By Emily Cousins | Staff Writer
It’s time to dig into the difference between the way police and the media treat Black people being murdered and white people committing crimes.
A 17-year-old named Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and injured another. Rittenhouse drove from his hometown in Illinois to the protest in Kenosha, Wis. to defend property that would possibly be damaged during the protests.
Not only did this teenager murder two people, he also should not have been carrying a gun under our current gun laws.
The police saw him walking around and never felt threatened by his weapon.
As many news sources began reporting on the 17-year-old, the rhetoric was completely different than when a Black person is murdered by the police.
The New York Post ran a headline that said “Suspected teen gunman Kyle Rittenhouse spotted cleaning Kenosha graffiti before shooting.”
This is an example of the humanization that white people get after committing a crime.
Tucker Carlson even gave excuses for Rittenhouse’s crimes on Fox News.
“Are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder. How shocked are we really that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would,” Carlson said.
Here, we can see an example of discrediting Black people and reporting things that make people excuse police behavior.
In case it isn’t clear, even if Jacob Blake or George Floyd or Sandra Bland or Breonna Taylor or any other Black person harmed or killed by the police has a criminal record or might have had a weapon, that does not mean there was any reason for them to be killed.
Rittenhouse is being given due process and has been arrested lawfully. He got to sleep in his own bed the night he killed two people. He was arrested the next day.
He has been respected as a human by the police, while Black people have died because the police assumed they were a threat. They assumed they had a weapon. They assumed they were violent.
We cannot stand for this. We have to stand together and demand a change of perspective of Black lives. Their humanity must be valued.
We have to make this a priority. People’s lives depend on it.