The Tribes

Yesterday I did something I rarely do following the verdict in the trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery: I went around to prominent left-leaning, right-leaning, and libertarian blogs and read their comments to get a sense of the opinions expressed there. The reason I rarely do that is that I tend to feel vaguely soiled after doing it. The incivility and intolerance of views that diverge from the prevailing norm is even greater than it was a few years ago.

I identified three different views: those who expressed the view that I did, those who thought that Wisconsin jury came to the right verdict but the Georgia jury came to the wrong verdict, and those who thought the opposite—that the Wisconsin jury in the Rittenhouse trial came to the wrong verdict but the Georgia jury came to the right verdict.

Although all three views were expressed in the comments sections of blogs of all stripes, the Wisconsin-Yes, Georgia-No view was more frequently expressed on right-leaning blogs while the opposite (Wisconsin-No, Georgia-Yes) was more frequently expressed on left-leaning blogs. I honestly don’t see how these conflicting tribes can coexist peaceably.

7 comments… add one
  • Grey Shambler Link

    Feeling sentiment strongly enough to comment on a blog is a far cry from taking up arms and is a fine way of venting frustration.
    To the extent at least, that they are actual people and not bots which I suspect many are.

  • Jan Link

    I thought both verdicts were correct ones.

    Rittenhouse clearly was defending himself from 3 hardened men, criminals, who only showed ill intent towards him. Exonerating him, amidst the media mob mentality of “hang him,” was an act of rendering justice under extreme intimidation.

    As for the defendants in Arbery’s death, they were clearly hunting the man down, killed him and deserved the guilty verdict. It was such a disgusting example of man’s inhumanity to man that I had no interest in following the details, except to note that justice for the Arbery family was delivered.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    following the details,

    But you need to, else cases are tried in inflammatory headlines.
    Lots of people only need to know the race of people on trial, or how handsome they are.
    It’s all in the details.

  • walt moffett Link

    Based on the lack of noise when the SALT deduction was restored, there are common interests that a skillful politician and spin doctors could use. But, ours are too lazy to see it.

  • Jan Link

    Grey, you’re right. However, once I read about the gist of what happened, it was all I could take, in light of so much external turmoil everywhere. However, the details I was privy to seemed to justify the ultimate verdict.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    And the details seem to change almost daily.
    In a criminal case you have prosecutors and defense attorneys both trying to affect the jury pool through spin.
    You have the defendants themselves putting the best face on their actions.
    Then you have investigators withholding and releasing details of the case judiciously to aid a successful prosecution.
    Once a jury deemed ignorant enough to be evenhanded is selected arguments must be settled in court concerning what facts that jury is allowed to hear .
    Then public pressure is brought to bear, some jury members will be discovered by absence at work.
    Media figures follow the jury bus to their hotel.
    Neighbors and coworkers suspect that they are jury members.
    Through these muddied waters we move forward towards what we hope is justice.

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