Less than an hour from where I sit, in Manchester, New Hampshire, a travesty of justice unfolded when Andrea Muller, a city prosecutor, dropped six domestic violence charges against defendant Augustin Bahati. Bahati’s guilt should have been a no brainer and his conviction should have been a slam dunk and if he weren’t a black immigrant, it very well could have been. But he wasn’t white and he wasn’t a native born Granite Stater, and as such he was allowed to go free after having severely beaten a woman who was twenty-seven weeks pregnant. The reason given by the city of Manchester (infamously dubbed Manchvegas by those of us in the 603) for the dismissal of charges was simple and mind blowing: Cultural incompetence. Said another way, Augustin Bahati simply didn’t know any better.
District Court Judge William Lyons went even further by saying that not only is Bahati blameless due to his cultural incompetence – beating women must be a sign of competence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – but he’s also not a danger. Tom Clark, former Solicitor General for Manchvegas, resigned his post in protest and disgust. Mayor Gatsas has taken over the empty post after having voiced his dismay at the unprecedented finding of so-called cultural incompetence.
That’s about as close as New Hampshire and the victim’s family will ever get to real justice; that is, not very close at all.
In dismissing these charges, Muller changed from a prosecutor of criminals to a defender of one. The victim and her family are no longer victims, they’re now just powerless bystanders, an afterthought. In abetting this abomination, Judge Lyons went from neutral arbiter to champion of domestic violence and he set a dangerous precedent in which ignorance of the law is now an excuse. Indeed, the law no longer matters because ignorance of culture and the mores and norms that are encompassed by it trumps the law. This was more than a kangaroo court, this was spit in the face of our national values whether they be represented in the courtroom, practiced in the sanctity of our homes, or cherished anywhere within our borders.
This is more than an insult to our justice system and morals – it is an insult to our intelligence. No thinking person can possibly believe Bahati didn’t or still doesn’t know in his heart that assaulting a pregnant woman is and always will be wrong. I don’t care where he’s from or what’s considered normal in his primitive homeland. Unprovoked violence against an innocent life is wrong no matter where you are or where you’re from. Period. Bahati knows this and if Muller and Lyons don’t know it then they’re a disgrace to New Hampshire and the nation as a whole.
A society may be judged by how they treat those who cannot protect themselves.
When Harambe the gorilla seized a small child and made it clear his intent was to kill the boy, zoo keepers didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger and kill the beast. A case can be made that Harambe really didn’t know any better, that his species simply isn’t equipped to understand how strongly humans value life and what lengths we’ll go to to ensure its survival. I might be able to buy that, but who cares? He was going to kill a human child. We don’t make callous and vacuous excuses like “cultural incompetence” when one of our innocent children is about to die. We do what we have to do to protect our own.
Harambe received more sympathy than Bahati’s victim and Bahati himself has received far less scorn, if any, than Harambe’s killer. The parents of the child were blamed for Harambe’s death, while Bahati has been excused because he’s just plain old ignorant of the fact that it’s wrong to beat pregnant women, or any woman at all for that matter.
When a wild beast threatens an innocent human life, we blow it away. But when an immigrant beats a pregnant woman, he’s let off the hook and the victim is blamed or shamed, as evidenced by how New Hampshire’s justice system kicked her to the curb, as if her health and dignity are a lesser concern than offending a barbarian who will more than likely continue his savage behavior.
There is something very wrong with all of this. Where are the feminists and social justice warriors when you need them? Where are the protests and marches? Where are the activists and lawyers demanding a challenge to this perverse notion of “cultural incompetence?”
They’re silent. They’re silent because when it comes time to prove the consistency of their principles they reveal that they have no principles. The feelings and sensibilities of an unfeeling and senseless monster are more important to the SJWs than following through with their fundamental convictions, such as that every woman must have respect and safety.
The SJWs and feminists and activists and protestors are the real villains of this story. Bahati is one man who committed one heinous crime and he is most definitely a villain. But the severity of his crime is compounded on a societal level by those who shout for the cameras when it’s popular and then fall silent when it comes time to courageously act on their beliefs.
And here’s the real truth of the matter: It’s those same silent SJWs and activists who advocate for sensitivity and understanding who have tortured our justice system into one in which men like Bahati may walk free after committing their crimes. The SJWs aren’t marching against Bahati because Bahati is one of their own.
Of course, if his victim had been a gorilla, or if Bahati were a white man, we wouldn’t hear the end of it.
Original artwork by Jesse Comeau