The first time as tragedy. . .

Amaney Jamal is a Princeton dean. Not the dean of something silly like diversity. She’s the newly appointed dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Following the verdicts in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, Jamal sent an email to the public affairs school community. The email was straight from the George Floyd playbook.

Jamal offered counseling for public affairs school students who require professional help to “process” the outcome of the Rittenhouse trial. One might have thought that graduate students at one of America’s top universities could “process” the outcome themselves.

But Jamal herself clearly needs help with that “processing.” She admitted as much in her email when she said “I fail to comprehend” that Kyle Rittenhouse, a “vigilante,” could be “declared innocent by the U.S. justice system.”

Probably because “vigilantism,” if that’s how Jamal wants to characterize what Rittenhouse did in trying to protect people and property against rioters, is not a crime. And killing isn’t a crime either, if it’s done in self defense.

As far as I can tell from this report about her email, Jamal made no attempt to analyze the issue of self defense in the Rittenhouse case. It’s not even clear that she watched the trial.

Instead of analyzing the facts of the case, Jamal indulged in this barely literate rhetoric:

What we do know without a doubt is [that] there are racial inequities in nearly every strand of the American fabric. Today’s verdict employs me to ask you — our current and future public servants — to investigate our policies and practices within the justice system and beyond. . .We must always act with our feet, evoke change with action.

Even if it were true that there are “racial inequities in nearly every strand of the American fabric,” it would not follow that the Rittenhouse outcome is racially inequitable. For one thing, the defendant and all the people he shot are (or were) White. For another, the existence of racial inequities in a system such as the criminal justice system wouldn’t mean that every outcome is racially inequitable.

Therefore, to conclude that a given outcome is racially inequitable or otherwise unjust — never mind incomprehensible — requires analysis of the facts of the case. It isn’t good enough to rely on generalities and clichés. But Jamal isn’t interested in, and may not be capable of, analyzing the facts of the case and the applicable law. Clichés seem to be her stock and trade.

As I said at the outset, Jamal’s email comes straight from the George Floyd playbook. So does much of the left’s response to the Rittenhouse verdicts.

And why not? The Floyd playbook worked well for the left. It led to mass rioting, as well as policy changes across a broad range of subjects (although some of the most important ones, like reducing police forces, are being reversed as America comes to its senses).

But the left probably can’t pull this stunt off again — at least not on the back of Kyle Rittenhouse. The Floyd case involved a thuggish cop needlessly putting strong pressure on the neck of a suspect who had been subdued. The video of that wrongful behavior was there for all to see.

The Rittenhouse involves a kid who was attacked by three different assailants — each a criminal, by the way — who simply defended himself. Again, the video is available, but this time it’s fatal to the prosecution, not the white defendant.

If the left tries to build a religion around the Rittenhouse case the way it did around George Floyd, the tactic is almost certain to backfire, as so much of what the overreaching left is peddling these days has done.

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