Dear White People: We Need to Talk About the Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict

Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool

Dear Fellow White People,

It is I, your pasty prince and unofficial ambassador to the black community, Scott.

Man! Kyle Rittenhouse! What a verdict!  Not that any of us doubted this was coming, but it is just nice to see that the world hasn’t gone entirely crazy.  Certainly, we can all feel like there are concerns we can have regarding the events of that night in Kenosha, while still exhaling that collective sigh of relief that the jury did the right thing.

You can likely expect that many on the left will continue to cling to their failed narratives about what happened that night.  No, Kyle didn’t take a gun across state lines.  No, Kyle did not go there looking to kill anyone.  No, an AR-15 is not a “weapon of war.”  There are enough crap takes on this case to last us a lifetime.  If you’re expecting this piece to turn into some handholding kumbaya, it ain’t happening.  For those on the left who have made this into a bunch of things that it isn’t, let them have it. Let them know that their failed narrative has hurt a lot of people, including the very people they claim to be helping.  However, calling Rittenhouse a “white supremacist” or suggesting that this verdict had anything to do with race, is an absolute lie.  This verdict did not.  Certainly, this feels like justice to us, but we can understand why this may feel like an injustice to others.  As we watched the trial, we all knew this was going to be the result, but had Kyle been black and faced the challenges that young black men in our judicial system face, first, he would have likely never raised the money to afford the defense that Kyle had, and second, never received the level of support from conservatives that Kyle did.

Which is why I write this letter.  We need a little nuance in our approach to criminal justice that I don’t think we apply often enough.  While this verdict had nothing to do with race, many do. Our lack of support for victims of our “justice” system, makes us no better than those who perpetrated the action in the first place. Most of the time when a shooting occurs which attracts national attention, we all look to our corners to see how they are reacting before we decide how we may feel about it.  We need no reminding that we are told what to be outraged about by our media, and when we react the way we do, we need to be mindful of how much of that emotion and that reaction is manufactured by that media influence.  Take George Floyd for instance…  You can think whatever you want about Floyd.  He could be a drug addict and a crappy person all day long, and you can think he is a problematic poster child for the left’s crusade against police.  Those things, however, do not justify killing him.  Yes, I have heard the tired arguments about fentanyl in his system, and certainly, that may have been a contributing (or even a primary) factor that caused his death.  However, It is kind of hard to talk about that when there is a video of a police officer, stepping wildly outside protocol or necessity, kneeling on the neck of a man for more than eight and a half minutes.  In fact, most of you were more outraged about Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the National Anthem than you were about Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd.  Had Chauvin followed policy and treated Floyd with professional respect, there’s no guarantee that Floyd would still be alive, but one thing is for certain: Chauvin would have never been suspected of killing him and the left wouldn’t have another log on their narrative fire.

On Breonna Taylor, many of you were more concerned about who her boyfriend was than you were with what actually happened that night.  Nothing, and I repeat… nothing, that Breonna Taylor did justified police beating down her door in the middle of the night and killing her.  Not… A…Thing…  Yes, I know there are conflicting statements regarding whether or not the police announced their intent. Announcement or not, what required that officers do it in the middle of the night wearing plain clothes and vests without any identifying characteristics on them? Why were they not wearing their issued body cams?  I can tell you one thing is for certain:  If my door was kicked down by people with guns, who didn’t identify themselves, in the middle of the night, I too would be shooting.  I mean, half of you are throwing the acquittal of Andrew Coffee IV in the face of the left to counter the talk of “racism” in the Rittenhouse verdict.  On its face, how is the Coffee case any different than Breonna Taylor?  The answer is: It isn’t.  Using it to score political points when you’d otherwise be putting it in the same column as Taylor, is about as exploitive as you can get.

That doesn’t mean to say that all shootings or deaths at the hands of police are bad.  Shootings that stop an imminent danger to the police or the public are justified.  Rayshard Brooks is a perfect example.  Brooks was contacted by police after passing out in his vehicle in the drive-thru of a Wendy’s in the Atlanta area.  As police attempted to justifiably take Brooks into custody for DUI, Brooks attempted to flee and ended up in a wrestling match with both officers, taking one of the officers’ tasers in the process.  As Brooks began to flee, he turned and pointed that taser at the officer from whom he had taken it leaving that officer with only one way of defending himself: His service firearm.  Which is exactly what he did, shooting Brooks twice. Both officers immediately engaged in first aid and CPR in an attempt to save Brooks’s life.  Did Brooks deserve to die for passing out in his car or wrestling with the Police?  No.  But the moment he turned and threatened to use potentially lethal and incapacitating force against the officers, the officers were within their full right to immediately eliminate the pending threat.

Michael Brown is the same thing.  Brown’s fingerprints were found all over inside the officer’s vehicle and on his gun.  He showed the intent to hurt the officer, he showed the intent to grab his gun, so the officer, in this case, was well within his rights to eliminate the immediate threat to his life.

So what’s the point, fellow white people?  It isn’t that we have to create a clever hashtag or go marching for justice (you can, as did I in the case of Breonna Taylor). No, you don’t have to. It’s that we need to start examining the facts of cases and situations before we resort to our standard ideological corners.  “Back the blue, no matter who,” isn’t us, especially when we know what power our law enforcement bodies have in the United States.  When an officer acts within the bounds of his job, showing restraint and professionalism in engaging suspects, we should show respect (and gratitude) right back.  However, if we are aware of an officer that acts outside of that code of conduct, we should be first in line to demand the firing of that officer and, in the case that he or she broke the law in the process, their prosecution to the furthest extent of the law.

So how do we show that we have a measured and nuanced approach to these things? We have an excellent opportunity right now before us with the case of Ahmaud Arbery.  Here we have a 25-year-old kid out on a jog, who was someplace a bunch of white people felt he shouldn’t be.  Is it likely Arbery drew their attention because he was black?  Yes.  Is it likely that had Arbery been white, he would still be alive?  Also, yes.  Arbery’s crime?  Looking through a house under construction, something I, as a white guy, have done many times.  After Arbery finished looking and continued on his jog, he was contacted by two vehicles and three men with guns.  One of the men, Travis McMichael, immediately pointed his shotgun at Arbery and the two fought, ending with McMichael killing Arbery.  Did McMichael have any right to point a gun at Arbery?  No. Had he pointed the gun at me, I likely would have attempted to take the gun from him as well.  What happened here, in this case, is unequivocally murder and one that, from my point of view, was clearly racially motivated. (Especially in light of McMichael’s liberal use of the N-word as he stood over Arbery as he died and suuuuper racist social media posts.)

Yes, justice was served for Kyle Rittenhouse.  But we need to remember that it isn’t served on a daily basis for thousands of Americans from primarily minority communities across this country.  It isn’t enough to just cheer when justice is served or to use it as a blunt object to club clowning liberals like baby seals at a driving range.  When injustice does occur, we need to be first in line to stand up and demand action to immediately cease and/or rectify said injustice.  Be a little sensitive to the fact that you may not know all the facts in their entirety and also show a willingness to be an ally to our friends and neighbors of a slightly darker shade than us.

We’ve done a lot to show the Black community that we, as conservatives, represent the ideals that will empower them to the best future.  We can point to the policies that negatively affect those communities and show they have primarily been enacted by the left.  We can remove as many of those barriers as we can.  Yet, just because we’ve done a better job in communicating that, doesn’t mean we can’t do more.  That is why we should fight constantly to make sure the same justice afforded to Kyle is afforded to every American regardless of their skin color.  Our message needs to be simple:  We’re with you and we are your allies in your fight against all injustice.

Your Master of Alabaster,

Scott Hounsell