white

The Mistake of Being Born White

4 ½ min

After a fight at Timberview High School, 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins, who is black, shot another student four times, an English teacher once, just missing his aorta, and left one more student with a bullet graze. A pregnant teacher was also hurt in a fall. 

 

The student shot in the arm, leg, chest, and stomach is currently in an induced coma, the English teacher who nearly died is recovering, and the expectant mother is reportedly alright. Don’t worry about Simpkins, though. He posted bail the day after the incident and strolled home in time for a surprise party that was broadcast over social media. His family even set up a GoFundMe account to raise $25,000 for his “trauma.” Simpkins’ mother claimed he had been the victim of bullying, implying his actions could somehow be considered self-defense, a narrative police have recently countered. “I am just saying that there is so much more to the story and all of the details should be known,” she wrote on the page before it was taken offline. 

 

You can tell who is privileged in a society based on how they are treated—praised, blamed, excused, or condemned—not only by the institutions of law and order, but by the culture as well. In the United States, whites are supposedly perched atop the edifice of entitlement, sheltered by white privilege and white supremacy. But Simpkins’ case shows that’s not really true.

 

There is a stronger case that our institutions and culture support nonwhite privilege, or at least hold an antiwhite bias. For example, not only are white police officers less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects, but cops are three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects.

 

The case of Kyle Rittenhouse is also illustrative when compared with Simpkins’. When Rittenhouse, who is white, shot three people in self-defense, killing two, during the 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the media and culture pushed lawmakers for maximum punishment. Rittenhouse, 17-years-old at the time, had arrived in Kenosha with a militia group that intended to protect property from rioters and looters—things law enforcement should have been doing.

 

Unlike Simpkins’ mother, Rittenhouse’s mother didn’t need to convince people that her son was a misunderstood but otherwise good boy; before the shooting, he volunteered to help clean up graffiti at a high school near the Kenosha County Courthouse. After the incident, he immediately turned himself over to the police—unlike Simpkins, who initially fled the scene. 

 

Rather than a pregnant woman and a young English teacher, Rittenhouse’s assailants included an aggressive pedophile, Joseph Rosenbaum, and Anthony Huber, a vicious repeat domestic abuser. The third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, had approached Rittenhouse with a concealed handgun before trying to shoot him at point-blank range. Rittenhouse fired one round into his bicep, leaving him wounded but alive. Grosskreutz’s track record includes a conviction for being armed with a firearm while intoxicated. He’s also a member of The People’s Revolution, a Milwaukee-based militant group with ties to gangs and the local government.

 

A court set Rittenhouse’s bail at $2 million because it considered him a flight risk, compared with Simpkins’ $75,000. Again, one of these two surrendered himself to law enforcement. But no good deed goes unpunished for white boys, as a report on the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots funded by the State Department underlines. According to the report by the U.S. Crisis Monitor Project, 93 percent of BLM “protests” in the summer of last year were peaceful and the rare instances of violence were caused by right-wing agitators. It named Rittenhouse as an example. 

 

A GoFundMe was created to support Rittenhouse’s legal needs, just as it was for Simpkins. However, not only was it swiftly taken offline, but prosecutors also demanded “that a judge force Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense team to turn over the names of everyone who donated to his legal funds or purchased the teen’s merchandise,” according to a court filing reviewed by Insider. They also demanded a list of names of donors so they can be barred from the jury pool. Jury selection for his trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 1 and will last about two weeks. Most recently, a Wisconsin judge refused to dismiss a weapons charge against Rittenhouse, while prosecutors and the media continue working hard to put him back in jail with a higher bond and ultimately secure a life sentence.

 

On the one hand, Simpkins will remain something of a celebrity for now, becoming a tragic product of “the system” if he is actually punished for his crime. On the other hand, our institutions have made Rittenhouse’s name synonymous with everything evil, even if he manages to walk free in the end; the sin of privilege already taints his exoneration, and it will, therefore, be an injustice.

 

All because Rittenhouse made the mistake of being born white.

 

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Image Credit: 

Pxfuel

Pedro Gonzalez

Pedro Gonzalez

Pedro Gonzalez is the associate editor at Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

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Margaret Owen
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WCCO's report 12 days ago on Terry Brown, a Black man who shot up a St. Paul bar and killed a totally innocent Black woman: "The man charged with murder and attempted murder in the St. Paul bar shooting last weekend has a long criminal history, and court records show 33-year-old Terry Brown should never have had a gun. It appears that at every turn Brown was given breaks by the system, breaks that allowed him to be free to go into the Seventh Street Truck bar Saturday night. In 2018, Brown was charged with a felony for violating a no-contact order in a domestic case. He had a long record, with felonies including a 2016 conviction for violating the same no-contact order. In the 2018 case, he twice missed court dates and warrants were issued. At time for sentencing, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office asked for a downward departure, saying this was a man who was “particularly amenable to probation.” In the end, his sentence for the no-contact order was 180 days in the workhouse and five years of probation. Criminal defense attorney Joe Tamburino reviewed Brown’s record and said it “should be a wake-up call.” “You can’t keep releasing people who are always being arrested and always violating probation,” Tamburino said. Brown’s criminal record doesn’t end there. In April 2018, he gave a false name to police. The sentence he received was 91 days in the Ramsey County Jail, but he was released after serving 29 of them. In September 2020, he was charged with DWI for driving twice over the legal limit at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s lower level, with an open bottle of cognac. On Aug. 17, 202, Brown was sentenced to a year in the workhouse, but he was almost immediately released and given credit for 33 days. WCCO asked Tamburino if this was standard practice. “In today’s world, it is,” he said. “People are released on no bail or very low bail regardless of how many times they have been in the system.” So much for white privilege
 
 

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Radiant Angel
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Have you ever had a girlfriend or boyfriend who constantly accused you of being unfaithful? You initially weren't, but as the accusations continued, you may have thought, Oh what the hell. I might as well. Or you just left...never to have anything to do with her/him again. Anyway, that's what all this "racist" nonsense buys you - one way or another. Maybe Kipling saw this day coming ("When the Saxons Started to Hate").
 
 

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roboiii
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Another example of poor journalism falsely claiming that Kyle showed up with a "militia group". See Robert Barnes (one of his attorneys) and Viva Frei on Youtube for a much more nuanced and accurate description.
 
 

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roboiii
More falsehoods. Both men shot had criminal records. One stated that his intent was to shoot Kyle. Absolutely no indication of racism, though not surprising that it's claimed since it always is.
JaredDVM
What is so wrong about the use of the word "militia group'? Stop believing the lies about what a militia is and it's an accurate description for those groups. Their town was under violent murderous siege by domestic terrorists and the local law enforcement refused to protect the town. They were volunteer militia exactly as the 2nd amendment stated would be necessary hundreds of years ago. They had a Constitutional right and moral duty to assemble and use deadly force.
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bcmike
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The pre trial article I read about Rittenhouse is very different than this article. The men shot can't be described as rioters etc. Rettenhouse wasn't old enough to openly carry an AR'15 etc. Another sad example of Intellectual Takeout spinning the facts to suit its preconceived opinion. What can people expect from an organization that has a motto of white privilege.
 
 

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Spirit of the Fighting 69th
Those shot were trying to kill Rittenhouse, at least one video shows the mob and Rittenhouse retreating while under attack. Your "white privilege" remark is ad hominem, a logical fallacy.
JaredDVM
You choose your source but you don't choose the facts you only choose to deny the facts. If you are going to use the et cetera it's because there is more examples. There are literally no more examples against Rittenhouse than you mentioned so stop lying about your use of etc.
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