On Friday, Nov. 19, the court system handed a victory to right-wing vigilantism and continued a tradition of white supremacists being protected by the law. To be clear, Kyle Rittenhouse is a murderer who deliberately inserted himself into a dangerous situation where he did not belong, causing the tragic deaths of two people. We live in a time when Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and countless others have gone without justice. History will look back at this decision as yet another chapter in the shameful story of racial discrimination in our country.
Our nation was founded on the idea that all people were created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Two hundred forty-five years later, we have yet to realize this proclamation. Malcolm X summarized the state of racial justice like so, “If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. They haven’t pulled the knife out; they won’t even admit that it’s there.” It appears we still have yet to acknowledge the knife.
Our nation’s past is one full of racist policies that has long been imbued into our legal and economic system. To pull the knife out and begin to heal we require system-wide change. It is time to build a society we can all say we are proud of being part of. That starts by saying clearly and firmly for all to hear, Black Lives Matter!