It’s hard to even start this post. The verdict ruled today revealed many ugly truths about not only our judicial system but our country as well.
The fact still stands that a murderer crossed state lines, entered a populated environment with a gun, and shot three people. Undeniable drone footage shows him committing these atrocious acts, and yet he walks free.
There is a lot to unpack in this case. There is the fact that the judge refused the prosecution to refer to those shot by Kyle Rittenhouse as “victims.” But the defense was allowed to refer to these two dead men and one fatally wounded man as “arsonists,” “looters,” “rioters.” There is the fact that the prosecution wasn’t allowed to zoom in on a video, because the judge was convinced it was a digital alteration. The fact that Rittenhouse’s involvement with the “Proud Boys” (a white nationalist hate group) was rendered not acceptable for use in the case, despite the obvious racially charged motives he possessed. There is also the extremely inconsiderate Asian food joke made by Schroeder in the middle of the trial. I can’t comprehend how you can make any sort of joke in the courtroom of families with dead sons.
It should be known that the prosecution itself was not perfect. There were flaws and inefficiency in some of the arguments but these shortcomings pale in comparison to the grand scheme of things.
Ultimately, the trial boiled down to a question of self-defense.
And this question is ultimately what gave the unimaginable leeway for a murderer to walk free.
America’s fixation with self-defense is ridden with racial biases and political agendas. “Self-defense” is what is used to justify policemen killing unarmed black men. “Self-defense” is used to justify the use of absolute and lethal force, taking away mothers and fathers and leaving their children without a parent. Today, “Self defense” is used to protect the privilidged few from the consequences of their horrific actions.
It seems that “self-defense” is a one-way street and statistics on the overwhelming presence of racial bias in such cases reflect this.
Although the victims of Rittenhouse were all white, self-defense still remains a one-way street. After witnessing Rittenhouse shoot Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber attempts to apprehend the fatal shooter and he himself is shot. However, is this not also self-defense? What about when Gaige Grosskreutz, after being held at gunpoint, attempts to wrestle the gun from Rittenhouse’s hands? Is this also not self-defense? Why are these and similar cases of “self-defense” twisted to suit one narrative: granting one person the right to protect themselves, when that same right isn’t equally extended to others?
There is a lot to discuss in regards to the content of this trial and its nauseating outcome though what stands out the most is the very apparent and serious pitfalls in our judicial system. My condolences and sincere support go out to the victims’ families and I can only hope for the healing of their hearts.