On Friday, November 19, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges after he killed two and injured one protestor at a 2020 rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The 2020 rally was in response to Jacob Blake being paralyzed by Kenosha police; the protesters had rallied against police brutality. At this rally, Rittenhouse fired an AR-15-style assault rifle killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber in addition to severely injuring Gaige Grosskreutz’s right arm.
After the jury’s recent decision to acquit Rittenhouse, many took to social media to express their outrage. The Los Angeles rock band, Rage Against the Machine, was one of those horrified by the jury’s verdict. The band and its individual members made their measured anger apparent on a few social media posts.
“What defines innocence in America? Tamir Rice was executed by police for playing with a toy. Nobody was charged. Ahmaud Arbery went jogging and was murdered in broad daylight,” RATM’s Instagram post began.
“Kyle Rittenhouse armed himself and killed people who were fighting for racial justice. He claimed self-defense. This is the settler logic of America’s founding myth: whiteness must cast itself as the victim in order to justify its violence against those resisting its oppression. Welcome to the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” the band’s post concluded.
This statement from the band outright decried Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense. Rittenhouse’s self-defense plea appeared to have carried enough weight to convince the jury of his perspective.
Additionally, RATM’s guitarist Tom Morello, commented on the verdict via his personal Twitter account. “When the courts do what they were designed to do and protect and enforce white supremacy: don’t mourn, organize,” Morello wrote.
Other artists and celebrities also expressed their shock at the Rittenhouse case. Read more of these posts, below.
“The verdict has shown that it remains legal tomurder while white.”
“Elections matter. The lives of Joseph Rosenbaum & Anthony Huber mattered. They should be alive today. Our 1st amendment right of free speech should not cost any of us our lives. And regardless of anybody’s verdict anywhere and at anytime, Black Lives Do Matter. Today. & always.”
“Disgusted. And what a dangerous precedent to set. (Or upkeep, really) They’re going to make him a cop aren’t they?”