Saturday, May 28, 2022


High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.


Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.


High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Rittenhouse Case Viewed as Symptom of Uneven Democracy


Friday, November 19, 2021   

Kenosha, WI - The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has announced not-guilty verdicts on all charges in the case. Ground-level activists say the case shows that laws and how they're applied don't work properly when white supremacy still exists in a democracy. Comments from Kyle Johnson, Kenosha-based community organizer, and Angela Lang, executive director, both of Black Leaders Organizing Communities.

In a case that drew worldwide attention, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges by a Kenosha County jury. A Wisconsin group focused on improving the lives of Black residents says the case speaks to issues of democracy not working for everybody. The 18-year-old Rittenhouse was charged with killing two protesters in Kenosha last year and wounding another with a semi-automatic rifle. Prosecutors say the Illinois resident was a vigilante in a situation where he didn't belong. But the teen's lawyers say he acted in self-defense to protect property amid protests over police brutality. Kyle Johnson, of Black Leaders Organizing Communities, feels the legal system paved the way for someone to take the law into their own hands.

"The legal system in this country operates with a tint - more than a tint - with a shade, with a shadow of racism."

Legal experts have said the case hinged on self-defense laws. Reform advocates say Wisconsin's statute for these situations is too murky and needs an overhaul. Racial-justice groups add that Rittenhouse is being portrayed as a martyr by those who strongly back police. But his backers say he had no other choice but to shoot amid the surrounding chaos, while also noting that all those Rittenhouse shot were white.

Researchers have noted criminal justice issues help to further alienate BIPOC voters, making them reluctant to demand fairness through civic engagement. The Kenosha incidents happened after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man left paralyzed by his injuries. BLOC's executive director, Angela Lang, says not taking steps to implement meaningful police reforms or change self-defense laws will only create more of these situations.

"This continues to happen because there is a space that we are giving - that it's allowing for this to happen. "

She feels white supremacy has too much influence within the legal system, arguing that people like Rittenhouse are given ample opportunity to act recklessly, while people like Breonna Taylor don't even have a chance to defend themselves. Taylor was the Black medical worker shot and killed by Louisville police officers in March 2020 during a botched raid on her apartment.

In a case that drew worldwide attention, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges by a Kenosha County jury. A Wisconsin group focused on improving the lives of Black residents says the case speaks to issues of democracy not working for everybody. Mike Moen reports:

I'm Mike Moen

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Reach both through Lang at 414-245-2293. WI self-defense law: Justice-democracy research:

get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021