Rittenhouse verdict sign of “anti-Blackness”: UC Irvine Vice Chancellor

Douglas Haynes is both the Vice Chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of California, Irvine, and the school's chief diversity officer.

Rittenhouse verdict sign of “anti-Blackness”: UC Irvine Vice Chancellor
AP Photo/Noah Berger
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The verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has solicited numerous responses from both the left and the right, with one University vice-chancellor declaring that the verdict conveyed a message that “Neither Black lives nor those of their allies’ matter.”

In a campus-wide email, the vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Douglas Haynes claimed that Rittenhouses’ acquittal was a sign of “anti-Blackness.”

As reported on Rebel News, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted last week of felony charges stemming from shootings that occurred in August last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse shot two people and wounded a third in self-defense. All three men were white. Rittenhouse said he was at the far-left driven riot to protect local businesses from rioters and administer first aid to anyone with injuries.

Videos from the night of August 25, 2020, validated Rittenhouse’s testimony at the trial. Rittenhouse was found not guilty by a jury of twelve who unanimously acquitted the teenager of all charges.

In an email obtained by the Daily Wire, Haynes, who is also UCI’s chief diversity officer, claimed that the verdict was met by “the heavy burden of the families mourning the absence of loved ones and the continuing trauma of the lone survivor.”

The full email reads as follows:  

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse versus the State of Wisconsin concluded earlier today. The jury returned not guilty on all five counts of the original indictment (a sixth count was previously dismissed by the judge), including the murder of two people and the wounding of a third on August 25 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The relief of the Rittenhouse family in this verdict was met by the heavy burden of the families mourning the absence of loved ones and the continuing trauma of the lone survivor. 

The conclusion of this trial does not end the reckoning about systemic racism in the United States. If anything, it has simply made it more legible. Kyle Rittenhouse did not live in Wisconsin, but in Antioch, Illinois. He travelled to Kenosha during protests against police violence in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake while in police custody. Blake was shot seven times in the back. The Kenosha event continued protests in response to the killings of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor…on March 13, 2020 in Louisville. These multi-racial protests were grounded in a call for racial justice and the end of police brutality. Rittenhouse imposed himself on the protests in Kenosha. His assistance was not requested. It was as much about resisting the calls of protesters as it was to defend property and render first aid. 

For this reason, the verdict conveys a chilling message: Neither Black lives nor those of their allies’ matter. 

UCI will continue its whole university approach to recognizing and responding to anti-Blackness as an existential threat to our mission as a public research university. Learn more on the UCI Black Thriving Initiative website. 

Sincerely, 

Douglas M. Haynes, Ph.D. (Pronouns: he/him/his) 

Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 

Chief Diversity Officer 

Director, ADVANCE Program 

Addressing the email, it’s worth pointing out that Rittenhouse had as much of a right to be in Kenosha on the night of August 25, 2020, as anyone else in attendance.  

Many of the protesters and rioters who showed up were not residents of the city. Rittenhouses’ father and grandparents reside in Kenosha, lending credence to the teenager’s claim that Kenosha was his community.

The vice-chancellor’s claim that the protests “were grounded in a call for racial justice and the end of police brutality” has little bearing on the fact that numerous businesses were torched and the livelihoods of Kenosha’s residents were disrupted. Their actions prompted residents and out-of-city civilians to take up arms as the police failed to maintain law and order amid the riots.  

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  • By Ezra Levant

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