Kyle Rittenhouse, the teeneager who killed two men and shot another last August in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was acquitted on Friday, Nov. 19, of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges.
Rittenhouse drove from his home in Illinois to Wisconsin last August during the unrest in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting, and took to the streets wielding an AR-15 assault rifle, to “protect businesses” from the unrest.
The verdict really wasn’t all that surprising to anyone that has been paying attention to the justice system in the United States for the past several hundred years.
Former NFL quarterback-turned-civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick sent out a rare tweet with his thoughts.
We just witnessed a system built on white supremacy validate the terroristic acts of a white supremacist.
This only further validates the need to abolish our current system. White supremacy cannot be reformed.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 19, 2021
Kap’s tweet points out the realities of America. This is a nation founded and built on white supremacy. The belief that the white race is superior to all other races, and therefore should should dominate them. This belief favors the maintenance and defense of any power and privilege held by white people.
Of course Rittenhouse was acquitted. His mere existence as a white person affords him rights not afforded to non-whites. Imagine if a Black teenager left his state and drove to another to “protect businesses” during a period of unrest and killed two people and wounded another.
Do we think that Black teenager would have been acquitted?
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace also believes the situation would have been different if Rittenhouse was Black.
Ha, let the boy be black and it would’ve been life…hell he would’ve had his life taken before the bullshit trial.. sad
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) November 19, 2021
In his tweet Kaep used the word validate. The judicial system that we subscribe to in this country was in fact created and designed to uphold and preserve whiteness and white supremacy.
Another former NFL quarterback, Robert Griffin III, couldn’t help but point out what he sees as a double standard between the Rittenhouse trial and Julius Jones, an Oklahoma death row inmate who was recently granted clemency but will remain in jail for the rest of his life.
Kyle Rittennhouse can kill without a sliver of doubt & walk free but Julius Jones is in jail for life without the chance for parole after being on death row for 20 years with all types of doubt in his case. What is Justice? God help us.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) November 19, 2021
What white supremacy afforded Rittenhouse was the temerity to inject himself in a situation that had nothing to do with him, in a state he didn’t live in. He was so emboldened that he believed he could play the role of law enforcement, and “protect businesses.”
What did he believe he could do that trained law enforcement officials could not do? Why did he believe he was the one to serve as “protector”?
White supremacy also allows its beneficiaries to believe that they are victims as opposed to perpetrators of violence.
A spokesman for the Rittenhouse family, spoke to CNN after the verdict.
“The family calls for calm. Calls for calm. I mean, this was not an injustice.”
“What I would say is, this is an inflection point, I think, for the country to look at the way things have been handled. Things have gone off the rails in relation to who Kyle is and why he was down here. It’s never been about politics. It’s not about race. This is about a young man who fled and felt as if his life was in danger and defended himself,” he added.
During the trial Rittenhouse broke down in tears and was widely mocked on social media. Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James joined in on the internet mockery. But it’s not so funny now.
As of this writing, James hasn’t tweeted about the verdict.