On today’s episode of The View, the panel shared a tense debate about Friday’s Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Last year, Rittenhouse shot three men with an AR-15 rifle, killing two and injuring a third, during a Wisconsin protest against police brutality. He argued that he acted in self-defense, and was recently acquitted of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges.
“This is gonna have serious repercussions,” host Joy Behar said of the verdict. “I can’t go and protest now without worrying that some nut case is gonna have a gun, cross the state line, and shoot me … That is my fear now. That he has opened Pandora’s Box for crazies out there.”
Conservative guest host Kristen Soltis Anderson pointed out that while it’s hard for some viewers to imagine themselves in Rittenhouse’s shoes, “there are also a lot of Americans [who find it] hard to see themselves in the shoes of the other people in this story.”
She added that many people haven’t received all the facts about Rittenhouse’s case — for instance, the incident began when one of his victims, Joseph Rosenbaum, threw a plastic bag at him after “instigating some violence toward him.”
Sara Haines argued that it was a “cut and dry case of self defense” that occurred during a period of rioting. “I’m a little shocked at how everyone jumped to a certain story,” she said.
“Sunny, if he were Black, would he be free now?” Behar asked co-host Sunny Hostin. “No. He wouldn’t be alive right now,” she replied.
Hostin said that, in her opinion, the Rittenhouse verdict is indicative of where we are as a country. “People are saying this is not about race. We do have to remember he responded to a protest about racial injustice, so that is a part of this,” she said.
Anderson imagined a hypothetical future where Rittenhouse used his experiences to advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and criminal justice reform. “If he does that, he’ll never be on Tucker [Carlson’s] show again,” Behar added.
The View airs weekdays at 11/10c on ABC.