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Universities Trying to Enforce Preferred Narrative About Rittenhouse Trial

Universities Trying to Enforce Preferred Narrative About Rittenhouse Trial

“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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The Political Officers have no other way to spin this one. Good.
“One, Two, Many Rittenhouses.”

Only one viewpoint is allowed in public at UC Santa Cruz.

This is the new “scholarship”: verdicts rendered prior to trial or presentation of evidence are just a variation on “scholarship” that starts with conclusions and then goes searching (selectively) for something, anything that will support these conclusions. And if none can be found, well, just re-define terms until no other conclusion is possible!

Did some black guy assault a white guy just for being white? Well, maybe (it happens), but since we’ve defined “racism” as “bad stuff done by white people” that black guy couldn’t possibly be racist (but you surely are if you disagree).

Welcome to the New Scholarship (and it’s soon-to-be subsidiary, Cargo Cult “science”). In a way it’s like socialism in its assumption that there will always be someone else’s money to fund everything except that in this version there will always be someone keeping our social, technical and economic infrastructure functional.

Until there isn’t.

I suppose it would be too much to ask that they simply report the facts of the case without editorializing, wouldn’t it?

    henrybowman in reply to Idonttweet. | November 27, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    They have no business even to report the facts of the case. They’re universities, not news agencies.

      lawgrad in reply to henrybowman. | November 28, 2021 at 4:59 pm

      Henrybowman, they are central administration, not faculty. It could be that law faculty may have a diversity of viewpoints, depending upon whether one is a professor of Constitutional Law or Trial Techniques. It could be that a sociologist would have a completely different viewpoint. Finally, a professor of Africana Studies may have a fourth viewpoint. By the central administration commenting upon a case held halfway across the country, all of those viewpoints are shut down. That is a crime against the fundamental purpose and function of higher education.