Kenosha Terrorist’s Celebrity Bail Epitomizes White Privilege

video taken before “blue lives matter” adherent Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire and killed two BLM protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25 shows police tossing water bottles to armed civilians. One officer broadcasted “We appreciate you being here” via loudspeaker.

Rittenhouse, 17, traveled to Kenosha from his Antioch, Illinois home with an AR-15 assault rifle.

After he had murdered protesters Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, he proceeded to walk down the street toward police with his arms up, rifle slung across his chest.

Yet not a single police officer stopped him, despite witnesses identifying him as one who just committed murder.

He was allowed to waltz by while police chose to respond to the “bigger threat”–BLM protesters.

He made it all the way back home before turning himself in.

On Friday, My Pillow CEO and Donald Trump supporter, Mike Lindell, and ex-child actor Rick Schroder pitched in to pay Rittenhouse’s two-million dollars’ bail.

So did conservative groups such as FightBackLaw.com.

A Florida state representative called for Rittenhouse’s election to Congress.

And, of course, the racist-in-chief praised Rittenhouse’s “self defense“.

That’s right.

A radicalized white teenager crosses state lines with a semi-automatic rifle intending to shoot protesters, kills two, wounds one, marches right past law enforcement who encouraged his activity, is now out on bail thanks to two wealthy white right-wingers and well-funded conservative groups.

Meanwhile, African American man Ronnie Long has finally been freed after serving 44 years in prison for a crime his lawyers learned five years ago he did not commit.

Army veteran and postal worker, Jaythan Kendrick, has a similar story.

He is free now after 25 years behind bars for a Long Island City, NY murder he did not commit.

If anyone needs an example of white privilege, this is it in all its shameful, racist glory.

If anyone argues “there is no white privilege,” ask that person to consider how much donors have bestowed upon Kendrick and Long compared to how much Rittenhouse received in “charitable donations.”

As Jessica Sutherland writes for The Daily Kos in her piece “Kyle Rittenhouse out on bail after right-wing fans raise millions“:

“Rittenhouse…The murderer, who has admitted to two murders and one attempted murder, told police ‘No, I don’t regret it’ at the time of his arrest, and is currently enjoying some surreal hero’s life, admired by the sort of folks who vicariously watched cell phone footage of his cold killings and opened their wallets in support. These folks know exactly what Rittenhouse did and respect it. They consider his actions right and just, even as they smear his victims—all white men—to help justify their cold-blooded murders.”

She adds:

“As Rittenhouse—an admitted killer whose injurious and life-ending acts were caught on video—settles in to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday as a real life Natural Born Killer, his jail time is currently a brief blip in his life’s history, despite his night-of fears of being incarcerated for ‘the rest of (his) life.’ Army veteran Kendrick, on the other hand, would hardly be considered anybody’s hero.

Mr. Kendrick’s Innocence Project attorney, Susan Friedman, argued:

“Mr. Kendrick has endured an unimaginable injustice for over 25 years. He has spent decades trying to right this wrong, but the system failed him at every step. This is a textbook case of wrongful conviction exposing the worst flaws in our system–racial profiling, unduly suggestive identification procedures and a lack of police accountability at very least. Thankfully, the new evidence in this case, including DNA, has provided overwhelming proof of Mr. Kendrick’s innocence.”

But we mustn’t lay all the blame on the systemic racism coursing through the nation’s every vain for making us so nakedly ignorant.

We have an obsequious corporate media that has labeled Rittenhouse a “volunteer,” a “vigilante“, an “avid supporter of police“, one “maintaining peace“, to perpetuate it.

Odds are, if Rittenhouse were Black, he wouldn’t have been characterized in these terms.

Ditto if he were of Middle Eastern descent.

Kudos to Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley for calling Rittenhouse what he is–a terrorist.

Image credit: Fabiusmaximus.com

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Op-Ed News, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.