The following statement is from David Villalobos, Statewide Right2Justice Coordinator of the Texas Organizing Project, in reaction to a jury finding Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts:
“This verdict emboldens white nationalist vigilantism and violence, signaling to militant right-wing extremists that policing and killing in communities of color across the country has little to no consequence under the law. This is white supremacy at work.
“A racist double standard is on full display here: a Black or Latino young man strapped with an AR-15 provoking and engaging in violence in neighborhood streets would have been forcefully confronted by law enforcement and likely fatally shot on the spot, not welcomed and allowed to claim ‘self-defense’ as Kyle Rittenhouse was.
“If Rittenhouse were Black or Latino, had committed these offenses, and was put on trial for the same charges, he would not only be convicted, he would be looking at a far different outcome, serving time behind bars.”
Tamara Neal, a TOP Right2Justice campaign member, added:
“A far-right militia member equipped with a semi-automatic weapon travelled to a community that is not his own with the sole intent of instigating conflict, resulting in two people being murdered and a third injured in the streets of Kenosha.
“By giving a pass to this clear-cut white nationalist vigilantism, our nation’s justice system is showing us that it did not fail, it disturbingly worked as designed — to protect white supremacy.
“This consequential moment further highlights how critical it is that we channel our energy and resources to people working on the ground in communities of color to counter this hate and achieve the racial justice we deserve — organizations such as BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing for Communities) in Wisconsin. There are many ways to engage in our collective fight for racial justice. One way is to donate to BLOC’s organizing efforts at blocbybloc.org.”
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.
This statement was sent out November 19, 2021.