Rittenhouse traveled miles away from his home to a protest for the murder of Jacob Blake with an assault rifle and murdered two men. He was acquitted of all charges after claiming self-defense.
His acquittal was the direct result of the protection of white supremacy in the United States of America. It’s ridiculous that Rittenhouse did not receive any charges for the crimes he committed.
In the 19th and 20th century white people, often in mobs, lynched Black people in order to terrorize them and instill fear. Their reasoning for this terror was rooted in the protection of whiteness.
Arbery was a Black man who was lynched by three men while jogging. The men who murdered him claimed they were performing a citizen’s arrest, according to CNN.
All of the men were found guilty of multiple charges including his murder and a federal hate crime.
This verdict may have brought peace to his family and the men seemed to be held responsible for his death, but the reality is this could very well happen again to another Black family.
These acts of receiving “justice” accountability don’t appear to be significant if the same thing keeps happening.
What will we do if the justice system is useless? How will we make sure that those who commit crimes are held accountable?
It is understood white supremacy is ingrained in every aspect of our society. The U.S. justice system was designed to uphold white supremacy; it wasn’t designed to make sure “justice” is fairly served.
Rittenhouse being acquitted of all charges was not a failure of the U.S justice system, it was a success. It succeeded in the preservation of white supremacy, which is the problem.
Justice and accountability serve no meaning in the current justice system. We have to come up with other ways to make sure that actual justice is served and people are held accountable.
We need to envision a world where these words have meaning and significance.
We are often taught in our white supremacist society to think accountability is synonymous with consequence or punishment. It is not.
Accountability is a conscious choice where people own up to their wrongs, take responsibility for their actions and ensure they won’t commit harm again.
Rittenhouse was not held accountable. The men who lynched Arbery were not held accountable.
Accountability should be victim-centered. There should be questions about what the victim wants or needs.
This is a picture of what true justice would look like.