bookmark_borderThanksgiving thoughts

It has been a dark and demoralizing couple of years. The things that I value most – individual rights, liberty, history, tolerance, and diversity – have been under attack in various ways across the country and world. But there are a few signs of hope, indicating that possibly, just maybe, the tide might have begun to turn. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are a few things that I am thankful for:

The Christopher Columbus statue in Fairfield, NJ

The vicious campaign against Christopher Columbus over the past year and a half has been nothing short of sickening. At the hands of intolerant mobs of protesters and equally intolerant politicians, statues of the brave explorer have been torn down and in some cases violently destroyed, his name has been erased from schools and other places, and his holiday has been obliterated. However, defying this horrible trend, the town of Fairfield, New Jersey unveiled a brand new statue of Columbus on October 9, 2021. The statue, located outside the Hollywood Avenue Recreation Center, was commissioned by the Fairfield chapter of UNICO and was unveiled at a ceremony featuring pro-Columbus speeches by the mayor and other Italian-American leaders. Recent events have been so demoralizing that I believed another Columbus statue would never again be created, and that the only possible outcome was for the number of statues to inevitably decrease bit by bit until it reached zero. The brave decision to create a new statue of Columbus gives me hope. 

Continue reading “Thanksgiving thoughts”

bookmark_borderJustice for Kyle Rittenhouse

Today (or technically yesterday) the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial returned the correct verdict, acquitting Kyle of all charges. This trial resulted from an incident last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in which Rittenhouse fatally shot two people (and injured a third) who were participating in a BLM protest/riot and who physically attacked him. He argued that he acted in self-defense, and the jury agreed.

Throughout the entire ordeal, numerous people, including reporters, commentators, politicians, and even the president, have viciously insulted and slandered Rittenhouse. People have called him a white supremacist, presumed his guilt, made racist and sexist comments, and ridiculed him for crying when he testified in his own defense.

The assumption behind these anti-Rittenhouse attacks is that the BLM movement is right and just, and that anyone associated with it has the right to do whatever they want, no matter how aggressive, cruel, mean, or harmful, with impunity. According to this way of thinking, any attempt to defend oneself against BLM supporters is aggression, and any attempt to push back against the BLM movement’s ideology of black supremacy is white supremacy.

I disagree with this way of thinking, to put it mildly. So, apparently, did the jury.

Many people have claimed that if Rittenhouse were black, the trial would have had a different outcome. This is true – if Rittenhouse were black, he would never have been charged in the first place. He would have been deified and glorified as a hero, politicians would be falling over each other in their haste to issue statements praising him and insulting the people he shot, and rallies to support him would have erupted all over the country.

For those who claim that Rittenhouse’s acquittal is an example of “white privilege” or “coddling of conservatives,” for someone to be charged with murder in a clear case of self-defense is the opposite of privilege and coddling. For those who claim that Rittenhouse killed two people and faced “no consequences whatsoever,” to be arrested, charged, and tried for murder, viciously insulted by millions of people, and almost unanimously slandered as a white supremacist by the media (and by the president of the United States) is the opposite of facing no consequences.

Many people have criticized Rittenhouse for traveling across state lines. Did these same people also criticize the counter-protesters who demonstrated against a rally for the preservation of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017? If you believe that people in the latter situation acted rightly by counter-protesting, you are inconsistent if you believe that Rittenhouse acted wrongly by going to Kenosha. By all accounts, Kyle went to the site of the protest/riot to oppose the actions of the protesters/rioters. His plans included acting as a medic, putting out fires set by the protesters, repairing property damage done by the protesters, and protecting businesses and people from violence and looting. It is wrong to say that Kyle “had no business being there” or “should have minded his own business” or “was looking for trouble.” When there is a protest – particularly when it is a violent protest in the service of an unjust and racist cause – people have the right to counter-protest. And people have the right to bear arms while counter-protesting (or doing any other activity, for that matter). 

Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum were not victims. They were bullies and aggressors. They would still be alive today if they had minded their own business and not attacked Kyle (or if they had altogether abstained from rioting in support of an unjust and racist cause). To all those people claiming that there is no justice for Huber and Rosenbaum, this is false. Huber and Rosenbaum chose to align themselves with an ideology that supports anti-white racism, discrimination, the destruction of statues and monuments, the violent erasure of unpopular historical figures, ethnicities, and cultures, and the infliction of horrific emotional pain on anyone who dares to express dissenting views. And while demonstrating in support of this ideology, they chose to physically attack an innocent person. This might sound harsh, but Huber and Rosenbaum got exactly what they deserved. 

For far too long, “woke” and politically correct people have inflicted horrible pain, damage, and injustice on other people in the name of “racial justice” and “equity.” For far too long, supporters of the BLM movement have been allowed to bully and intimidate others, completely dominate the public discourse, perpetrate countless acts of violence, vandalism, and looting, obliterate the legacies of historical heroes, destroy priceless works of art, spew the most vile and vicious words of sexism and racism imaginable, and both verbally and physically attack innocent people. For far too long, they have faced no consequences for these despicable actions. 

But today, that stopped. Today a jury recognized that in at least one instance, members of the politically correct BLM mob acted wrongly, and an opponent of that mob was justified in defending himself. 

This doesn’t come anywhere close to undoing the enormous harm that has been done by the BLM movement over the past year and a half. It doesn’t come anywhere close to achieving justice for the countless people whom the BLM movement has hurt, or for the historical figures whom this movement has torn down and stomped on. But it is a start, perhaps, to a long-overdue turning of the tide. Along with the victory of Glenn Youngkin in Virginia and the (at least for now) defeat of the totalitarian vaccine mandate, I am imbued with a sense of hope that there may, possibly, be some good left in the world that is worth fighting for.

Kyle Rittenhouse, you give me hope. For your courage in standing up to bullies, I salute you. 

Jurors, you give me hope. For rendering a just verdict despite tremendous pressure to do otherwise, I salute you.