyle in jail with exorbitantly high bail, in order to prevent a good defense, to push him to accept a plea bargain. It is a common, and despicable, prosecution tactic.
In a self defense case where the defendant turned himself in quickly, where voluminous evidence of self defense existed, Kyle should have been released on signature bond, or, at most a few thousand dollars bail. Kyle’s bail was set at $2 million. This is more evidence of a political persecution, instead of a criminal prosecution.
Throughout academia, the corporate world, and government, leaders are pushing the notion that American society advantages whites and disadvantages blacks. The notion of white privilege, though, is mistaken, thereby rendering worthless much of the teaching and underlying research.
In 1989, Wellesley College’s Peggy McIntosh published her influential article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” This article tied in with a group she founded, Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity (SEED). Since 1986, SEED has trained 2,200 teachers and professors in more than 40 countries. As a result, her work has influenced and will continue to influence millions of students.
There is little reason to believe that racial injustice caused the lion’s share of white-black differences. Racial groups differ in their cultural environment. According to the Center for Equal Opportunity, in 2018 40% of births in the United States were out of wedlock. The particular out-of-wedlock birth rates were 11.7% for Asians, 69% for blacks, 52% for Hispanics, 68% for Native Americans, and 28% for whites. According to the Brooking Institution’s Isabel Sawhill, children raised by single mothers are less likely to graduate, do worse in school, have more physical and psychological problems, are more likely to be involved in crime, and so on. The out-of-wedlock birth rates in the black community have been skyrocketing over the decades even as alleged racism has been plummeting. In addition, the general ordering of out-of-wedlock birth rates likely tracks the countries from which people came. Hence, it is unlikely that racism explains most, let alone all, of these differences.
Next, consider intelligence. Since 1970, Oxford University’s Nathan Cofnas points out that if we exclude children, the black-white IQ gap has remained roughly constant, at approximately one standard deviation. This is a big gap. IQ matters because it correlates with crime, education, jobs, marriage, out-of-wedlock childbearing, and so on. There is a heated debate as to whether genetics cause some of the gap. It is worth noting that anonymous surveys indicate that a significant percentage of experts in intelligence think this is so. See, for example, Heiner Rindermann and colleagues’ 2016 and 2020 studies. Even if the gap is 100% environmental, it does not follow that racism alone explains it.
The white privilege proponents might claim that these differences result from, and only from, racism, whether past or present. However, this claim rests on the notion that we can compare the role of racism to other causes such as blameworthy choices, non-racist cultural differences, and genetics. If these causes cannot be factored out, and neither proponents nor others have done so, their claim is purely speculative.
Even if there were white privilege, it would not matter morally. As philosopher Spencer Case points out, the mere fact that one group is doing better than a second is morally irrelevant. Attractive people likely have advantages in dating, employment, income, sex, etc. when compared to their unattractive competitors. The same is true for tall people. Attractive and tall people should not feel guilty about their advantages, try to nullify them, or pay compensation for them. This is because they did not violate their competitors’ rights or commit other types of injustice.
Source: The Myth of White Privilege
The high rates of arrest, conviction, and imprisonment of black people, are part of systemic racism.
Race and Ethnicity of Violent Crime Offenders and Arrestees, 2018 compares race of offenders from Uniform Crime Reports and victim reports from NCVS to see if police charge blacks disproportionately to their involvement in violent crimes. The answer is that Hispanics seem to be disproportionately arrested but white and black offenders are charged at rates comparable to victim reporting. Table 3.
Source: Clayton Cramer
This eloquent manifesto is Mr. McWhorter’s 22nd book, a majority of those on the subject of linguistics. His is a split personality: A linguist in his day job as a professor at Columbia University (specializing in creoles, particularly the Saramaccan language in Suriname), he’s also an outspoken commentator on race whenever the national mood requires it. As Mr. McWhorter’s thinking on race is in conflict with that of the black American political mainstream, he’s often miscast as a black conservative by glib taxonomists. But he’s careful to point out that he wasn’t “thinking of right-wing America as my audience,” even as he acknowledges that many liberal readers will think him “traitorous” for writing this book.Wall Street Journal
Mr. McWhorter’s targets in “Woke Racism” are antiracist crusaders whom he calls the Elect—borrowing a term used by the essayist Joseph Bottum in his book “An Anxious Age” (2014). Mr. McWhorter chooses not to call these people Social Justice Warriors or Inquisitors, deeming those labels “unsuitably dismissive” and “mean,” respectively. He’s not the first to trace the “rootstock” of their ideology to critical race theory. This is a once-fringe belief, now muscling its way into mainstream thought, that every individual’s fate is determined by racial “hierarchy” and power. The theory contends, writes Mr. McWhorter, that a nonwhite in America is “akin to the captive oarsman slave straining belowdecks in chains.
”The Elect, Mr. McWhorter notes, pursue a proselytizing brand of antiracism that has had a particularly harmful effect on academic inquiry, “sometimes strangling it like kudzu.” Bestselling books like Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility”—which flagellates white people for their incurable racism—and Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist” are the gospels of the antiracist left.
The Elect have a weapon in their arsenal that lends them outsize power. As a result of the “genuine and invaluable change” that has occurred in the modern white American since the Civil Rights movement, “being called a racist is all but equivalent to being called a pedophile.” Those who police our minds for racism believe that Americans who don’t fight to overturn “the systemic pervasiveness of white supremacy” must be regarded as racist themselves. The world of the Elect is “Manichaean,” its fervor “absolutist.”
The book finishes with a robust marine metaphor. Mr. McWhorter suggests that the woke be dealt with the way some swimmers deal with sharks. “You can make a shark approaching you go away by bopping it on the nose,” he writes. The Elect are like sharks. They need to be bopped on the nose.
Long before the new generation of race hucksters came along, Thomas Sowell offered pre-buttals to their arguments.
Intellectuals give people who have the handicap of poverty the further handicap of a sense of victimhood,” wrote Thomas Sowell, who himself grew up in poverty and was orphaned in early childhood. Continuing the thought in Intellectuals and Society (2010), he reflected on the damage done by our supposedly smartest thinkers
“If you watch the video, you’ll hear the teacher divide people into three groups: racist, anti-racist, and assimilationist.” The post first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion .
I answered 5 BIG Questions for Campus Reform: “because you’re sending a message to them that somehow in our society they start out less equal, that somehow in our society they don’t have a fair shot, that somehow in our society hard work and dedication is not going to pay off because there’s this systemically racist system that is putting them down…. Their fate in life is to be oppressed. I think that’s about as bad as you can get.”
The crisis unfolding in Afghanistan makes a compelling case that a central contention of critical race theory is fatally flawed.
The absence of the U.S. military has led to vile and almost unimaginable levels of evil and suffering.
This would come as a surprise to promulgators of critical race theory. CRT-inspired teachings claim that America is fundamentally racist. Our founding ideals — that all men are created equal and have unalienable rights — were a façade used to disguise the country’s inherent white supremacy.
That foundational belief leads to some radical claims. The United States uses “race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, disenfranchisement and oppression,” which gives “privileges to white people resulting in disadvantages to people of color,” a Bank of America training memo stated. Journalist Christopher Rufo released the training materials.
“At some point we are going to have to stop denying that we have metastatic racism,” Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” said in a 2019 speech. “Because if you didn’t already know, it is literally killing America. It is literally killing this world.” The solution, Kendi contends, is to change the “very underpinnings and structures and systems of this country.”
What happened in Afghanistan over the past few weeks was in many ways an ideal scenario for testing the CRT hypothesis. The United States quickly went from an established military presence to having virtually no influence in the country. Even our embassy has been overrun. If U.S. racism is “literally killing this world” as CRT-inspired advocates claim, the U.S. withdrawal should have advanced human flourishing.
Instead, the Taliban filled the power vacuum — creating a government characterized by overt structural oppression enforced by large doses of violence.This is what CRT gets wrong. The United States isn’t uniquely evil. Evil has been the norm throughout human history. People around the world have slaughtered and enslaved each other for thousands of years in pursuit of power and money.
What’s unique is a country that eliminated slavery because it violated its principles. What’s unique is a country that eventually offered full civil rights to women and minorities in pursuit of those ideals. What’s unique is a superpower that could conquer the world — and didn’t — because it believes in liberty.
Afghans are risking their lives and handing their children over fences for the chance of living under the American institutions and ideals that CRT seeks to destroy.
I need to save this for the next “discussion” about “white privilege”.
This is one of those phrases out of the critical racism theory cult. It means that my personal experience (which is subjective, perhaps improved by trauma or intentional exaggeration to meet the needs of the moment) take precedence over any objective measurements (what is the race distribution of people killed by police officers?) My “lived experience” trumps data, logic, everything.
My “lived experience” is that growing up poor and white was hard. I went to school with black kids from middle class homes that I could only envy. I experienced a robbery that in my perception (all that matters, right?) was driven by race, and relied on race (robber pointing to three much older and larger blacks and identifying them as “my brothers” to insure compliance) to make it happen. In the 1970s, I saw a lot of racism in hiring. (I was an employment agent.) My lived experience has been that hard work and character are rewarded with family stability and wealth.
That’s my “lived experience”: if you disagree, you are a racist.
Source: “Lived Experience”
It’s been very hard to pin down just what Critical Race Theory actually is. A lot of the proposed definitions and descriptions seem to be formulated by people with axes to grind, and the rest seem flexible enough that they can be stretched to include or exclude anything desired. Trying to decide whether CRT is being taught (or used) in a school is like trying to nail Kool-Aid to a wall.
These may be useful toward a serious understanding.
First, William Galston writes,
Critical race theory is an explicitly left-wing movement inspired by the thinking of an Italian neo-Marxist, Antonio Gramsci. Against classic Marxism, for which material conditions are primary, Gramsci (1891-1937) focused on “hegemony”—the system of beliefs that “reinforces existing social arrangements and convinces the dominated classes that the existing order is inevitable,” as Ms. Crenshaw puts it.
Noteworthy because Galston is center-left. He is burning some bridges here.
Rather than quibbling over whether what critics are criticising is really the theories that emerged in legal studies from the 1970s, let’s address the reality of what critical theories of race look like right now and how they are impacting real people of all races.
In much of the essay, Pluckrose really gets into the theoretical weeds, even though she points out that a different CRT has been popularized than what was created in academia. This reminds me of Keynesian economics in grad school, where there were all sorts of esoteric discussions of what Keynes really meant and what Keynesian economics ought to be. Meanwhile, what took hold in the press and in public policy is what I call “folk” Keynesianism, which is nothing more than “spending creates jobs, and jobs create spending.” The academic arguments matter only to the academics.
Similarly, I expect that academic discussions of critical race theory no longer affect “folk” critical race theory, or FCRT, if you will. FCRT is what K-12 teachers and journalists carry with them. I think it includes a belief in the moral inferiority of white males. It includes a belief that “privilege” is a very important concept. I think it includes some Puritan sensibilities, particularly an unforgiving stance regarding heretics. But these are tentative thoughts about FCRT. I do not feel confident that I have it pinned down yet.
Source: Two CRT links