“Men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse can be called ‘rioters’ and ‘looters’ but not ‘victims,’ judge rules.” — Washington Post, 10/26/21
The most important pillar of the flawless American legal system is that one remains innocent until proven guilty. In this case, the shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse, is the victim, and the men he shot and killed must be proven guilty of a crime throughout the course of this trial. Even though they are dead and will never be able to testify or speak for themselves, we know they are guilty.
We cannot refer to these victims of murder as victims of their own murder. The term “victim” is far too loaded, harsh, and accurate. It’s not fair to the innocent young man who was doing his duty as a good American by gunning protesters down in the streets. Instead, we can refer to those who died as “rioters,” “looters,” “criminals,” and “people in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
If the American justice system is unfair to anyone, it’s young white men who have allegedly done terrible things. As judges, it’s our job to make sure their feelings aren’t hurt and that we accurately label and condemn the real criminals: the people who got in their way.
If a young man is found at the scene of the sexual assault and accused of sexual assault by a woman, we refer to him as an alleged sexual assaulter who was found at the scene of a sexual assault. Worse, we refer to the woman he allegedly assaulted as the victim of a sexual assault. This is all wrong. Instead, we must consider what the woman was doing. Perhaps she was in the young man’s way, and he had no choice but to assault her so she would move.
In cases with such a large gray area, it is only fair to the person accused of a crime that we refer to the plaintiff as a “whore,” a “slut,” or even just a “huge bitch.”
Someone has to be responsible for upholding true justice in the legal system, even if it’s not always popular. We cannot bend to the weight of the masses who become enraged when we refer to pedestrians hit by cars as “sacks of meat standing in the middle of the road while a Ford pickup was just trying to run a red light.” Calling the man sitting in the driver’s seat of the Ford pickup at the time of the crash “the driver” is presumptuous and pejorative.
It is imperative to remember that the defendant is not always the one on trial. In some cases, such as the one concerning Kyle Rittenhouse, the dead are the real problem. If they hadn’t died, we wouldn’t be here in the first place. You can’t accuse the guy with the gun at the time of the shooting of being the shooter. It’s just not fair to his reputation.
In most cases, these young men were simply defending themselves from people protesting, pedestrians, or going a month without getting laid and then seeing a young woman in a skirt. That’s the definition of acting in self-defense. The court must remember that.