“We are disheartened and dismayed by this morning’s not guilty verdict”
Higher education shares the same view of the Rittenhouse trial as Democrats and the media. Not very surprising, is it?
Conor Friedersdorf writes at The Atlantic:
Universities Try to Force a Consensus About Kyle Rittenhouse
At universities, the recent acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse should be an opportunity to study a divisive case that sparked complex debates about issues as varied as self-defense laws, guns, race, riots, the rights of defendants, prosecutorial missteps, media bias, and more. If administrators were doing their jobs, faculty and students would freely air a wide variety of viewpoints and have opportunities to better understand one another’s diverse perspectives. Instead, many administrators are preemptively imposing their preferred narratives.
The Rittenhouse saga began in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 25, amid rioting that followed the police shooting of a Black man. Rittenhouse, then 17, armed himself with an AR-15-style rifle and walked into the chaos, claiming that he intended to protect the community. He wound up shooting three men, killing two. Last week, a Wisconsin jury found him not guilty of murder, crediting his claim that, at the moment he fired, he feared for his life and acted in self-defense. This, many analysts argued, was a plausible conclusion to draw from Wisconsin law and video footage and testimony presented at trial.
More than 2,000 miles away, administrators at UC Santa Cruz felt otherwise. Chancellor Cynthia Larive and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Judith Estrada issued a statement that began like this:
We are disheartened and dismayed by this morning’s not guilty verdict on all charges in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse … We join in solidarity with all who are outraged by this failure of accountability.
UC Santa Cruz is a public institution with roughly 19,000 students and 1,000 instructors who, one can safely say, do not all share the same viewpoints.
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