New York. “If a black guy had entered Kenosha from out of town with a war rifle, killing two people and seriously injuring a third, the verdict would have been very different,” writes Bloomberg columnist Tim O’Brien on Twitter. And Tom Nichols, a former professor at Naval War College, author of the essay “The enemy inside” (Luiss), a republican, agrees: “True, and anyone who supports the sentence knows it very well.”
The acquittal, with full formula, for Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of double murder in Kenosha, Wisconsin, facts dating back to 25 August 2020 when the killer was 17 years old, divides America according to the known faults, right-left, with the followers of former President Trump, the arms lobby and conservative media channels, led by Fox anchor Carlson Tucker – who will be interviewing Rittenhouse exclusively tomorrow – to cheer, and civil rights activists, progressive commentators to deplore the magistrate, Bruce Schroeder, 75, and the jurors.
In between, the O’Briens and the Nichols, who accept the sentence and preach calm against the riots, noting however how, once again, racial differences weigh, with dramatic evidence, in the US system, law enforcement and judges.
President Joe Biden himself, in a statement, calls for calm and a rational choice to accept the decision of the Court, while saying he is “angry and worried”. But, from the reading of the verdict last Friday, the political tone in the United States rises, under the pressure of the right that uses the Rittenhouse case to claim the use of weapons by vigilantes and impeach the black movement, despite one of the victims of the killer was suffering from bipolar disorder and just released from a hospital.
Rittenhouse, who had no ties to the nationalist right, saw on TV the riots following the police wounding of the paralyzed African American Jacob Blake, rushed to lend a hand against the protests. The first absurdity, which came to light during the trial, is that the pickets of the white agents could have disarmed the boy before he came into contact with the activists, who tried to disarm him, threw him to the ground, eventually ending up as victims. of his shots.
The double standard guaranteed to Rittenhouse earned him a soft treatment from Judge Schroeder, who first canceled the ancillary charges on the weapons, then took the side of the defense against the prosecutor, mocking the objections on the pro-defendant videos, “I am elderly I do not understand technology “and finally, with an irrational move in the US classrooms, allowing the accused to draw the names of the jurors by lot. The chosen ones sniffed the air, recognizing the “legitimate defense” of an individual armed with an AR-15 war machine gun against unarmed citizens.
Carlson Tucker has followed the trial with a crew and announces, after the interview, a documentary to celebrate Rittenhouse’s feat, while the former President Trump is among the first to congratulate the boy, who has become a hero for the right, who has collected with a collection the two million dollars of bail that had been imposed on him. Rittenhouse is now preparing to cash in on the unexpected celebrity with TV, rallies, books. Behind the former president is the Gotha of extremism, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who offers Rittenhouse a job, Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene, “The good guys won” while, in vain, Republican Senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson , offers an edge to Biden, “I hope we can accept the verdict and let the Kenosha community get together and move on.”
As in all political trials, the moral of the Rittenhouse case goes beyond the days of the hearing in the courtroom. It is clear, however you think about Kenosha’s events, that what saves the accused is the color of his skin and this discrimination, even if it really was self-defense, sowing resentment and anger, as Biden acknowledges. The silence on this tragedy by too many commentators, ready to be indignant at the first harmless tweet deemed “woke” or politically correct, confirms how far a true, shared, social justice still has to go.
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