National Council for the Social Studies Response to the Acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse
This statement was issued by the National Council for the Social Studies in November during its national convention. The New Jersey and New York social studies councils are part of NCSS.
“This week as the National Council for the Social Studies comes together to proclaim solidarity as social studies professionals, Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who in a series of encounters with protesters calling for justice in the police shooting of Jacob Blake, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, was acquitted by a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This acquittal is a dangerous harbinger for civic life, giving license to vigilantism.”
“The Pledge of Allegiance concludes with the words “and justice for all.” There are many who believe that justice for all was not done in this case. Others believe that we need to be trusting of the system – even when we are faced with a decision with which we may wholeheartedly disagree. Regardless of what you believe, as social studies professionals, we understand the gravity of this acquittal because we know the wicked history of vigilantism as a tool to maintain white privilege in the United States.”
“Martin Luther King, Jr., said: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’”
“We call for social studies teachers to stand in solidarity with the families of those victimized by Kyle Rittenhouse. We call for social studies teachers to stand in solidarity with the right to proclaim Black Lives Matter without fearing white vigilantism. We call for social studies teachers to stand in solidarity with citizens who continue to stand for justice, even when the systems of justice are found wanting.”