The Rittenhouse affair “exposes the disease of the American political system”



An activist chants outside City Hall in the Loop to protest Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal on November 20, 2021, in Chicago. Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges a day earlier after testifying that he acted in self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootout which became a flashpoint in the gun debate, l self-defense and racial injustice in the United States. Photo: VCG

The Kyle Rittenhouse case sparked a new wave of protests across the United States, some of which escalated into riots, after the court case became deeply politicized amid the intense political struggle between Democrats and Republicans.

The fallout from the not guilty verdict in the jury trial reveals that the “democratic political system” in the United States has failed to cure the “evil of social polarization and racial divergence,” officials said on Sunday. Chinese experts predicting that similar cases and riots could increase in the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election.

Chinese analysts have said cases like this that could spark conflict and violence in the United States will increase as Democrats and Republicans want to make the most of the rift between left and right, black and white. white, rather than healing and unifying society, as both sides survive and profit from deepening social divisions.

It is a disease that is deeply rooted in the bones of the American two-party political system. “American democracy” is losing the ability to solve such a problem and more similar cases will occur in the future, observers noted.

Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges on Friday after testifying that he acted in self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootout that became a flashpoint in the guns, self-defense and l racial injustice in the United States, the AP reported on Saturday US time.

According to the American media NPR, Friday evening, demonstrations erupted in several cities of the country. Authorities in Portland, Oregon, called an incident near the Multnomah County Justice Center a riot and warned everyone present to leave the area or risk facing force. The Portland Police Department said a “significant portion of the crowd” was engaged in “violent and destructive behavior” which included breaking windows and throwing objects at officers at the scene.

The Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco sent a reminder in Chinese to Chinese nationals in the consular district on Saturday local time, asking them to be aware of the current situation caused by the Rittenhouse case and to stay away from protests and rallies and avoid unnecessary conflicts. with the locals.

The verdict in the politically combustible case aroused the anger and disappointment of those who viewed Rittenhouse as a vigilante and an aspiring cop, and relief and a sense of justification from those who viewed him as a patriot who took a stand against him. lawlessness and exercised his Second Amendment the right to carry a firearm and to defend oneself. Supporters donated more than $ 2 million for his legal defense, according to US media.

Do not heal

US President Joe Biden called for calm, saying that while the outcome of the case “will leave many Americans angry and worried, including me, we must recognize that the jury has spoken.”

Biden faces a very difficult situation because on the one hand he has to please his Democratic base and sway voters who have sympathies for minorities, but on the other hand he knows that the majority of American voters are white and s’ he also criticizes the verdict strongly, it could offend swing voters who support the verdict. In the current political situation, the two main parties in the United States will compete for every vote, experts said.

A criminal trial should have had its own criteria for judging and followed strictly legal procedures, but as partisan rivalry in the United States escalates, the Rittenhouse case has turned into a political issue with racial conflict and a gun control, and thus has become a stage for Democrats and Republicans to propagate their political views and attack each other, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the University’s Center for American Studies, said on Sunday. by Fudan.

Longtime civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson said the verdict cast doubt on the safety of people protesting on behalf of black Americans, the AP reported. “It seems to me that this is the open season for human rights protesters,” he said.

Rittenhouse has been charged with homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment for killing two men and injuring a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in the summer of 2020 on a tumultuous night of protests against the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by a white policeman from Kenosha.

Rittenhouse, a then 17-year-old former police cadet, said he traveled to Kenosha to protect his property from rioters but was attacked and feared for his life. He is white, like the ones he shot. The anonymous jury, whose racial makeup was not disclosed by the court, appeared to be predominantly white, AP reported.

Lü Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday that the case is the epitome of current political and social reality in the United States. The jury, which appeared to be predominantly white, reflects the fact that most American voters might not dare openly challenge political correctness, but they will use their vote or power on the jury to voice their opinions.

“And maybe it shows that most white Americans don’t like political correctness, and the verdict sends an encouraging signal to conservative armed whites in future conflicts with blacks or other ethnic minorities,” a- he declared.

Some Chinese netizens found the verdict difficult to understand, as some said on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo, “What if Rittenhouse killed two African Americans instead of white men?” Would he be found guilty or would the verdict remain the same? “

Former US President Donald Trump, who at the time of the shooting said it appeared Rittenhouse had been “very violently attacked” issued a statement on Friday congratulating Rittenhouse on the verdict, adding “if not not self-defense, nothing is! “

Lü said a former US president sending a congratulatory statement on the verdict of a court case was highly unusual, and that means Trump is capitalizing on the political advantages of the case and wants to use his influence to make it worse. still the differences within the United States. company. The more divisions there are between left and right or blacks and whites, the more likely it is that politicians like him will win future elections.

Democrats and Republicans will always stand their ground and divide society on sensitive social issues like a shootout case involving race issues, Xin noted.

“As a result, it is increasingly difficult to properly and satisfactorily solve social problems in the United States if they are politicized, which leads to the failure of American governance,” Xin told the Global Times. .

A growing number of incidents similar to the Rittenhouse affair and the resulting social contradictions will continue to occur in the United States, Xin predicts. “With more social issues politicized as part of partisan rivalry, the United States will suffer from worse and more intense social differences,” he said.

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