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Egyptologist’s Assertion That Kyle Rittenhouse Killed ‘Two Black Men’ Unravels Like an Old Mummy

Egyptologist’s Assertion That Kyle Rittenhouse Killed ‘Two Black Men’ Unravels Like an Old Mummy

There are many valuable lessons for UCLA professor Kara Cooney and her editors in this aftermath of this fiasco.

As the Legal Insurrection’s resident expert on ancient Egypt, I need to comment on the news about University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor and Egyptologist Kara Cooney and her new book, The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World.

She is facing mounting criticism for a passage in her newly released book that contains the #FakeNews about Kyle Rittenhouse shooting two Black men.

In her book, Cooney asks readers to “consider 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who used his semi-automatic weapon to kill two Black men in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while waging a glorious race war on behalf of his inherited White power.”

…Cooney received heavy backlash from social media users, who questioned her fact-checking and research for the book, leading her to acknowledge the error.

“On p. 341 of THE GOOD KINGS I state that Kyle Rittenhouse shot two Black men when instead he shot two white men,” Cooney wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “That was my mistake, and I apologize. The response has been a hateful stew of ridicule and denial that America has a race problem at all.”

Cooney said in her response that the aggressive and nasty feedback she’s received over the factual errors was a symptom of White supremacy and misogyny, calling the Rittenhouse passage a “tiny detail of the book.”

There are many valuable lessons that can be learned from Cooney’s experience, both for the UCLA professor and progressives who believe that “misinformation” campaigns and cancel culture can’t hurt them.

Let me begin by noting that I once followed Cooney on Facebook. I became aware of her work while watching the history documentaries on cable television, and bought her then newly published book: The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt.

One aspect of Egyptology to keep in mind is that while there is a treasure trove of artifacts and evidence from the Land of the Nile, very rarely can you make an assertion about ancient Egyptian history with 100% certainty. There is much room for interpretation.

I disagreed with the patriarchy-focused explanations that dominated the book on Queen Hatshepsut. I personally feel it wasn’t so much patriarchy that explains much of how the queen was lost to history but was instead the Egyptian love of duality and the need for them to take a different approach to how heirs were chosen. However, Cooney’s 2014 book is still part of my collection because the scholarship in her work was solid, and I enjoyed her perspective.

Afterward, from 2014 to 2017, I often went to her Facebook fan page for Egypt news and updates. To be fair to Cooney, she shepherded many robust discussions that were academically “hot” (specifically Afrocentrism). And while I didn’t agree with her political comments, they were few and far between.

Then came President Donald Trump, and the toxic political posting from Cooney became too much for me to bear. However, I never called for her page to be cancelled nor for her to be fired from UCLA. I did what normally people do: I simply stopped following her work.

I am sure other independent conservatives also made the same choice. Therefore, Cooney was missing out on some valuable “fact checking,” “reason reviewing,” and “alternative facts,” which may have been invaluable in preventing such a mock-worthy mistake.

However, the issue goes beyond Cooney. Where were her editors? Who was doing the “fact checking”? As an author, Cooney is not being well served by academic and publishing communities that are only exposed to right-reviling, Trump-hating, white-loathing, anti-male perspectives.

As a result of this political insulation, the entire level of scholarship in her new book must be questioned.

But there is even more potential fallout that must be considered. Cooney’s book is virulently anti-white in passages. If I were a parent with a child at UCLA or one who was considering that school as an option, would I really want said child to go to a school where racist screeds are an acceptable form of scholarship?

Reasonable fact-checking and a healthy respect for serious challenges makes all analysis better. I hope Cooney and her editors learn to tolerate different perspectives and review current events using different news sources when she writes her next book. Perhaps Cooney might consider reading Legal Insurrection?

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Comments

2smartforlibs | January 8, 2022 at 4:11 pm

How stupid do you have to be to make a claim like that when the data is a few keystrokes away.

    I would bet that she neither knew, nor cared about the untruthfulness of her claim. The important thing is that it put her on the right side of the narrative, thereby protecting her job and social life.

    That’s dishonest but it’s not stupid.

      coyote in reply to irv. | January 10, 2022 at 8:45 am

      I dunno if it was intentional. It was more likely a knee jerk. Back when the Hutus and the Tutsi tribes were going at it, I heard a tv reporter on the verge of tears lamenting the deaths of so many of these “African-Americans.” No kidding. They weren’t blacks, they were indigenous natives, they weren’t even just plain “Africans,” they were “African-Americans.”

      In Cooney’s mind, it would appear that white people only shoot black people and therefore, apparently only black people would have been rioting that night and thus on the wrong side of the “vigilante” gun.

      Now who’s the racist?

    Well … not to make too fine a point of it … Trump is guilty of the same thing … the guy lied frequently about stuff that could easily be fact checked by a five year old and found false.

      polly_mathick in reply to PODKen. | January 8, 2022 at 8:43 pm

      Misdirected tu quoque. Trump is not an academic or even President any more, and in any case, though he was often accused by the Left of racially inflammatory rhetoric, I don’t remember any examples from Trump that were this prejudicial, harmful, and flat out wrong.

      Milhouse in reply to PODKen. | January 8, 2022 at 11:35 pm

      This is true, but so what? What’s it got to do with the topic? Yeah, we have some commenters here who like to pretend Trump is perfect, and they’ll simply deny your assertion, but the rest of us figured that out long ago. We support him despite his frequent lying and/or ignorance, not because we’re unaware of it. With all his faults he was a good president.

      The thing about the lie here is that (a) it’s her editors’ job to fact-check her, and (b) the lie undermines her whole point. As far as I can tell she’s still pretending that she only got the victims’ skin color wrong, and otherwise her description remains standing. Because if it falls then so must the point she cited this to demonstrate.

    How stupid do you have to be to make a claim like that when the data is a few keystrokes away…”

    The fools absorbing the propaganda are either too lazy, too dumb or too narcissistic to stroke the keys for a common sense answer.

    Just look at the Wide Latina/Affirmative Action Supreme Court Justice Dodomayor.

    Impossible to make such a mistake given all the video and print sources from across the political spectrum that were and are available to everyone. She lied and assumed she could get away with lying.

Purity of narrative is more important than adherence to facts or even honest inquiry. The d/prog would rather be pure than be correct.

This should be a lawsuit. It’s so blatant. She can’t say she made a mistake. She’s a professional researcher/professor. She’s written books before so she has skill at research.

Five minutes on Google and she’d know that Kyle shot at four people. Killed two, wounded one, and missed one. The one that missed was the black males that attempted to kick Kyle in the head. The other three were white males.

The publisher should get a lawsuit as well since they obviously didn’t bother to check anything she wrote.

She also got the Rosa Parks story wrong in the same book. She said Rosa Parks sat down in the whites only part of the bus. This is false. Rosa Parks was sitting in the blacks only part of the bus when the white section filled up and a white person demanded she give up her seat. She refused and that resulted in her arrest and in becoming a part of the Civil Rights Movement.

    gonzotx in reply to TheOldZombie. | January 8, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    Yes, please sue her Kyle…please!!!

      Char Char Binks in reply to gonzotx. | January 8, 2022 at 5:54 pm

      For a pharaoh’s ransom? Do you really think she has enough money to make it worthwhile?

        Every shred of profit from this book should belong to Rittenhouse, and he should get a huge judgement whether she can pay or not.

        This was ludicrous and TEXTBOOK libel. She made an unambiguous statement of fact that has ZERO support.

        Rittenhouse should end up owning everything she has.

        Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Char Char Binks. | January 8, 2022 at 10:46 pm

        Then sue her and the publishing house and the editor(s) that allowed such an egregious statement to remain in the published book. There’s got to be enough money there to make it worthwhile.

    She also got the Rosa Parks story wrong in the same book.

    Which brings up the ‘Gell-Mann amnesia effect’

    Why in hell should anyone consider anything else she wrote worth the time it takes to read it?

    Milhouse in reply to TheOldZombie. | January 8, 2022 at 11:40 pm

    Nope, there’s no lawsuit there. Neither she nor her publisher had any legal obligation to fact-check themselves. He’s a public figure now, so unless they knew they were lying they’re lawsuit-proof.

    In addition, the skin color of the people Rittenhouse shot is in any case irrelevant to his reputation, so even deliberately lying about it would not be defamatory.

    The rest of it (the claim that he was on some sort of race war or representing patriarchy or whatever nonsense it is) is opinion, and therefore can’t be defamatory.

      AnAdultInDiapers in reply to Milhouse. | January 9, 2022 at 9:10 am

      She’s claiming he was enacting a race war. She’s lying. He’s not a public figure. This absolutely should be actionable. She’s defaming him with malicious intent to push a flawed unsupportable narrative.

      She’s a lying racist for that.

        1. He is a public figure.

        2. Claiming someone is engaged in a race war is inherently opinion rather than fact, and therefore categorically excluded from defamation.

        Ignore everything Danny wrote below this. He had no idea what he’s talking about.

      Danny in reply to Milhouse. | January 9, 2022 at 6:40 pm

      Calling someone a white supremacist is the definition of defamatory today.

      They did it in a textbook that will be taught as fact, and is meant to be unquestionable unless you are another academic so yes libel, and yes they had a legal obligation to check if it was true before libelling.

      If I said Milhouse at legal insurrection is sleeping with Jill Biden yes you could sue even if I didn’t fact check and you are a public figure and as far as defamation that is a much lower level than what is featured in this article.

        Milhouse in reply to Danny. | January 10, 2022 at 4:51 pm

        Danny, you have not the faintest clue what you’re talking about.

        No, calling someone a white supremacist is not defamatory, because it’s inherently an opinion, not a statement of fact. There is no objective measure of a white supremacist, therefore whether someone is one can only be a conclusion to be drawn from known facts, and conclusions are by definition opinions.

        Alleging that someone slept with Jill Biden is a statement of fact; either they did or they didn’t, and there’s no room for opinion. Therefore if it’s not true it is defamatory. But if you wrote that about a public figure they’d have to prove that you knew it wasn’t true, or at least that you had no reason to think it might be true. “I heard it from a source who has never steered me wrong in the past” is enough of a defense.

      Danny in reply to Milhouse. | January 9, 2022 at 6:53 pm

      You also need to realize that there has to be a basis to believe what you claim to avoid a libel suite. With no evidence of Kyle Rittenhouse as a racist (if there was you better believe the prosecutors would have produced it in court) her claim is slander.

      His being a public figure because he did some interviews is also at best debatable.

      We are also talking generalities here to because every state has its own libel statute with different levels you have to clear. New York state for example passed a law making it easier to sue for libel if you are called a communist because the damage that could do to someone at the time was roughly equivalent to what being labelled a white supremacist does today.

      Your Libertarianism is idealistic, not an accurate reflection of what the law is, and I should add not what the law should be either.

        Milhouse in reply to Danny. | January 10, 2022 at 5:01 pm

        You also need to realize that there has to be a basis to believe what you claim to avoid a libel suite.

        Only if it was a statement of fact, and the plaintiff can prove it isn’t true, but the plaintiff is a public figure. (If he’s not a public figure then it’s sufficient that the statement was not true; it doesn’t matter that you had reason to suppose it might be true.)

        With no evidence of Kyle Rittenhouse as a racist

        That is inherently an opinion, therefore not subject to defamation law in the first place. It’s not something that can be proven true or false.

        His being a public figure because he did some interviews is also at best debatable.

        No, it isn’t. He’s a public figure because he’s in the news. Richard Jewell was not a public figure because he wasn’t in the news until the defendants put him there. Once they did that he became a public figure, so other people who defamed him later would be subject to the more lenient rules for defaming public figures.

        We are also talking generalities here to because every state has its own libel statute with different levels you have to clear.

        No, we’re not, because every state is bound by the same first amendment. The supreme court has been very clear about this; opinions cannot be defamation. No state can change that.

        New York state for example passed a law making it easier to sue for libel if you are called a communist

        And that so-called “law” is unconstitutional. Calling someone a communist cannot be defamation. Claiming that someone is a member of the CPUSA is a very different matter, since that is a statement of objective fact. That can be defamatory in some contexts.

        Your Libertarianism is idealistic, not an accurate reflection of what the law is, and I should add not what the law should be either.

        You are simply wrong. You can ask any expert on the first amendment and they will tell you so. What I write is simply the undisputed facts.

      Danny in reply to Milhouse. | January 9, 2022 at 7:02 pm

      By the way to back myself up

      https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7124&context=mlr

      http://www.chambers-associate.com/practice-areas/first-amendment-libel-and-defamation

      The idea that anything that is your opinion is therefore protected by the first ammendment is not the law in any state. Furthermore if a court ruled that the term waging a race war or white supremacist has no meaning and there aren’t any consequences to being named that (rofl on both counts could happen if the court is all D judges but otherwise white supremacy does mean you think whites are superior) our state legislatures have a role just as the New York state legislature did during McCarthyism.

        Milhouse in reply to Danny. | January 10, 2022 at 5:21 pm

        LOL. Did you read your so-called evidence?

        The first link is to a law review article from 1956! Did you not notice that? The very first thing it does is cite a PA appeals court decision from that year, affirming that calling someone a communist is defamation per se, because membership in the Communist Party is a felony under
        Pennsylvania statute
        .

        Now tell me, can any state have such a statute?! No, of course they can’t. No state can ban membership in any organization, including the Nazi Party or the Communist Party. All such so-called “statutes” are automatically null and void. Surely you don’t dispute that? But in 1956 there were courts that ignored that and pretended such statutes were valid. There are no such courts today. So an article written in 1956 based on such a decision is of nothing more than historical value.

        The rest of the article has also been completely rejected by the supreme court and would never be entertained by any court today. There is no court today that would agree that calling someone a communist implies membership in some specific organization, any more than calling someone a nazi implies that. That was true even in 1956, but the PA court erroneously said otherwise. No court today would make that mistake.

        Your second link is simply nonsense. It’s wrong in every detail. For instance, just consider its assertion that “Telling everyone at the local tavern that your neighbor is an incompetent, pox-ridden chicken thief is slander. Publish it, and it becomes libel.” Anyone who knows anything at all about defamation law will tell you that is not true, because nobody would take those insults literally. Nobody hearing such an insult would conclude that the subject actually has a venereal disease, or that he has actually stolen a chicken. Just as nobody hearing someone described as a “son of a bitch” would understand this as an aspersion on the guy’s mother. See Falwell v Hustler.

        The idea that anything that is your opinion is therefore protected by the first ammendment is not the law in any state

        On the contrary, it’s the law in every state. First of all, because states do not get to decide what is protected by the first amendment. Only the courts can decide that, and they have decided it long ago. But more importantly, the idea that opinions can’t be defamatory is independent of the first amendment; it applies even in common-law countries where there is no first amendment, such as the UK.

    mailman in reply to TheOldZombie. | January 9, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    Kyle should add her to hisist of “get rich mommas” because he has absolutely NO relevance to Egyptian history. She included him to defame him and she did it deliverability and with malice (because what relevance does he have to ancient Egyptian history?!?).

    These left wing fucks MUST be made to suffer the consequences of their actions.

    Pepsi_Freak in reply to TheOldZombie. | January 10, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    What does all this cr*p about Kyle or Rosa have to do with ancient Egypt anyway? How does it fit in a book by an Egyptologist?

      Milhouse in reply to Pepsi_Freak. | January 10, 2022 at 5:23 pm

      Because the point of her book is about the link between how ancient Egypt was ruled by despots and how the “white hetero cis-male patriarchy” rules us today. So the Kyle Rittenhouse who stalks her imagination is an embodiment of the tyranny of the Pharaohs.

Pasadena Peabody | January 8, 2022 at 4:48 pm

“I hope Cooney and her editors learn to tolerate different perspectives and review current events using different news sources…”

I think she’s sailed too far down the Nile to turn back now.

Everything within the Narrative
Nothing outside the Narrative
–Today’s Left

Char Char Binks | January 8, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Another leftist tard ensconced in an inconsequential academic niche where her limited wattage can be put to some use while causing little harm. She is more to be pitied than than hated.

    polly_mathick in reply to Char Char Binks. | January 8, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    I have to disagree with you, thoroughly. From where do you think these plagues of wokeness, identity politics, political correctness, racemongering, ethno-essentialism, and all their attendant crackpot theories and jargon about systemic racism, white privilege, white fragility, and literally hundreds of other absurd, evidence-free assertions which are nevertheless swallowed whole by the Leftist superstructure that reigns mercilessly over our society, come, than from the grievance studies and other colonized departments of the American university system?

    We would do well to pay more attention to the pernicious rumblings on campus and strive to fight back with all our might.

Was she arguing in favor of judging people by the color of their skin?

    alaskabob in reply to ConradCA. | January 8, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    The attempt to paint the Egyptians as black is another story. At the headwaters, the people were black being from what became Ethiopia. A good Mediterranean “tan” for sure as depicted by the paintings. Light enough that eye makeup was helpful.

    Least we forget how the white man was envious of the Black Egyptians who could fly and killed them all because of that. Every Fruit of Islam (FOI) can tell you the story.

      henrybowman in reply to alaskabob. | January 8, 2022 at 6:40 pm

      “the white man was envious of the Black Egyptians who could fly and killed them all because of that.”

      Clearly a trait with zero survival advantage.

Another example of Dems returning to their racist roots!

    gospace in reply to ConradCA. | January 9, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    Return? They never left. They simply changed the groups they say they support. Funny thing though- the message is still the same. In the 1930s and before- blacks were inferior and needed to be segregated from the rest of us. For a short while- while they were inferior, they needed to be integrated with non-Blacks so they could get a helping hand. Now- they’re back to segregation- but it’s for their own good, and they need a helping hand up because- they cannot help themselves, a way of saying they’re inferior without actually saying their inferior.

    I myself prefer judging every individual individually, though that is now discriminatory because it leads to unequal results….

“On p. 341 of THE GOOD KINGS I state that Kyle Rittenhouse shot two Black men when instead he shot two white men,” Cooney wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “That was my mistake, and I apologize. The response has been a hateful stew of ridicule and denial that America has a race problem at all.”

Oh, we have a race problem, all right.
And you’re a perfect example of it.

    Kara, you are one confused “historian.” We don’t have a “race problem.” Rather, we have a problem race.

    No m’am. You wrote in your book (is it a textbook?) Rittenhouse * killed * two Black men …. and double that “no” because he * shot three * white men, killing two.

    She can’t even get the facts of her correction correct.

    AnAdultInDiapers in reply to henrybowman. | January 9, 2022 at 9:13 am

    To convince us America has a race problem she ought to provide evidence. Instead she spouted nonsense about a young man defending himself from violent and lethal assault.

    Perhaps if she’d cited actual evidence there’d be more of an audience.

Her work is nothing but a leftist attempt to rewrite history and cancel our ancients to meet her political views.

Another 1619 project clone with negative educational value.

Kara, was Kyle the one who handed Indiana Jones the Eskimo Bar ice cream treat before he beat the Nazis to the Ark, or was that Brian Williams?

I’ll group her in with the other news people that are on my do not listen to list.

Plausible, but a handmade tale.

I minored in Classical Studies and Ancient History. The reason I never went back to get a M.A. was that by graduation I was thoroughly disenchanted with the publish-or-perish culture in historia academia that meant professors would fabricate entire complex theories based on supposition just so they’d have something to publish. We simply don’t have very much primary source material from the Middle East and archaeology there has been fraught for decades. Any “Egyptologist”, or historian specializing in the Ancient Near East, should be assumed to be lying unless they can back up everything they say with cites to primary sources (i.e. not other historians).

Oh, and by the way:

I personally feel it wasn’t so much patriarchy that explains much of how the queen was lost to history but was instead the Egyptian love of duality and the need for them to take a different approach to how heirs were chosen

By far the most likely explanation is simply that Hatshepsut was the Elizabeth I of her time: given the alternative of a bloody civil war over the succession, the Egyptians were willing to be practical about allowing a woman to take the throne was long as she pretended to be male. That Thutmose III waited 25 years to get around to excising her cartouches strongly implies he was responding to some kind of external pressure; other pharoahs who offended the Egyptian elite were excised immediately upon their deaths.

    pst314 in reply to daniel_ream. | January 9, 2022 at 8:19 am

    “by graduation I was thoroughly disenchanted with the publish-or-perish culture in historia academia”

    No good career options for the scholar who wants to focus on teaching. I have read that this can be blamed on an 19th Century American infatuation with German academia, in contrast to England where there was plenty of room for professors who spent their careers largely in teaching rather than original research. Have I got that right?

What I’m trying to work out is what possible REAL relevance is there to including Kyle in her book??

What Cooney and her handlers don’t seem capable of understanding is that when your basic premise for the paragraph is demonstrably, factually wrong then your analysis of its ramifications is null and void.

They seem to think they can fix the simple fact and not change the reasoning behind it….the circularity is blatant and repulsive.

I blame the editrix. Cooney finished her Egypt book (one of 1000s), and the editrix told an assistant editor to insert some current content so that it could be made current. She went from notorious to ridiculous in no time flat.

Don’t just sue her. Go after the publishing house and editor and the fact checkers/proof readers, secretaries etc.

Oh, and if papers need to be served, schedule it for the middle of the lecture in her biggest class.

civisamericanus | January 10, 2022 at 4:32 pm

The Left has anointed Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz as honorary African-Americans, sort of like the way the Nazis once anointed allies (e.g. Slavic Croats and even Asiatic Japanese) as honorary Aryans.

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