It’s not news to anyone who’s been paying attention that most of the mainstream media is trying to make the Kyle Rittenhouse trial a referendum on racism and white privilege, even though the trial is over a white teenager shooting three white men and killing two of them. The thing is that Rittenhouse was on the wrong side of the rioting that was going on in Kenosha; plenty have questioned why he was there, but they also seem to just assume that rioters and arsonists had every reason to be out there doing what they were doing because it was in the name of Black Lives Matter.
One take on race we hadn’t yet seen comes to us from Vox, where Jamil Smith writes on Rittenhouse’s “white tears.” A lot of people have commented on the tears (Merriam-Wittenhouse trolled Rittenhouse by tweeting the definition of “crocodile tears” right after). But Smith writes specifically about the privilege of white tears.
Whether or not we believe Kyle Rittenhouse’s emotional display on the stand may be irrelevant. Read @JamilSmith on the enduring power and privilege of white tears (particularly in a courtroom). https://t.co/PhPxnQVRjo
— Vox (@voxdotcom) November 13, 2021
Rittenhouse “resorted to a tried-and-true strategy for white men,” Smith writes:
Whether or not the crying was real, it was a performance, and it had an audience. Like many white men accused of violent crimes and misconduct before him, Rittenhouse appealed with his tears not merely to the 12 fellow citizens who will decide his fate, but also to certain white members of the American public who too often see emotion like that and imagine only the faces of their sons — not any born to mothers who look like mine.
There is evidence that Rittenhouse conspicuously aligned himself with the “blue lives matter” crowd, so it’s worth considering his sobbing within the context of the toxic and limited view of manhood that remains so popular in America, particularly among the modern political right. Some compared Rittenhouse to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s reaction when questioned during his confirmation hearings about Christine Blasey Ford’s credible allegations of sexual assault. Wednesday’s display from Rittenhouse bore some similarities to Kavanaugh’s sanctimonious anger, which he often dotted with cracks in his voice. As I wrote at the time, the future Supreme Court justice took advantage of the leeway that his gender and privilege affords to him, and Rittenhouse did the same.
“The self-styled militia patrolling the city that night were, by several accounts, mostly white men, yet another example of the unequally enforced protections of the Second Amendment,” he adds.
— Faux Shammity (@FauxShammity) November 13, 2021
White tears? Like he chalked up his eyes or something?
— 美国大兵净多 (@DaBingJingDuo) November 13, 2021
You got one thing right @voxdotcom … what you believe is irrelevant.
— KeithTheTriple (@keiththetriple) November 13, 2021
Race baiting again huh.
— Colin Pender (@cjpender49) November 13, 2021
Yuck. You racists.
— jimtreacher.substack.com (@jtLOL) November 13, 2021
Oh we’ve moved on from white woman syndrome to white man tears?
You people really need a hobby.
— Jimni27 (@jimni27) November 13, 2021
Yeah, he should have gone on the stand and not shown any emotion at all. That plays well with a jury.
— Tsukkomi (@ljenkins314) November 13, 2021
The problem I have is that had he gone on the stand and not cried, they would be calling him a heartless monster, it’s all a joke
— Josh Wells (@woshua77) November 13, 2021
This is such crap. If Rittenhouse testified without showing emotion Vox would be publishing a piece calling it proof he's a remorseless psychopath.
— Joshua Trujillo (@yeshuatrujillo) November 13, 2021
Look at his privilege pic.twitter.com/at0dhokv4t
— Patie🎄 (@PatrykSzalik) November 13, 2021
Ah yes. The privilege of a kid living with the fact that he killed 2 people. That’s PTSD, not privilege.
— Commissar Jamal (@JamalCommissar) November 13, 2021
Nevermind the fact the defense admitted he's in therapy for PTSD and that crying can happen when you endure a PTSD panic attack.
— Conservaterian Lady 521 (@libertarian521) November 13, 2021
Tell the world you're willing to minimize mental health and PTSD without telling the world you're willing to minimize mental health and PTSD.
— themig29 (@themig29) November 13, 2021
Vox = 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡
— Cameron (@cameronFTL) November 13, 2021
You guys have exactly one trick and you are performing it with increasing desperation
— doubt.jpg (@sooverytired) November 13, 2021
Y'all clowns really have to make everything about race. This case is literally about 4 white people and liberal media still have to force race into it. 🤡
— Rick Rodriguez (@rarodrig6) November 13, 2021
It seems people are obsessing over the tears so they don't have to talk about the video footage that absolutely proves he acted in self defense.
— Legomymego08 (@Legomymego_8) November 13, 2021
White tears and a valid self defense claim, but mostly a valid self defense claim
— Lewis P. (@_Sweet_Lew) November 13, 2021
How about black tears ? pic.twitter.com/a81sguuHw5
— George Kirby (@JJerrya1975) November 13, 2021
Cringe plus ratio.
— NZ (@Zuk_Is_Wise) November 13, 2021
What if we want actual legal analysis? Where do we go for that?
— just alan (@JustJustalan) November 13, 2021
The only place to go is the live video stream of the trial itself.
‘One of the dumbest f**king lawyers on the planet:’ Jeffrey Toobin’s attempt to play the race card with Rittenhouse trial produces LEGENDARY backfire https://t.co/KBqbnN9a23
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) November 12, 2021