As to ‘self-defense’

The tracking status still shows the envelope lost in transit but somebody cashed that $14.00 check to California’s Franchise Tax Board.


White supremacist gangs

Eric Levitz explains that, legally, refuting Kyle Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim was a tall order for the prosecution[1] and I cannot do full justice to his argument with a mere limited quotation:

The prosecution therefore needed to prove that [Kyle] Rittenhouse could not have reasonably believed that it was necessary to shoot Rosenbaum in order to spare himself from imminent bodily harm. . . .[2]

Levitz turns to another point, one that directly supports my claim in a new blog post entitled, “The revival of lynching.”

On parts of the right, Rittenhouse has been celebrated as a defender of order against anarchy, and law enforcement against miscreants. Yet the culture that turned the 17-year-old into a revered killer — a culture of mass firearm ownership and vigilantism — is antithetical to law and order as it is conventionally understood. It is a culture premised on the illegitimacy of the state’s monopoly on violence and the incapacity of formal institutions to uphold social order or public safety. It sees America as a society forever teetering on the brink of Hobbesian breakdown, and firearms as the sole guarantor of individual security. And the more influential this culture becomes, the more its paranoid delusions come to resemble our collective reality. . . .

In much of the country, Americans have a legal right to openly carry weapons of mass murder. And yet all it takes is one suspicious bystander, a phone call to the police, and the arrival of a trigger-happy cop for the legal act of carrying an AR-15 — or a toy gun — to become a legal basis for one’s summary execution.[3]

Hence, in a major subset of the cases that Levitz believes enabled, lynching.

In addition, Levitz, in pointing to “the state’s monopoly on violence,” I think inadvertently but nonetheless effectively, highlights neoconservative hypocrisy in its support for so-called “gun rights” and “self-defense” laws. This illustrates the contortions a “law and order” tendency must go through to support a Trumpian coalition, but as Charles Dudley Warner wrote, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.”[4] Such hypocrisy poignantly extends far beyond neoconservatives:

Jason Dearen, “White supremacist prison guards work with impunity in Fla.,” Associated Press, November 19, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/business-prisons-florida-race-and-ethnicity-racial-injustice-60b96681445509d89e6c0497405497d6

Sarah Jones, “There Will Be More Rittenhouses The forces that created a vigilante also exonerated him,” New York, November 19, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11/kyle-rittenhouse-cleared-and-there-will-be-more-like-him.html

Kurtis Lee, “Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty of all charges,” Los Angeles Times, November 19, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-11-19/la-na-kyle-rittenhouse-vedict-kenosha

Eric Levitz, “Kyle Rittenhouse’s Defense Was Strong It’s also a threat to the rule of law,” New York, November 19, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11/rittenhouse-jury-verdict-self-defense-legal-analysis.html

Gloria Oladipo, “Unrest in Portland as Kyle Rittenhouse verdict divides US,” Guardian, November 20, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/19/kyle-rittenhouse-verdict-reaction-conservatives


  1. [1]Eric Levitz, “Kyle Rittenhouse’s Defense Was Strong It’s also a threat to the rule of law,” New York, November 19, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11/rittenhouse-jury-verdict-self-defense-legal-analysis.html
  2. [2]Eric Levitz, “Kyle Rittenhouse’s Defense Was Strong It’s also a threat to the rule of law,” New York, November 19, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11/rittenhouse-jury-verdict-self-defense-legal-analysis.html
  3. [3]Eric Levitz, “Kyle Rittenhouse’s Defense Was Strong It’s also a threat to the rule of law,” New York, November 19, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11/rittenhouse-jury-verdict-self-defense-legal-analysis.html
  4. [4]Charles Dudley Warner, quoted in John Bartlett, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Justin Kaplan, ed., 17th ed. (New York: Little, Brown, 2002), 543.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.