[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]
Last week, after the verdicts in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, I was jubilant. This, I said, referring to Kenosha, Wisconsin, this was small-town America at its best. The old values still stand, I said; yes, the old procedures still work; and yes, justice can still be found in places like Kenosha.
Alas, my heart had been too soon made glad. Yes, the forces of light had prevailed against the Dark Powers there in that one small battle. This week, however, as we were still savoring our triumph, Satan struck back—not once, but twice.
On Tuesday November 23 verdicts were delivered in the Charlottesville trial. This is a civil trial launched by a coalition of rich and powerful Progressive lobbies against organizers of the 2017 Unite the Right rally. The jury was hung on a few of the charges, but found for the plaintiffs on most, with massive damages both against those organizers personally and against their organizations.
Then on Wednesday November 24 we got verdicts in the Arbery trial in Brunswick, Georgia: twenty-seven of them, nine counts against each of the three defendants. All but four of the twenty-seven verdicts were "guilty."
And those calamities followed on the Sunday November 21 attack by a crazy white-hating black criminal on a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Six paraders were killed, all of them white, ages from eight to 81 [Waukesha holiday parade victims include a child, a bank teller and Dancing Grannies, prosecutor says, Washington Post, November 23, 2021].
So, was I just being a cockeyed optimist? My deduction was that "If there is hope for our country, it lies in Kenosha, Wisconsin," which is to say, in Red-State communities where common sense still rules, far from the big blue cities all poisoned by ideology.
Was that deduction just wishful thinking, extrapolated from one lucky win?
Plenty of Dissident Right commenters think so. David Cole at Taki's Magazine, November 23rd, had a stern piece [The Folly of Anti-Woke “Social Distancing”] against what he called "conservative cocooning." I don't think he had my podcast in mind. He seems to have been responding most particularly to a November 10th tweet by Breitbart commentator John Nolte:
David Cole tossed and gored that at length:
Leftists want the entire country; there's no town too unimportant to merit their concern … You can build a wall to keep out humans, but no wall can keep out an idea. The woke brain disease can hit anyone, anywhere. Young people, and white women, are very susceptible to it. So your 94 percent white town is not safe.
The Z-Man takes a similarly scornful view of people who believe that what I called "the old values…the old procedures…still work"; and that yes, "justice can still be found in places like Kenosha."
Maybe they can, says Z, but not for much longer. The radicals are coming for them, backed by the full power of the Managerial State:
The Left is waging total war on society. The only rational response is to respond accordingly. The compromise is that our commitment to civic nationalism must give way temporarily in order to deal with the threat in the same way chemotherapy is an exception to deal with cancer [Why They Hate Us, The Z-Blog, November 23, 2021].
I'm not sure what Z wants civic nationalism to give way to; and having been through chemotherapy, I don't look forward to anything analogous. Should we take up arms against the radicals? And, after our victory, feed them all into wood-chippers? Z does know—doesn't he?—that they have already captured the military?
Defendants in the Unite The Right trial include Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler, Christopher Cantwell. That rally, which was lawful and had a permit, was attacked by an anarchist mob. The police stood aside on the orders of state and city authorities, and violence ensued.
The plaintiffs in the case are a collection of people who claim to have been hurt or distressed by these events [Spencer, Kessler, Cantwell and other white supremacists found liable in deadly Unite the Right rally , by Ellie Silverman, Ian Shapira, Tom Jackman and John Woodrow Cox, Washington Post, November 23, 2021]. Four of them say they were injured by James Fields, the young man now serving two life sentences plus an additional 419 years for causing injuries and one death while trying to drive away from the anarchist mob.
As VDARE.com’s correspondent James Carson Harrington explained here recently:
Note that this a private prosecution because law enforcement authorities didn't think the case was strong enough. In a classic example of lawfare, wealthy Leftists are trying to buy injustice—specifically, by beating down poorer political enemies to deprive them of their First Amendment speech protections.
The defendants were found liable for $26 million in compensatory and punitive damages altogether. More than $14 million was assessed against James Fields, the guy serving two life sentences plus an additional 419 years. Lots of luck collecting that.
More realistically, each of the defendants was ordered to pay half a million dollars, and five organizations responsible for the Unite the Right rally were assessed a million dollars each.
That was just for engaging in a so-called conspiracy; for engaging in racial, religious or ethnic harassment or violence, five of the defendants were ordered to collectively pay two plaintiffs $500,000 in compensation for their injuries as well as $1 million in punitive damages.
Since most of the plaintiffs, all of their enablers, and of course all the defendants were white, this counts as a battle in the Cold Civil War.
The combatants were very unevenly matched. On the one side were front organizations for the Ruling Class: superbly well-financed, politically well-connected, lawyered up the wazoo. On the other side were a scattering of individual Dissidents.
So the result here was a foregone conclusion. Miracles do occasionally happen, as in Kenosha; but two miracles a few days apart is too much to hope for.
The next day’s verdicts, in the Arbery trial, are a monstrous miscarriage of justice. I earlier reported at length on the history of the case. Jared Taylor just posted a much more detailed post-verdict account.
Last week I noted how perfectly this story fits the Mean Lynching Crackers Narrative that is so dear to so many Americans, not all of them radical fanatics. Greg Gutfeld at Fox News, for example, applauded the verdict: Greg Gutfeld advises the media to 'stop viewing everything through the lens of race,' November 25, 2021. I then said:
So the question hanging over the Arbery trial is: Can it be kept within the narrative, the narrative of mean, ignorant, gap-toothed rednecks hunting blacks for sport? If it can, then it's just a show trial, run by the Goodwhite establishment to terrorize and humiliate Badwhites.
On the other hand, if too much reality leaks out into the courtroom, there might be an instance of narrative collapse, as there was with the George Zimmerman trial over the shooting of Trayvon Martin. We might get a hung jury, or even an acquittal.
There was no such leakage. The narrative was sustained, in defiance of all fact and reason.
For example: malice murder, which was charged against Travis McMichael, the son in the father-son McMichael duo, is defined in Georgia state law as when a person, "unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being” [Malice murder vs. felony murder: A look at the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial charges, by Stephanie Weaver, Fox5Atlanta, November 24, 2021].
Why? Travis and his father, who had both had law-enforcement training, honestly believed they were protecting their neighborhood against a criminal. Travis tried to hold the suspect in place until police arrived. He used a shotgun for that purpose, on the reasonable suspicion that Arbery might be armed. Arbery tried to wrest away the gun. If he had succeeded, Travis would surely have been shot, and he knew this.
What was he supposed to do? Where is the malice, express or implied?
Likewise with the felony murder charges. Felony murder, in Georgia law, occurs when someone commits a serious or inherently dangerous felony, and someone else dies during the course of committing or attempting to commit the felony. What felonies did McMichael, Senior and William Bryan commit?
The judge, Timothy Walmsley, was partly at fault, whether deliberately or not. He made a pig's ear out of his instructions to the jury on the critical matter of the citizen's arrest law that pertained when Arbery was shot [Arbery Case Trial: Judge Walmsley Drops the Ball On Ambiguous Citizen’s Arrest Law, by Andrew Branca, Legal Insurrection, November 23, 2021].
None of this really mattered. The case was such a good fit for the Mean Lynching Crackers Narrative, neither judge nor jury had to do any thinking. They just had to follow the narrative. Mean Lynching Crackers chase down and shoot angelic black jogger? Guilty!
And concerning the jury, this result supports David Cole's case against "conservative cocooning." Let me re-quote David:
The woke brain disease can hit anyone, anywhere. Young people, and white women, are very susceptible to it.
A lot of fuss was made about there being only one black man on the Arbery jury. If David Cole is right, it's much more relevant that there were only two white men. The other nine jury members were all white women [What we know about jury deliberations in the Ahmaud Arbery killing trial, by Devon M. Sayers, Alta Spells and Travis Caldwell, CNN, November 24, 2021].
Oh, and there was a lesson for any other peasants who find themselves at the sharp end of a popular Narrative.
The video shot by William Bryan, which shows Travis McMichael and Arbery struggling for Travis's shotgun, was not known about until the defendants voluntarily gave it to the authorities, on the assumption that it would help prove Travis was acting in self-defense [EXCLUSIVE: Man charged in Ahmaud Arbery murder leaked original video of the shooting, WSBTV.com, May 15, 2020].
With their narrative spectacles firmly in place, the jury somehow saw it differently. White guy shooting black guy! Guilty!
So here's the lesson, fellow peasants: Don't help the authorities!
These two downers, the Charlottesville and Brunswick judgements, came after Sunday's horrific mass killing in Waukesha, WI. The perp, a 39-year-old black man named Darrell Brooks, seems to have no regular employment. The only description we get is "aspiring rapper." He's been accumulating a criminal record since age 17, and has a long internet trail of anti-white and anti-cop fulminating.
The fact of Brooks being black caused acute distress at the Regime Media outlets. MSNBC and CNN referred to the event as "a parade crash." The New York Times reported it on page A22.
Page A22. That's where the New York Times put the Waukesha story. Page A22.— 1775 - Marc J. Randazza (@marcorandazza) November 22, 2021
If it fit the narrative they want to push, you betcha it would be the entire front page. pic.twitter.com/XN1PPh1pVX
The Washington Post issued a tweet under the headline, tweet:
Here's what we know so far on the sequence of events that led to the Waukesha tragedy caused by an SUV.
That was on Wednesday, when the perp had long since been identified and his homicidal intentions were plain.
Twitter followers had much fun with that tweet. One wit, with this week's anniversary of the JFK assassination in mind, put out a mock tweet from the November 1963 Washington Post, tweet:
Here's what we know so far on the sequence of events that led to the President Kennedy tragedy caused by a bullet.
Even WaPo realized how embarrassing that tweet was. They deleted it, and on Thursday issued an amended version with a brief notice attached, quote: "We've deleted a previous tweet for this story that included language that was changed after publish."
We’ve deleted a previous tweet for this story that included language that was changed after publish.— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 25, 2021
And yes, it says, "after publish." I guess the Washington Post can't afford grammar checkers.
It turned out that Brooks had been charged on November 2nd with felony assault for beating up his baby momma and, wait for it, running her over with his SUV. He was freed on $1,000 bail put up by his mom. A few months before that, in February this year, he'd been freed on $500 bail after a felony rap in July last year, for reckless endangerment by shooting at his nephew, and for possession of a firearm by a felon.
Waukesha is in suburban Milwaukee, and Milwaukee's District Attorney John Chisholm is an all-out Progressive, obsessed with eliminating racial disparities in conviction and incarceration.
This is not easy, given the very high proportion of crime in the USA that is committed by blacks, especially in cities like Milwaukee.
Highly relevant here is Chapter Four of Charles Murray's recent book Facing Reality. Murray does a careful, very meticulous crunch of such reliable numbers as he can find for arrests by race in violent crimes. He takes the number of black arrests per hundred thousand and the number of white arrests per hundred thousand, and divides the first by the second to get a ratio.
Murray is so careful, he can find only thirteen city police departments that have posted downloadable databases of arrests by race. Milwaukee unfortunately is not one of the thirteen, although nearby Chicago and not-so-nearby Urbana are. Their ratios are: Chicago 14.5, Urbana 11.3.
Across thirteen American cities, including four of the nation's most important ones, the African arrest rate for violent crime was usually around 9 to 11 times the European rate.
Murray uses "African" to mean "black" and "European" to mean "white," for reasons he justifies at length.
Unless Milwaukee is extraordinarily exceptional, D.A. Chisholm's goal of ending race disparities in arrests and incarcerations must inevitably, on Charles Murray's numbers, mean releasing 89 to 91 percent of black violent offenders.
Chisholm actually boasts of having done this. At a March 11th conference of progressive prosecutors he boasted that "In some areas there is almost no disparity"[ Liberal media ignores Waukesha Christmas parade horror, by Miranda Devine, NY Post, November 24, 2021].
Chisholm is also on record as telling the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in 2007 that
Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into treatment program, who's going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It's guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach.
Overdose death highlights deferred prosecutions in Milwaukee County, by Daniel Brice, September 21, 2013
With people like this in power, the fact of homicidal psychopaths like Darrell Brooks wandering free in Milwaukee and environs is not the least bit surprising.
And please remind me, Mr. D.A.: What was it that invalidated the overall approach we had until a few years ago? The approach, I mean, of locking up violent criminals in prisons and mentally ill people in asylums.
So who's right here? Can we preserve a rearguard of good sense and civic nationalism in small towns and Red-State communities while the big national centers of power and wealth succumb to a crazy ideology?
If you want a frank prediction, I doubt we can.
There are many futures, though, and there is honor in fighting, even if it means going down fighting. Having sobered up some after last weekend's euphoria, I am back to my base state of calm despair.
That is not the same as surrender, though.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.
Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at VDARE.com can do so here.