Or… The Continuing Irrelevance Of The Individual

Jussie Smollett was convicted yesterday of five felonies relating to his (can we omit the “alleged” now?) staging of a hate-crime attack upon himself.

No one who took an honest look at the facts of the matter is surprised.

Nevertheless, right on cue and, again, to no one’s surprise, Black Lives Matter (the organization) rejected the verdict, declaring that “we can never believe police.”

And, almost in the same breath, took a swipe at Kyle Rittenhouse: “a verdict decided in a white supremacist charade.” No matter that everyone in the Rittenhouse incident was white.

That it took a couple years to bring Smollett to justice for a divisive and race-baiting (and, let’s be frank, unbelievably stupid) stunt born of narcissism is, alas, surprising to no one either. Despite the absurdity of his claim (two white men in MAGA hats walking in Chicago (hardly MAGA country) at 2 AM, in subzero temps, with a noose at the ready and a hot sauce bottle filled with bleach, bumping into Smollett, recognizing him, and giving him a scrape or two before running away), the usual suspects immediately leapt to his side. Not only affirmatively declaring their belief in his story before authorities could even investigate, but informing us that this was the product of rampant and widespread racism.

The story quickly unraveled. Smollett was fired from his high-paying TV gig, and he became a laughingstock on social media. Unfortunately, because people would rather chew hot asphalt than admit they leapt to premature judgment or that they were (because of their own biases and wishful thinking) duped, many refused to admit the obvious.

Nevertheless, in a, to me, obviously political decision, the Chicago DA opted not to prosecute Smollett for his hoax, dropping 16 counts against him, and was praised for doing so (it took a special prosecutor to bring him to justice).

The reason?

“Criminal justice reform,” as one pundit put it. Smollett should have been let off the hook because the criminal justice system needs fixing.

While it certainly does, the approach taken by the Left has proven utterly idiotic, putting repeat offenders, unrepentant career criminals, and gangbangers back onto the street mere hours after their arrest, refusing to prosecute actual crimes if they aren’t ‘serious enough,’ and essentially shrugging off the violence, organized robberies, and spiking murder rates that have come on the heels of their progressivist changes. By their actions, the worst people in the country matter more to them than those victimized by them.

The Left’s view of Smollett is wholly rooted in his demographic markers, his “identity” as a prominent gay black man. That he faked the attack doesn’t detract from the supposed underlying ‘truths’ – that it could have happened. At least in their worldview. Which makes it as good as having actually occurred, for their purposes.

And since it could have occurred, since the stunt supposedly spoke to the ‘truths’ they insist the rest of us deny, and since their politics take priority over actual justice, Smollett should not be punished for his crime.

Twenty-six years ago, OJ Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex wife and her friend. While the prosecution bungled the case, anyone who looked at the facts knew OJ did it. His acquittal was celebrated as a victory for a black man over the system, and was regarded as payback for Rodney King’s beating by LA police.

The running theme in all this is that individuals don’t matter. Not Nicole Brown or Ron Goldman, not Kyle Rittenhouse, not the people who spent thousands of hours and taxpayer dollars investigating Smollett’s hoax, not an eighteen year old from Antioch, Illinois. Not the people who’ve suffered senseless random attacks walking the streets of their cities. Not the shop owners whose businesses are being crunched by brazen and near-continuous shoplifting. Not the victims of the recidivists who get to run rampant while waiting to be tried for past crimes – if they get tried at all.

All are to be sacrificed to a narrative – one that dovetails with the collectivist thinking and behaviors of the previous century, that killed over a hundred million, that impoverished billions, and that survive and thrive, against all reason and rationality, today.

They tell us Black Lives Matter, and elevate individuals who’ve suffered unjustly as part of their program, but the message is clear:

  • Only some lives matter.

  • Justice is collective, not individual.

  • Who you are matters far more than what you did.

This is where the nefarious substitution of “equity” for “equality” comes into play. In the progressive world, Smollett would never have been convicted. The message of an acquittal, no matter his guilt, is the only thing that matters.

Fortunately, this mindset has failed to deeply root anywhere but the woke-Left. Juries reached the right conclusions, and had the guts to avow them, in both the Smollett and Rittenhouse cases.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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