On Nov. 19, justice was not served. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17 years old at the time, shot and killed two people and injured another after traveling from his home in Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Aug. 25. This was when protests against police brutality were occurring and there was much civil unrest. In the trial, he only got off because of a biased judge and a self-defense claim.
Rittenhouse joined his sister’s boyfriend and the boyfriend’s brother in Wisconsin to see the aftermath of the protests. Later in the day, the group decided to “protect” a local business from protestors (something the business did not ask the group to do). They wanted to be saviors.
The fact that should automatically make every self-defense argument null is that Rittenhouse was not in legal possession of the AR-15 that shot two men and injured another. His girlfriend’s brother was the one who bought the weapon for Rittenhouse. In a court of law, since he has already broken a law, that self-defense claim is not valid, or that’s how it’s supposed to work.
White privilege was on full display as the judge continually sided with the defense and would not allow the people Rittenhouse shot to be called victims, but instead rioters and looters. I’m not going to argue that it was okay for the victims to be rioting and looting; however, I will argue they did not deserve to die and a 17-year-old radical had no right to shoot them.
Rittenhouse bringing the gun to Wisconsin turned a situation that would likely end in black eyes and maybe a busted lip into death. The presence of that killing machine escalated the situation.
This trial truly illustrated the extent of white privilege in the U.S. If Rittenhouse was a person of color, he would be behind bars with the harshest of punishments right now. This ruling paves the way for future self-defense cases, at least those of white people. More white people are likely to shoot others in “defense” because they no longer fear the law. The law is on their side, why would they?
I should clarify, I am a white person myself and I am ashamed of the display of privilege around this case. After this trial, no one can deny the existence of white privilege anymore. With even Rittenhouse himself appearing to be shocked that he wasn’t going to jail, he should be in jail right now. His shooting of three men was not an act of self-defense, but one of intentional murder. This blatant disregard of gun laws and justice showcases an even scarier future coming.
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