Kyle Rittenhaus, 18, who shot and killed two people and injured a third last year during a protest against Jacob Blake’s police shooting, was not convicted of all charges by a Wisconsin jury on Friday.
One could argue about the details of the case, the strength of the defense and the ham-handness of the prosecution, the judge’s outrageously unconventional approach and the fact that the accused gave birth to a child. But perhaps the most problematic aspect of this case was that it represents another data point in the long history of some sections of the right-wing white supremacists who use violence against people of color and their white allies.
Rittenhaus has emerged as a hero and celebrity on the right, people have donated to help bail him out, and a Republican strategist has told Politico that he “will see a future where Ritenhaus becomes a keynote speaker in conservative confabs where workers gather.”
The idea of taking the law into one’s own hands is not only for maintaining law and order, but also for protection The Order, white power and the focal point of the maintenance of its structure. Ahmed Arberry’s killers are also on the alert in Georgia.
George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trevon Martin in 2012, was also a cautionary and embraced the right. Money was also poured in for Zimmerman’s defense.
In 1984, Subway Vigilant Bernhard Goetz shot four black teenagers who he said were trying to rob him. He was hailed as a hero, but then more details about him began to emerge. One of his neighbors wrote in New York Magazine that he heard Goetz say at a community meeting that “the only way we can clear this road is to get rid of spices and niggers.”
This list is long, and includes not only individuals, but also organizations and the entire period of American history. I’m sure many in the White House and the Ku Klux Klan see themselves as warners.
Probably the longest period of violent white alert occurred in the decades following the Civil War, as lynching increased.
This precautionary tendency, which some call justice and others call terrorism, is a central feature of the American experience. The way people have become the heroes of the warning, they have encouraged, supported and protected them.
When Donald Trump ran for office in 2016, he encouraged his supporters to attack the rioters at his rally with the promise, “I will pay the legal fees.”
The St. Louis couple, who fired guns in front of Black Lives Matter protesters in the summer of 2020, were invited to address the Republican National Convention.
One could argue that the whole uprising of January 6 was a huge act of caution.
You could further argue that our rapidly expanding gun laws – ranging from your ground law to laws that allow open or concealed carry – encourage and protect warners.
Can’t wait to tell you how bad it is for all these countries. Or, to turn the tide, how restless the country is on the issue of empowering whites to warn themselves.
Black warnings are not celebrated, but are feared, condemned, and restricted by law.
Perhaps one of the more prominent black groups that one could argue was that the Black Panthers had a cautious tendency. They were seen as a threat. As I wrote earlier, in 1967, when the Panthers showed up armed in the state legislature of California, a place of greater white power, the public was shocked.
Then- Govt. Ronald Reagan says: “I don’t think loaded guns are a way to solve a problem that should be solved by well-meaning people. And anyone who approves of such a show must be out of their minds. “
The California Legislature passed, and Reagan signed, the Mullford Act, which prohibited the carrying of open arms in the state. The NRA supported the measure. Bill Mullford, the author of the bill, said at the time, “We need to protect society from the nuts with our guns.”
Whether a vigilante is seen as radical or pious is often the condition of their skin.
And the ruling in the Rittenhaus case will probably encourage more cautioners, who want to keep or impose “orders,” who are annoyed by the idea that disorder can flow from injustice, who do not want to see the streets filled with people. Equity claims.
The big threat, and the real possibility, is that there is another retainhouse – young people who have seen this verdict and seen how the right embraced and celebrated a murderer and now wants to follow his lead.
The worst thing for America would be that this case became an example and precedent.