August 29th 2020
The shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha cop was disgraceful enough. He was shot seven times in the back while trying to comply with police orders to leave the home of his ex-wife. She had a restraining order against him for threatened violence, and the police seemingly were doing their job.
Blake walked around the front of his car, and two cops behind him pulled their guns. He opened the drivers’ side door, and one of the cops, Rusten Sheskey, grabbed him by the shirt and unloaded seven rounds into his back. Blake’s three young children were in the back seat of the car.
Later, the Justice Department—Bill Barr’s Justice Department—said Blake had a knife on the floor of his car. It’s not clear how a knife in such a location could be a threat to several armed cops. No knife has been produced yet, and it’s a mystery why they didn’t just say that Blake was reaching for his waistcoat, a form of apparel favored by African-Americans who wish to be gunned down by police.
Paralyzed from a shattered spine, Blake was transported to a local hospital where Kenosha police shackled his motionless legs to the hospital bed because he had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. It took a week and a large public outcry before the Kenosha police worked up their courage and removed the shackles. Perhaps they thought leaving him unshackled would remind people that slavery was no longer legal and African-Americans weren’t supposed to be shackled.
There’s a certain element amongst the police who seem to believe that the way to handle public outrage over the arbitrary slaughter of black suspects is to continue to gun down unarmed men who, usually, are accused of either minor crimes or of being in the area where a crime might have occurred and aren’t threatening anyone. They aren’t doing a very good job of reading the room. People are outraged, and protests ensued.
It went from bad to worse, which, given how it began, meant that it got about as bad as it could be.
Self-styled “patriotic militia groups”, aka Brownshirts, aka Street Nazis, quickly started calling on armed thugs to converge on Kenosha to protect those poor, quivering, weeping little police fellows from the housewives and students and kids who thought arbitrarily shooting people was a bad thing. How dare they defy the Second Amendment like that?
Facebook missed a spot, and while they were censoring a friend who jokingly called his life partner/husband of 50 years a “fag” overlooked the call to protect the police of Kenosha from thugs and commies. Communism used to be defined by economics. Now it’s defined by race. Black is the new Red. Anyway, the call went out. “Street Nazis, Assemble!” And every buffoon with an AR-15 and an itch to bag liberals and darkies showed up. One of them was a kid named Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, who lived about 20 miles away in Illinois.
Now, I was a protester back in the 60s and 70s, and I remember that cops hated outside agitators. People who came from other places to instigate trouble. Cops hated those. Hate, hate, hate. But the very worst ones were the ones who crossed state lines to agitate. It’s not clear why being from out of state made them so much worse, but they were. Now, I live in California, and while Oregon has its share of assholes, they don’t seem any worse than our home-grown ones.
None-the-less, “crossing state lines” to agitate is the worst offense possible in the eyes of the protect-and-defend crowd, and when they see an outside agitator, they pull out the PR-24s and get to whaling.
So when Rittenhouse showed up from Illinois (Note: not the same state as Wisconsin, which is where Kenosha is) they pulled out the clubs and bean-bag guns and tear gas and set out to flatten Rittenhouse’s commie ass, right?
Well, not so you’d notice. Instead, they drove by the collection of heavily armed right wing misfits, and told them over a loudspeaker mounted on their weapon-of-war vehicle that they really appreciated the help the guys were providing, and tossed them bottles of water so they would be refreshed and well-hydrated when they started shooting down unarmed Americans in the streets.
Rittenhouse fired into a group of protesters standing in front of a gas station. One theory is that he wanted to protect the gas station from the mob, but there’s nothing to suggest the mob had any interest in that particular gas station. But you know, thugs and commies can be so irrational, so Rittenhouse did what any good, loyal, patriotic citizen would do, and opened fire on the crowd, killing one.
The crowd gave chase, which must have scared the piss out of Rittenhouse, since he had a big gun and the people chasing him did not. He tripped over his own feet and, from flat on his back, fired at the people surrounding him, killing another and injuring a third. He got up and trotted toward the group of police vehicles, a half dozen of which had a clear view of the shooting. He had his hands up, presumably hoping the police would take him into custody and protect him from the people who were unaccountably annoyed with him. Kenosha PD were his friends. They wouldn’t shackle him to any hospital bed.
The police let him walk past them, AR-15 slung over his shoulder, and ignored cries from the crowd that he had killed someone. All the police knew was the crowd, for some reason, was riled up, and it looked to them like the work of outside agitators from out of state. They didn’t have time to give a nice little white boy with a gun a lift to his car. Poor Rittenhouse had to walk to his car, and only then could he start it up and drive home.
The next day, apparently concerned that he may have violated a zoning law or something, he turned himself in—to Illinois police. In Illinois, he’s a minor. In Wisconsin, he isn’t. That may have had something to do with it. If nothing else, Illinois would get an assurance that Wisconsin wouldn’t seek the death penalty before turning him over. His lawyer is reportedly a member of Qanon, which basically is the Republican Party these days.
I have a friend who thinks we should start referring to that crowd as “The Shallow State.” That works for me.
The next day, the Chief of the Kenosha police, one Daniel Miskinis gave a press conference, and uttered a statement that showed, beyond any possible doubt, the courage, integrity and steadfastness of the Kenosha Police. He said (and I’m not making this up) “Persons who were out after the curfew became engaged in some type of disturbance, and persons were shot. Everybody involved was out after the curfew. I’m not going to make a great deal of that, but the point is the curfew is in place to protect…Had persons not been out involved in violation of that, perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened…It is the persons who were involved after the legal time, involved in illegal activity, that brought violence to this community.”
Yes, those people violently stopped .223 rounds from an AR-15. And of course, there’s the matter of Rittenhouse and his gang of street Nazis, who were ALSO out after curfew. If the Kenosha Police Department, at any point, showed any sign of intelligence, courage, and desire to uphold the law, it was when they politely refused a request from the street nazis to deputize them. Somewhere in the aching caverns of their police sensibilities, they may have sensed that violent, heavily-armed and undisciplined right wing thugs, filled with rage at uppity Negroes, might not be the best candidates to bestow badges on. Or maybe they were afraid the street Nazis would show them up. In any event, it was the one thing they got right.
I would say that it couldn’t get much worse than this, but this is exactly what the Fuhrer-in-waiting, Donald Trump, wants. He wants racial strife, and rage verging on civil war. So expect him to weigh in on the side of Rittenhouse, and have the Justice Department press to have charges dismissed. He may even talk of pardoning Rittenhouse.
It’s how he rolls. This is a golden opportunity for him. In Rittenhouse, he has his Horst Wessel.
It’s a good time to remember that you are better than the Kenosha Police and their pitiful chief. You are better than Rittenhouse and his coterie of street Nazis. And most of all, you are better than Donald Trump, the ultimate outside agitator.