What’s Left Kenosha Protests: March On

On August 23, Jacob S. Blake was shot seven times by a white police officer who was responding to reports of a domestic dispute. Jacob Blake was there trying to de-escalate this domestic dispute, nothing else. The fact that we live in a country where African Americans are shot for simply being on the premises of a suspected crime scene is baffling. Unlike many police shootings, Jacob Blake survived this attack, but he is now paralyzed from the waist down. Nothing about this is surprising or shocking as police departments across the nation have become cult-like centers of white supremacy and overt exertions of violence and power. This has to stop. Nothing about the law justifies shooting an unarmed African American who was walking back to his car. Quickly after this brutal act by the police, people started to protest in the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin. People have every right to protest police brutality. They do not, however, have the right to loot or burn buildings. Pain and suffering can manifest itself in many ways, but violence is not the answer.

 Violence only begets violence and this manifested itself when a 17-year-old white teenager named Kyle Rittenhouse shot three protestors with his semi-automatic rifle. Kyle Rittenhouse is a criminal and a murderer, and he deserves nothing but suffering for the rest of his life. Many on the Right disagree with that statement. Some even see him as a hero, including GOP Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) who, according to The Hill, praised him for exhibiting incredible restraint for not emptying his magazine during the shooting. Other Republican bootlickers like Tucker Carlson even said, “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else could?” Of course even President Trump commented that Kyle Rittenhouse was “very violently attacked” by protestors and that he “probably would have been killed.” Yes, you read all of those quotes correctly; high-level Republican officials and Republican news outlets justified and condoned extrajudicial killings of protestors in 2020. The Republican Party has no shame or respect for the lives of innocent protestors.

 Even Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyer tweeted out this statement: “Kyle Rittenhouse will go down in American history alongside the brave unknown patriot… who fired The Shot Heard Round the World on April 19, 1775. A Second American Revolution against Tyranny has begun #Fightback.” Comparing the extremism of a murderer like Kyle to that of the American Revolution is an insult to everything this country stands for. This country cannot accept extrajudicial killings of any sort, as that is how democracies die. President Trump has failed to condemn this violence and that is an abject failure of leadership, but hey, so is the death of over 180,000 Americans due to his mismanagement of COVID-19. 

 We cannot accept this, we cannot endure this and we must not forget these events. There is a Presidential election in less than 60 days and we cannot stand idle while this sort of violence takes place in America. President Trump must be defeated on November 3, but more importantly, we have to be ready for the possibility that he will not accept defeat and that his army of bigots will arm themselves to the teeth to protect his racist legacy. We must resist these attempts to destroy our democracy at all costs. Keep up the good trouble; march on until this country reaches its full potential.