Exceptional Lives is disgusted and deeply disappointed by the verdict in the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, a white man who killed two men and injured another with an assault-style rifle during a demonstration against police brutality.
If all the facts in this case were the same, but Kyle Rittenhouse was Black, would the verdict have been the same? We know the answer.
Would millions of dollars of donations from political organizations pour in to fund a young Black man’s $2 million bail and his expensive defense team? We know the answer.
Would a young Black man be able to walk down a city street with an AR-15-style rifle and not be stopped by the police? We know the answer.
History tells us that no Black person could show up anywhere in the United States armed with an assault-style rifle, shoot three people, and then get acquitted. Deep racial disparities in our legal system mean that, in Wisconsin, where the Kyle Rittenhouse trial took place, 11.9 Black men are in jail for every 1 white man.*
Rittenhouse, a white man, got the benefit of the doubt and walked away without consequences.
Exceptional Lives is committed to ensuring all young people with disabilities, and the families who care for them, have what they need to thrive. This includes a system that recognizes racism and fights against racial disparities. Young, disabled people of color and their families deserve to be seen and supported in all of who they are.
We mourn with our communities. We will keep working to create change for the better.
The Exceptional Lives Team
* The Sentencing Project https://www.sentencingproject.org/the-facts/#map