United States. “Supremacist justice always strikes”

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Stupor and indignation across the Atlantic. Kile Rittenhouse, a young white militiaman who, in August 2020, fired his automatic weapon in Kenosha (Wisconsin) at an anti-racist rally called for by the Black Lives Matter movement, killing two young activists and injuring a third, was acquitted. The young man of 17 years at the time of the facts had gone there from his place of residence in Illinois armed with an AR-15, a real battlefield weapon over the counter in the United States. He was responding to the call of a group of militiamen notoriously influenced by the supremacist far right. Objective: “To protect the goods and businesses” of Kenosha from the demonstrators presented as “vandals and looters”.

Terms that the judge responsible for leading the proceedings of the Court was authorized to use, refusing to qualify as victims the anti-racist activists of Black Lives Matter (BLM), in this case young whites under the age of 30. The twelve jurors decided the acquittal of the young killer, under the guise that he would have used his weapon to defend himself, which the law of the State of Wisconsin allows. BLM immediately denounced the systemic dimension of this denial of justice. “The system,” said the organization, “works exactly as it’s supposed to… to protect white supremacy. “

The anti-racist demonstration on August 23, 2020 in Kenosha responded to BLM’s call to protest against a police “blunder”. White city cops had repeatedly shot an unarmed black man in the back. Very seriously injured, he will remain paralyzed for life. The package which occurred only a few weeks after the assassination of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a man of the so-called police had aroused enormous emotion. The Kenosha police officers will classically be cleared of any pursuit some time later on the pretext that they would have acted against their unarmed victim in a state of… “self-defense”. Or under the same pretext as the one which will serve sixteen months later to exonerate Rittenhouse and to justify that he uses his automatic weapon “to defend himself” (sic).

This verdict constitutes a formidable victory for a Trumpist right, already reinforced by the backsliding of the Democratic administration on the social level as in the field of taxation after its abandonment of taxes on the richest or any increase in the tax on companies that was reduced by Donald Trump to a level of fiscal dumping. The former president, who had already publicly defended the young far-right hothead at the time of the facts, hastened to reiterate his support. “Kudos to Kyle Rittenhouse for being declared innocent,” he tweeted, adding, “If that’s not self-defense, nothing is. “

Democratic President Joe Biden said he was “worried and angry”, too. He immediately asked his compatriots to respect the decision of the jurors, and urged them to express their opinions in accordance with “respect for the law”. In fear of overflows, the state governor of Wisconsin has alerted 500 National Guard soldiers. And Joe Biden provided support for federal forces.

“It’s a sad day for America,” Will Diaz, a 44-year-old worker who came to BLM’s call to protest the verdict of shame, told AFP. In the general climate conducive to the rise of the Trumpist right, Rittenhouse was regularly called a “hero” or “patriot” by the many conservative media which regularly denounce anti-racist demonstrations as the diabolical work of “anti-fascist or anarchist movements”.

Within organizations that have been calling for years, if not for a ban, at least for the control of the sale of firearms, stupor and anger are also present. “That a teenager can (…) shoot three people, killing two, without any criminal consequences is a denial of justice,” said Shannon Watts, founder of the Moms demand action group, adding: “This is also the case. ‘America that the NRA (the powerful pro-arms lobby – Editor’s note) has created ”.

But it is in the African-American community that outrage and bitterness are most palpable. “This is a new example of two-tier justice,” said lawyer Ben Crump, who has defended many victims of police violence and their relatives. Filled with emotion, Colin Kaepernick, former star of American football, and known to have kneeled during the national anthem in solidarity with the African-Americans killed by the police, exclaimed: the validation of terrorist acts by a system built on white supremacy ”.

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