On August 23, 2020, an armed police officer acted with violence to racially profile Jacob S. Blake, a 29-year-old black man, and deny him the right of protecting himself with a knife.
Fortunately, community activists including Black Lies Matter protested. Police vehicles were damaged, a dump truck was set on fire, the local courthouse was vandalized, an officer was knocked down with a brick during the mostly peaceful protest. Predictably, the police responded with repression of the protester’s freedom of speech using tear gas. Undeterred, community organizers continued to exercise their Constitutional rights in the streets on August 24th and 25th. Fearing the loss of white control, racist militia members armed with guns roamed the streets of the Kenosha hunting BIPOC.
One of the racists was Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who illegally crossed state lines in hopes of killing someone with his AR-15 assault rifle. On August 25, he got his wish, murdering two protesters and seriously wounding a third before he was stopped. He was charged with first-degree intentional homicide.
Next month Kyle Rittenhouse and the whole system that supports him (and others like him) go on trial. White supremacy, vigilante justice, repression, police brutality, and gun control are each on the line.
As before, activists are fulfilling their destiny by monitoring the trial and its outcome. Should Kyle Rittenhouse be freed by virtue of his white privilege, we are ready to act.
In the words of Cortez Rice:
“I ain’t even gonna name the people that I know that’s up in the Kenosha trial. But it’s cameras in there. It’s definitely cameras up in there. There’s definitely people taking pictures of the juries and everything like that. We know what’s going on. So we need the same results, man.”
Members of the jury, distinguished members of the court. Act wisely. Decide wisely. Your failure to provide justice for Rittenhouse’s victims will be noted, and we will act accordingly.