Many see Kyle Rittenhouse as a guy who got off because he is white. But the consequences are much more significant as a message to POC’s white allies.
The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict sends a message
The event occurred at a protest for a police shooting of a black man, Jason Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kyle Rittenhouse was nothing but a vigilante driving into town to scare, and now we know, the propensity to kill protestors.
What I found interesting is that many people I spoke to did not realize that Rittenhouse killed two white men. For that reason, the not-guilty verdict did not come as a surprise. To them, it was just modus operandi.
But the not-guilty verdict is more ominous because of what it implies. One can now infer that the purpose of the verdict has a message for white allies of people of color (POC).
While at Netroots Nation a few years ago in St. Luis, we marched along with BLM in a very peaceful protest to shut down the freeway going through downtown. When the police officer squad cars came racing down on the opposite side of the freeway, the BLM leaders called on all white allies to go to the front to face the police. Their whiteness was supposed to be the shield. After all, history teaches POCs that police respect white lives in America more so than others in the aggregate.
The Kyle verdict tells white allies a critical message, support people of color at your peril. Your whiteness will not protect you from black/POC police treatment. And if vigilantes show up, the bias remains against you. Two men are dead, and the killer walks free with a smile and the adoration of the Right and white supremacists.
My mother’s statement holds true in a very interesting manner. If you sleep with dogs, you rise with fleas; just an analogy not to be taken literally.
So here is a message to our white allies, our white brothers and sisters. Fear not rising with fleas. This is the last gasp for those who strive for hate. Love is more pleasurable in the long run but often requires hard work to get there. So please, stay engaged and in battle with ALL of your brothers and sisters doing the work.
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