By now, you have heard the news: Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts, much to the joy of white nationalists, Second Amendment advocates, and Confederate sympathizers—and the chagrin of Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and reasonable white people.
I have lived in these United States long enough to know how the American justice system works. We all know how the game is played. We have seen this movie before, many times. There are two justice systems: one to aid and abet the sanctity of whiteness; the other to deny or denigrate all that is not whiteness—Blackness and Black people. Because you know . . . you cannot have whiteness without that which it is separate of and deemed “superior” to.
To anyone who denies the existence of America’s dual justice systems, let me ask you this: If you were a Black teenager on the witness stand, do you, in all honesty, believe that you would have been able to walk the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin — or any American city for that matter — carry an AR-15, kill two people and seriously injure another with the support of local law enforcement, and be allowed to return home? Alive?
And therein lies my point: America’s judicial system is racist by design.
Do you in all honesty think that a Black teenager charged with killing two white people shedding tears on the witness stand before an all-white jury would have wrung five unanimous not guilty verdicts from the hearts of the Kenosha jury?
You don’t have to share your answer with me. We both know the answer. And so does every Black person over the age of nine years old. If you are of the mind that you as a Black teenager would have received the same treatment as Rittenhouse, either you are delusional or knowingly being disingenuous.
And therein lies my point: America's judicial system is racist by design.
Make no mistake, today's ruling is no aberration. This is exactly the way it was designed to operate.
Since the trial began, the following refrain echoes wherever two or more Black people are gathered, “If that had been a Black—”
And now you know why.
Top photo from Pixabay