Watching MSNBC’s Joy Reid, you’d think the murder trial of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse is about the lynching of a blameless black man.
This week on Reid’s show, she pondered whether there was anything prosecutors could do to “make sure that this doesn’t wind up being a jury that essentially approximates the Emmet Till jury back in the 1950s.”
Her guest Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown, advanced the race-baiting, declaring that an acquittal of Rittenhouse “would be a call to arms for anyone who wants to police a Black Lives Matter march,” which would send the message that “badges are no longer required for self-appointed law enforcement officers at Black Lives Matter protests.”
Butler added, “If a 17-year-old kid who shot three people with a gun he’s not even supposed to have can get away with this then anybody can who wants to attack a protest, well, at least anybody white.”
Would someone let Reid know that Rittenhouse is white and the two men he’s charged with killing were also white? There was a third person Rittenhouse shot who survived and he happened to be black, but other than— Wait, that’s not right. I see here in my notes that he was white, too. My mistake.
Altogether, the case looks more like The Beatles and less like the Fugees.
Pretty much everything they said during that segment on Reid’s show was a lie. Rittenhouse did not “attack a protest,” and if he’s acquitted, it won’t be because the jury decided he should “get away with” murder.
It’s telling that Reid chose not to play any of the footage from that fateful night in August last year, when Kenosha, Wis., was set ablaze with street fires as rioters looted and vandalized stores and restaurants. The shootings that Rittenhouse is responsible for are all on video, and anything not visibly clear there is laid out in the state’s own complaint against him.
Each of the three men that Rittenhouse shot had been chasing him and reaching for his gun. One of them was even holding his own gun when he lunged at Rittenhouse, who at that point had fallen to the ground. Prosecutors haven’t disputed any of that and the defense is certainly going to argue that Rittenhouse believed his life was in danger. The case that he was acting in self defense is strong, as anyone who has watched the videos can see.
No one wants to relive the horrifying months of Black Lives Matter riots last summer, but it’s worth remembering that Kenosha suffered $50 million in damages to buildings and businesses, at least 40 of which were forced out of operation entirely. The Kenosha County supervisor called the riots “the biggest crisis in the history” of the city.
Sheriff David Beth recalled the mayhem, telling The New York Times last month, “It happened so quickly. We did not anticipate them lighting small mom-and-pop businesses on fire. And we didn’t have the manpower to go protect everything as we would have liked to.”
That was the scene of what Butler described as a “Black Lives Matter march.”
The Rittenhouse trial has nothing to do with race. It has to do with the left and the media continuing to insist that certain types of politically motivated violence and destruction are OK, even necessary. Eddie Scarry is the D.C. columnist at The Federalist and author of “Privileged Victims: How America’s Culture Fascists Hijacked the Country and Elevated Its Worst People.”