Rage Against The Machine have issued a powerful statement on Kyle Rittenhouse being acquitted of first-degree murder and four other felonies.
The 18-year-old shot and killed two men during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year, injuring another.
On Friday (November 19), he was found not guilty to all five charges in his case, including first-degree murder and endangerment of safety.
The trial was widely-publicised across the world and led to discussions about gun laws in the United States. Many from the entertainment world have taken to social media to share their outrage at the trial’s verdict, among them Rage Against The Machine.
“What defines innocence in America?” the band wrote on Instagram. “Tamir Rice was executed by police for playing with a toy. Nobody was charged. Ahmaud Arbery went jogging and was murdered in broad daylight.”
They continued: “Kyle Rittenhouse armed himself and killed people who were fighting for racial justice. He claimed self-defence. This is the settler logic of America’s founding myth: whiteness must cast itself as the victim in order to justify its violence against those resisting its oppression. Welcome to the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.”
Rage guitarist Tom Morello also commented individually, tweeting: “When the courts do what they were designed to do and protect and enforce white supremacy: don’t mourn, organise.”
When the courts do what they were designed to do and protect and enforce white supremacy: don’t mourn, organize. https://t.co/G75QF9iEqg
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) November 19, 2021
Others to share their opinions on the trial’s verdict included Lady Gaga, who wrote: “Systemic oppression is evil and destroys the world.”
Destiny’s Child‘s Michelle Williams simply tweeted that she was “not surprised” at the verdict, while The Roots‘ Questlove told his followers to “Stay Home. Stay Safe.”
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay shared a message from the parents of those killed by Rittenhouse.
She tweeted: “John Huber and Karen Bloom, parents of murderer #KyleRittenhouse’s victim Anthony Huber: the verdict ‘sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.’”
Protests began to spread across the United States last Friday (November 19) in the wake of the not guilty verdict being cast in Rittenhouse’s trial.
As The Guardian reported, there was unrest overnight in Portland, Oregon, with police declaring a riot in the city centre following “violent, destructive behaviour by a significant part of the crowd”