Kyle Rittenhouse is a textbook case of what is wrong in America today. Following the shooting of Jacob Blake — yet another black man shot by police — protests ensued. Rittenhouse took it upon himself to travel to Wisconsin with an assault rifle, apparently to save the world from the protesters. According to the Guardian, Rittenhouse claims to have gone to Kenosha, WI, fully armed to “safeguard property from damage by protesters.” Keep in mind that Rittenhouse owned none of the property and did not even live in Wisconsin. Like the defendants in the Arbery trial in Georgia, Rittenhouse is claiming “self-defense.” He would not have needed any type of defense had he not been in Wisconsin that night. He went there to start trouble, he found it, and now, he wants the world to think he was doing something noble. Unfortunately, some believe he did.
During Rittenhouse’s trial this week, the owners of the business Rittenhouse and his cohorts were allegedly protecting testified that they never asked for such a service. Be real: If these men wanted protection for their business, they could have easily found someone more well-equipped than a bunch of militia posers. Police in the area could have done that for them, or they could have hired trained security. Rittenhouse’s argument makes absolutely no sense. In a surprising turn, Rittenhouse testified in his own behalf, claiming that he “didn’t open fire until absolutely necessary,” according to NBC News. In other words, the protesters “made” him shoot them point blank. Basically, they made him “fearful,” though they were paying him no attention. Rittenhouse had no business being at the protest. He did not come out of solidarity with Blake or any of the people who protested his death. He came to show that the protestors had no right to protest Blake’s shooting or to call for equitable treatment for a black man who was shot and killed by police.
The ridiculousness of Rittenhouse’s claim was laid bare by a forensic pathologist with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office, Doug Kelly. Kelly testified that one of Rittenhouse’s victims was shot while in a prone position, indicating that he was no threat to Rittenhouse or anyone else for that matter. NBC News reported that Kelly testified: “The only way that the trajectories of the gunshot wounds to the right side of the head and the back made sense if he’s more horizontal to the ground.” Rittenhouse’s lawyer, of course, claims the victim “charged” Rittenhouse, which would have caused the same wounds, hence the claim of “self-defense.”
Either way we look at the outcome of this case, nothing will be resolved, as people see what they want to see these days. Many of Rittenhouse’s supporters have picked up his “self-defense” mantra while calling the victims “criminals.” These people will continue to see themselves in Rittenhouse’s shoes. If he is convicted, he will become their martyr. If he is freed, then black people will confirm that there are two types of justice in the good old USA. There is justice for blacks and there is justice for whites, and the two are always diametrically opposed.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years