When Kyle Rittenhouse broke down into sobs on the stand during his trial last week, anybody familiar with the tired rhetoric of the far left knew exactly what was coming next. Not just the predictable allegation that he was faking it, but the use of the pernicious progressive term “white tears.”
This phrase, brewed from the foul excesses of wokeness, basically means that when accused of racism, white people will cry to get out of it.
To begin with, the 18-year-old Rittenhouse isn’t on trial for racism; he’s on trial for murder. He is white, and so are the three men he shot, he claims in self-defense. Presumably, what the liberal media (and President Joe Biden, by the way) think makes him a “white supremacist” is that he was protecting property during a riot that was backlash to a police shooting of a black man.
But again, all the participants in the deadly events were white. So why the focus on race? Because progressives today have a bizarre and dangerous fixation on the subject.
To the left, systemic racism, as they call it, infects every aspect of our lives, all the time. So, of course Rittenhouse is a white supremacist because he didn’t think burning down a car dealership was an acceptable way to combat this ubiquitous racism.
This is where “white tears” comes in. Profit-minded race hucksters like Ibrahim X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo bandy this term, and others like “white fragility,” about in a shell game meant to make guilty-feeling white people cough up some dough for a cure to their racism.
Basically the argument goes that if a white person has an emotional reaction to an accusation of racism, that in and of itself is proof of the racism. It is a concept that makes the Salem witch trials look like the gold standard of jurisprudence. Put another way, it’s absolute trash.
But that didn’t stop a progressive pile-on against Rittenhouse. MSNBC’s Joy Reid, who seems to walk around with a divining rod finding racism everywhere she points it, accused him of “crocodile tears.” CNN’s self-loving Jeffrey Toobin wondered what would have happened if it had been a black 17-year-old. This, despite the fact that recently in Chicago the states’ attorney declined to even charge a young black man who killed another in a gang fight because they were, to use her words, “mutual combatants.”
It’s not just the media. Gotham’s own Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, one of the most powerful members of the House of Representatives, tweeted that Rittenhouse should be locked up and the key thrown away. This was after days of testimony that even legal experts on the left said were likely to lead to an acquittal.
For these folks, the facts of the case don’t matter. The rule of law doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they think the victims were fighting racism, the shooter is white and a racist and of course the racist must be punished. It’s a worldview with all the nuance of a cinder block.
Rittenhouse isn’t the only one on trial; all of America is. Not long ago it seemed that almost everyone in our nation believed that justice should be blind, not dependent on ideology and race. Today that is not so certain. Far too many people want Rittenhouse punished because of who he is and what he represents, not any actual crime he committed.
In Virginia, the left continued to insist that whites who voted for Glenn Youngkin and Winsome Sears were racists, even white supremacists — and never mind that Sears, as lieutenant governor, will be the first African-American woman ever elected to statewide office.
Closing arguments in the Rittenhouse case come Monday, and after that, a verdict. If he’s found not guilty, we might see a repeat of last summer’s riots. If so, progressives pouring gasoline on the racial fires will deserve a good share of the blame.
It’s past time for them to recognize the danger of their rhetoric. Rittenhouse’s guilt or innocence has absolutely nothing to do with the color of anyone’s skin. Americans are tired of the race obsession, and the sooner the left accepts this, the sooner the nation can move in the right direction again, back towards dignity, respect, and equality under the law.
David Marcus is the author of “Charade: The COVID Lies That Crushed A Nation.”