Jury deliberations from two different states yielded widely different results between last week and this. Last week, a jury in Wisconsin found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts. The young man is the seventeen year old slayer of two men during Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, WI on August 25 of 2020. After his acquittal, showing both poor teenage judgement and a bizarre disconnect from his own actions, he was featured on Tucker Carlson’s show. This is after already speaking to the Fox nighttime host’s cameras while en route away from the courtroom in Kenosha. Tucker Carlson, intellectually vacuous, poorly educated and dribbling with hatred for anything not white and male, has been pushing everything from race wars to outright fascism. The fact that Rittenhouse chose to appear on his show demonstrates, quite immediately, that the young man has either tremendously poor judgement, or cares nothing for the fact that he killed two men and maimed a third. As this type of violence is being pushed by numerous right wingers and their ilk, it is hard to believe that even at seventeen this young man did not know exactly what he was doing.
Meanwhile, a strike for justice in Georgia. The three men accused of hunting down, surrounding, and eventually shooting Ahmaud Arbery dead have been convicted on multiple felonies. Travis McMichael, caught on video shooting the young man dead, while Ahmaud struggled to take a gun away from Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael. The preceding event was a chase, three men in two pickup trucks literally cornered a young black man and stopped him from progressing away from them. A scuffle started when Arbery was threatened with William “Roddie” Bryan Jr.’s camera and Gregory McMichael’s gun. In a desperate bid to not get shot by Gregory McMichael, Arbery tried to wrestle the gun away. While he was fighting for his life against Gregory, Gregory’s son Travis consistently shot at Ahmaud, eventually striking him with a bullet and killing him.
Later reports reveal the young man bled to death because his murderers refused to help save his life. Between endless race-bating by the defense, who rarely had a cogent argument, and a foul statement regarding Arbery’s toenails by Laura Hogue, a common defense attorney representing George McMichael, it was clear the defense was incompetent and unprepared. Rather than making sound or cogent arguments, the murderers lied about what occurred and the defense focused on race, rather than on truly relevant facts. Had I been a juror in that trial, my fist question would have been why 3 armed men thought they could claim self-defense against an unarmed individual. Their statements only fit some facts, but not all. In short they murdered an innocent young black man and tried to lie to cover it up.
Click to watch: Arbery Trial Video Snippet
The above video can only be called blatantly racist and disgusting. When such words, designed to defame a dead young man, were uttered, I was shocked. Not that our organization is a stranger to racism, indeed we spend much time fighting it and hatred. It was just so ethically vacant and legally irrelevant, it was unbelievable and should be grounds for disbarment. Aside from the audible shock heard throughout the courtroom, Laura Hogue’s comments likely proved to be the final nail in these men’s coffins.
An appeal will be made, and these charges and convictions could be overturned, but I personally believe they will not be. Only the most ethically challenged juries would simply set a precedent where a black jogger is fair game for fat morons with guns.
Disclaimer: As Metallica states, You labeled me. I’ll label you. (The Unforgiven). In other words, after republicans a la Trump have insulted virtually every individual they dislike, going so far to tolerate death threats made by supporters, I refuse to be any nicer than I feel I need to be, and that will likely end with honesty. If you choose to shoot an unarmed person, then let them bleed to death before you, then lie about it to law enforcement and in court of all places, you are officially an ASS. Moron is kindness by contrast! Not to mention, I think political correctness is going too far lately!
Check back for more updates. Some will be less sad and angry. My wish is to be sharing positive steps toward our essential evolution to better versions of ourselves. Putting these men behind bars is a baby step, but one which can be celebrated.
As for Kyle Rittenhouse, murderer now permanently at large, we will see what his future brings. Fox host? Rogue murderer and societal counselor? A new precedent in acceptable teenage behavior as a norm? Or shall we throw the laws of our country out so vigilantism can become a law enforcement and republican weapon against democracy? If any of these events occur, and it seems as though they are all occurring in various places, no one will be safe anymore. We need to evolve beyond petty hatred and guns as problem-solvers, which is the rough equivalent of gasoline as a fire-fighting agent. Always remember if one seeks to make enemies, they will succeed. The same is true of the opposite.