What's the difference between armed men with police badges who shoot innocent people and armed men without badges who shoot innocent people?
I'll give you a hint: there is none.
College Republicans United's tweet asking for donations for Kyle Rittenhouse, who's been charged with a count of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, exposes the creeping correlation between supporting the police and supporting murderous mass-shooting "vigilantes."
Rittenhouse then allegedly killed two people and injured another during protests following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by police in front of his children, yet he miraculously survived this public lynching attempt. Later, Blake was handcuffed to his hospital bed — essentially treated more like a criminal than Rittenhouse, who was thanked and given water by police that same night.
CRU’s Twitter post read “(Rittenhouse) does not deserve to have his entire life destroyed because of the actions of violent anarchists during a lawless riot."
The tweet effectively covers for a man who allegedly robbed the lives of people exercising their First Amendment right to protest and attempts to create sympathy for a cold-blooded murderer. What a testament to their warped neo-Nazi values and another tally to their long list of racist behavior.
"For (CRU) to come out in support of known white supremacists and murder is beyond unacceptable," said Emma Galligan, a junior studying political science and justice studies. She expressed that as a student, she is angry at the University's complacency with the student club.
CRU's comments make an indicative statement; Police and white men have the right to shoot people on sight, especially Black people and those protesting as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. They value the life of a single white man over the lives of his victims, and the countless other victims of police brutality.
"I think that supporting police... is perpetuating white supremacy and systemic racism," Galligan said. "White mass shooters are a direct result of the same system that has created police sanctioned violence."
CRU's statement only clarifies what we should all know by now: All police officers are a Kyle Rittenhouse in their own right.
America's laws disproportionately protect white men or seldom criminalize them in the same way Black, Indigenous and people of color are criminalized. People like Rittenhouse use this to their advantage.
This country's constitution was created by racist, slaveholding white men. Policing came about as a way to uphold racist and classist laws, like with slave-catching patrols and union-busting. The police's authority to uphold unjust laws makes them an unjust institution itself, and what makes this worse is their license to kill.
From Pittsburgh, Christchurch and El Paso, the same image of racist white men barbarically killing people of color all over the country is a phenomenon they learned, not invented, from the police itself.
Long before the rise of racist mass-shooters, their historical counterparts were lynch mobs who would skin Black people alive. This modern violence is more efficient, taking the form of semi-automatic rifles and just one man.
History demonstrates that the police have been the ones to initiate racist violence against people of color. Protests against police violence are only a reaction to the violence perpetrated against the people of this country every day.
Such a systematic issue cannot be fixed with bandages like reform. Highly flawed institutions should be treated like a disease and be eliminated and reforms have consistently failed to address police brutality.
The police institution bred Kyle Rittenhouse, and his actions clearly mimic it. Both are connected to the broader issue of American systemic racism. As such, CRU's love for law enforcement and their subsequent support for Rittenhouse is no coincidence. Both entities should be vehemently opposed.
Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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