Rittenhouse verdict is racist and unjust

Rittenhouse verdict is racist and unjust


President Biden claims, in the face of historic reality, that “he stands by the not-guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, saying the jury system of trial in the United States works and must be respected.” This is a strategic mistake for the Democrats, who need to stand strong against all manifestations of systemic racism.

The verdict and bias of Judge Bruce Schroeder demonstrate that the U.S. judicial system has not addressed its own systemic racism, let alone racist violence in U.S. communities. Therefore, according it any respect is a slap in the face of Black and Brown people and justice-loving people everywhere.

Biden is continuing the U.S. pretense of supporting “democracy” around the world while upholding oppression and systemic racism at home.  The “democracy” Biden supports equates capitalist exploitation and oppressive violence with fake democracy and freedom and a criminal justice system that enshrines and enforces that systemic oppression.

Rittenhouse, 17 years old, came to Kenosha, Wisconsin, as part of an organized effort to attack a Black Lives Matter protest in response to the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse, who associated himself with the Proud Boys, was heavily armed and prepared to kill, and he killed two white, anti-racist youth and wounded a third.

Racism is at the core of the Rittenhouse murders, yet there are those who obscure this fact. Rev. Jesse Lee Patterson, appealing to his racist benefactors, claims that Black Lives Matter is “‘evil’ and ‘wicked’ and ‘worse than the KKK.’” The ongoing political and physical attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement must be stopped immediately, especially from the halls of the appropriately named “White House.”

As Chauncey K. Robinson said in the People’s World on November 5, 2021, “The outcome of the trial will not only test the ability of vigilante killers to misuse self-defense arguments in their favor but reflect the effects of white supremacy in the United States.”

Robinson continued,

Rittenhouse ended up in Kenosha because he was answering the call of Kevin Mathewson, a one-time city alderman, to defend the city ‘from the evil thugs.’ The ‘thugs’ he was referring to were BLM protestors.

As reported by the New York Times, nearly 4,000 men replied to the Facebook call-to-action Mathewson posted, resulting in the formation of the so-called Kenosha Guard. This makeshift grouping was not the first of its kind and is seemingly part of a rise in clusters of gun-toting vigilante groups flaunting their so-called right-to-bear arms. Usually, this bearing of arms is coupled with intimidation tactics against people they deem as being opposed to their ideals.

Rittenhouse was not acting in self-defense. He was carrying out a far-right commitment to intimidate and kill those who stand in opposition to their agenda.  The Biden Administration should be speaking out against vigilante racist militias and the violence they inflict, not supporting a racist judicial system which rubber stamps their actions.

Biden’s endorsement of the jury’s racist decision gives license for other fascist and white supremacist individuals and formations to not only bear military-style arms to harm Black and Brown people in this country but to also not face consequences for their open acts of racist violence. These vigilantes are akin to the fascist Blackshirts and Brownshirts in Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, respectively, who violently attacked Communists, Socialists, Jewish people, trade unionists, people in the LGBTQ+ community, and others.

The Communist Party USA joins with all progressive-minded and democratic people across the country in demanding:

1. The Biden Administration immediately reverse course, condemn the racist jury decision in Wisconsin, and assign the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department with bringing federal hate crime charges against Kyle Rittenhouse.

2. The Biden Administration aggressively pursue justice in the Ahmaud Arbery case, where a Black man was attacked and shot to death by three white men while jogging through the neighborhood, solely because he was Black.

3. The U.S. Congress immediately pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to move the needle forward in ending the racist police violence that led to the shooting of Jacob Blake and to have congressional hearings on the Breathe Act sponsored by the Movement for Black Lives.

4. The outlaw of right-wing vigilante militias, which have no place in the United States. Federal laws must be enforced to prevent ongoing anti-worker violence in the guise of protection against “thugs” and “rioters” who are, in reality, peaceful protestors.

Workers must be confident in their own ability to confront systemic racism and build their own organizations to ensure adequate social pressure to end systemic racism in the U.S., while taking advantage of every electoral or political opportunity to fight for working class democracy, and true equality for all oppressed people.

We urge all anti-fascist, anti-racist, and progressive forces to get out in mass protest against the not-guilty verdict of Rittenhouse, following the call of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

We call on all organized democratic forces to build broad campaigns for community control of police in their local cities to have true public safety in their communities.

Write President Biden here and demand that federal civil rights charges be brought against Rittenhouse immediately. Join with Black Lives Matter in standing against systemic racism and its destructive impact on the United States and people worldwide.

Image: Joe Piette (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).


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