The George Floyd riots, conveniently shut off this summer, were as much theater as reality. They were designed to associate Donald Trump with police abuses and disorder, while painting Democrats and Marxist “racial justice” as the path forward.
Ordinary citizens standing up for themselves interfere with this guerilla theater indoctrination; after all, there are a lot more normal people who do not want their towns burned down than maniacs willing to do street violence. This is why individuals like Kyle Rittenhouse and citizen self-defense groups are dealt with so harshly by the government and the media.
Government Did Not Protect Us in Summer 2020
Consider that there were dozens of fires and beatings and a significant number of killings in Minneapolis, Kenosha, Chicago, Portland, St. Louis, and Seattle in the summer of 2020. Very few of the Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters have been brought to justice. There has not been any significant federal effort to roll up these groups.
In the cities worst hit by the riots, there appears to be a semi-cooperative relationship between the rioters and prosecutors. In the Rittenhouse trial, prosecutors presented Gaige Grosskreutz as a blameless victim, even though he illegally carried a concealed gun and pointed it at Kyle Rittenhouse after chasing him down. Grosskreutz also escaped responsibility for a subsequent DUI.
But if Rittenhouse’s mere presence was “provocative” and illegal, why was Grosskreutz’s chasing and pointing of a gun not treated as a more serious crime?
Worse, one of the surprising revelations during the trial has been the late production of FBI aerial footage. The high-definition footage reportedly disappeared, and the FBI kept this all to itself until a media leak. But the jury was able to see the infrared, night vision footage, which supports Rittenhouse’s narrative and also provides a means to identify the various left-wing criminals who ran amok. Presumably, similar videos were secretly made for other riots last summer.
But, so far as we know, in spite of an impressive surveillance capability, as well as signals intelligence and other resources at their disposal, the FBI has made no significant effort to identify and suppress the leaders, organizers, funders, and foot soldiers of Antifa and BLM responsible for the 2020 riots.
Instead, we are lately told there is an explosion of “white supremacy” in a country that elected Barack Obama fewer than 10 years ago, and that Antifa is only an “ideology,” not a terrorist group.
Racial Justice vs. American Justice
It is becoming obvious that there are now two standards of justice. This development marks a major retreat from the American ideal of blind justice, which is based on individualized determinations of guilt for particular crimes. The question is supposed to be a narrow one: did this person commit this charged offense, and did the prosecution prove that beyond a reasonable doubt?
Now prosecutors and the state are putting their thumb on the scales, chasing down those on the Right for relatively minor crimes, including a stolen diary that the FBI is tracking in New York, violence done in reaction to leftist violence, and, of course, the all-hands-on-deck prosecution of the January 6 protesters. At the same time, federal and state prosecutors are downplaying or failing to investigate conspiracies that led to widespread rioting last summer, which resulted in at least 25 deaths.
None of this is an accident. We saw hints of this two-tiered approach in the lackadaisical prosecutions of the 1970s terror group, the Weather Underground. Many were given kid gloves treatment and went onto successful careers in academia. Even when the system worked, backdoor channels relieved many of the consequences of their actions. Recall Bill Clinton pardoned convicted terrorist Susan Rosenberg as one of his final acts in office. Far from feeling guilty or disavowing violence, she has since become a prominent BLM leader.
While using the same language as the rest of us, the Left’s concept of justice is flexible. The Left is neither pro- nor anti-prosecution outside of the Marxist lens of “race, class, gender.” In other words, they are not for justice, but rather for their team.
Formerly confined almost exclusively to class, the Soviet Union implemented this philosophy with gusto. In an excellent 1938 law review article, “The Soviet Concept of Law,” Vladimir Gsovski lays out the basic approach:
[I]in accordance with the Marxian doctrine of historic materialism and class struggle, the impartiality of law is denied altogether by the communists. Any law is for them in the first place the law of the ruling economic class; impartial justice is merely an illusion and law reflects actually the class concept of justice.
In other words, in a dispute between a proletarian and a bourgeois, or a former aristocrat and the Soviet state, the question was not one of individualized guilt or innocence, but rather whether a verdict furthered the broader goals of the revolution. Individualism became passé.
Needless to say, millions were sent to the gulag and shot in the back of the head in the Lubyanka in expressions of such “class justice.” Today, instead of the bourgeois, whites and conservatives and property owners are the “enemies of the people” under the ubiquitous Marxist framework of “race, class, and gender.”
Is Self Defense Still Allowed?
The Rittenhouse prosecution is an important case. It is fundamentally a referendum on whether normal, middle class people will be at the mercy of the Left’s violent shock troops. The prosecution is simply an expression of the “class justice” concept, as Rittenhouse is being treated profoundly differently from those who initiated the violence in Kenosha.
This un-American and thoroughly destructive concept is dressed up as “critical race theory” or “equity” or some other euphemism. But, in practice, it amounts to anti-white race hatred and hostility to successful middle-class property owners of all races.
Rittenhouse is no white supremacist or fascist or whatever boogeyman the media and the Left have concocted. But he is an avatar for the system’s self-proclaimed enemies. The system does not believe such people are entitled to self-defense or to the type of justice dispensed to the oppressed and the woke.
So far, the takeover of the justice system has been incomplete. We still have an advocacy system, and Rittenhouse benefits from a judge who appears to care about the Constitution. We also have a jury system, where regular people, and their sense of justice, operates as a check on run-amok prosecutors.
That said, the process itself is a punishment, a Kafkaesque and expensive ordeal where an innocent person wonders if he will spend the next 65 years in prison. And juries too often have the same “race, class, gender” framework as the broader Left.
Since the end of the Cold War, the Soviet regime and its crimes have been memory holed. Younger generations have no lived experience of fearing nuclear war, observing the manifest failure of the Soviet state to provide a decent quality of life, and the testimony of numerous dissidents mistreated by the Soviet system because of their independence of mind and commitment to personal freedom. Knowledge of this is suppressed, not least, because the Democratic Party and our major cultural institutions are now fully in the grip of a Soviet-style ideological program, one hostile to freedom, justice, and the rights of “class enemies.”
We can hope that Rittenhouse will be acquitted. But none of us is safe, so long as “critical race theory” and other Marxist ideas pollute our law schools, our judges’ minds, and our legal system.