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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/19/21

Rittenhouse Murder Trial: The Jury Begins the Beguine

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Message Rohn Kenyatta
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Eleanor Powell & Fred Astaire .Begin the Beguine. Tap Dancing Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell - Broadway Melody of 1940, the second half of the .Begin the Beguine. number. The first half was a tango, formal jacket and ...
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Those claiming that the two major trials in progress in the United States "have nothing to do with race" are sophomores. The "sophos" being the wisdom of the statement in that the issue of race, per se, is scantly relevant; the prevailing issue is being black.The "moros" (as in moron) being the ridiculousness of the statement given history and fact. It is a statement that is both true and untrue. Virtually every sensational trial in the United States in recent memory that has not involved a celebrity or politician has involved a Black Person in the United States. Like police beatings, killings and other extra-judicial summary executions, rarely have these judicial antecedents been attached to other so-called minorities. That is an ironclad fact that one can, or cannot, explore predicated upon whatever genuine intellectual horsepower, personal integrity and curiosity they may possess.

One of the things that the thinking Black Person in the United States learns rather early in life is that our experiences are always going to be mitigated at best, and totally disregarded at worst. This is resultant of a Eurocentric society that tells us that it is not what it is, you did not do what you did, we did not feel what we felt, we did not hear what we heard, we did not see what we saw and the societal bile we have tasted for 400 years is actually sugar and doesn't really smell like feces. In other words, we are invisible; cancelled. Ergo, the mildly enlightened employ whatever mechanisms we can to mitigate the mitigation. Because we know the purpose of the mitigation is to devalue our lives, our personhood and our existence. It is a daunting and most unique experience for those of us blessed enough to have it. And, yes, that is sincere derision.

The Rittenhouse Murder Trial jurors now sit in deliberation and Begin the Beguine (an old jazz standard written by the legendary Cole Porter and made famous by clarinetist Artie Shaw). The "Beguine" itself is a dance coming from the islands of Gaudeloupe and Martinique, where, in the local Creole language "begue" means a white male while "beguine" is the female form. It is a combination of Latin folk dance and French ballroom dance. A spirited yet slow, close dance with a roll of the hips. How perfect a dance for all twelve European-American Rittenhouse Murder Trial jurors as they roll both their collective hips and the proverbial dice. Allegedly one of the jurors identifies as "white Hispanc". However ominous, the fact is that when rolling dice 12 is "craps".

Unlike the rest of society, the jurors in this case have sat through all of the testimony and heard all of the evidence. Nevertheless, I mustn't marvel if they have come to the conclusion that this case has "nothing to do with race". Because the denial-ridden Eurocentric society referenced earlier has developed an entire matrix of rhetorical tricks and psychological shell games to not only keep Black People in the United States from being acknowledged and thereby "cancelled" but also put on the defensive. An example of this is in the perpetual killings of Black People in the United States by police. The first thing done is make sure there is some black or brown face in a uniform propped up in front of a microphone and doing their bidding. I call this the "Django syndrome". Then the proclamation is made that it couldn't have anything to do with race, look at that Black Person in the United States saying it ain't so. Even the most imbecilic of druids can perfect a process in 400 years.

Another example of this tactic is, when confronted with the grievances and factual history of Black People in the United States, asking "then what is your solution?" Aside from being incredibly insulting, I find it a mind-bending query to ask the person to whom one has caused injury to provide a solution to it and recompense for it. A variation of this tactic prevalent in the Rittenhouse Murder Trial is the omnipresent rhetoric that "obviously he's not a racist because all of the people he killed and wounded were white people". What animated Kyle Rittenhouse was the fact that the events in Kenosha were about Black People in the United States.

As for Europeans killing other Europeans, history is replete with examples of this both internationally and domestically.This is particularly true of European-Americans that dare publicly attempt to support Black People in the United States; the sincerity of their actions being both subjective and moot. For it is the action, that causes the reaction. Lincoln, JFK, RFK , Goodman, Schwerner and Heather Heyer could all testify to this fact. But unlike Kyle Rittenhouse they are unable to testify because they are dead and died vicious deaths. If thoughtfully and honestly considered one will find that most political assassinations in the United States have involved "race" which is a sobering harbinger given the status quo. The only thing that both frightens and enrages a European-American racist/blackist more than a Black Person in the United States standing up for themselves is a European-American willing to stand alongside of them and pay the price. I have, and have had, such extraordinary souls in my life and they are rara avibus.

Nonetheless, perhaps the jurors will be capable of calling a spade a spade, so to speak. Perhaps the jury will recognize the element of race when one of Kyle Rittehouse's victims repeatedly used the word "nigga". No matter who uses that word it is enough to make me react in an anti-social manner no matter who you are or what you look like. I directly fault Black People in the United States for tolerating this, and the psycho-social pathology of this tolerance is as deeply troubling as it is damaging. Just as white supremacy is a state of mind, so is black and brown inferiority.

Perhaps the jurors will recognize the element of race as they juxtapose Kyle the Wild Child who has been portrayed as such a pale little cherub to the youngest person to be cooked in the electric chair; a 14 year old black boy. A mere child, named George Junius Stinney, Jr. George didn't kill anyone. No one provided he nor his family millions. The entire trial, including voir dire, jury selection and verdict took less than a day. Years after his execution and torture "his name was cleared" but he remains as dead as ever. I can imagine, as a 14 year old boy being marched to the electric chair, the terror that went through his undeveloped mind. A child so diminutive in stature that the executioners had to Frankenstein the chair to accommodate his tiny body, and they did. Now that's what I call Critical Race Theory and it should surprise no one that the electric chair is an "American" invention. One of the slowest, cruelest methods of torture and death known to mankind.

Perhaps the jurors will recognize the element of race when the presiding judge Schroeder made racist comments about Asian food being catered for the juror's lunch recess. Perhaps the jurors will recognize the element of race when they look around the table at each other.

Perhaps the jurors will recognize the element of race when Rittenhouse defense attorney Mark Richards said during his closing argument: "Other people in this community have shot people seven times and its been found to be O.K. and my client did it four times in three-quarters of a second to protect his life". Mr. Richards was making a direct reference to Jacob Blake. Mr. Blake is a Black Person in the United States that was paralyzed in a shooting by Kenosha police in which four of the seven shots were in his back. I suppose Mr. Richards interprets that as fair exchange. The incident became the catalyst for the protests that spawned Kyle Rittenhouse's demonic presence and subsequent murder spree.

Whatever the jury does and whatever the result is (which will be an acquittal or a mistrial) there is one certainty. The next such incident, the next such trial and the next such victim is guaranteed, verdict notwithstanding. One week after the the U.S. reels from the Rittenhouse verdict, it will get the Ahmaud Arbery verdict. A week after that will come the Kim Potter trial. Kim Potter is Amber Guyger's evil, blackist twin that thought her gun was her taser during the Derek Chauvin Murder Trial, killing 20 year old Daunte Wright. She thought her gun was her taser just as Guyger thought she was in her apartment when she shot and killed 26 year old Botham Jean as he sat in his living room eating ice-cream. The two women even look alike; how quaint.

"America's negro problem" and purposefully self-inflicted wound can be neither solved nor "repaired" for too much has been taken from the Black Person in the United States over too long a period of time. Until that stark fact is accepted and embraced there will be no substantive change. The United States will continue swooning to a white supremacist Mephisto waltz that is its national dance codifying Groundhog Day in perpetuum.

A person much wiser than I once said that there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Langston Hughes wrote "that justice is a blind Goddess is a fact to which we Blacks are wise. Her blindfold hides two festering sores that once, perhaps, were eyes." Both were correct.

Hence, as the jury begins the beguine I do take some degree of solace in finally realizing that European-Americans know how to dance and I'm not the only Black man in the United States who can't and I haven't the slightest desire to learn. However, one must admit I do have rhythm and can, thusly, keep up with the beat.

(Article changed on Nov 20, 2021 at 6:27 PM EST)

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Rohn Kenyatta is a contributing columnist for Black Agenda Report, the Los Angeles Sentinel as well as other media outlets international and domestic.

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