A University of Georgia (UGA) professor said in a recent column that the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial will motivate members of the political right to inflict violence upon the left.
That professor, Cas Mudde, teaches international affairs, according to his UGA profile.
“We know that ‘self-defense’ – often better known as vigilantism – is legally protected and highly racialized in this country. Think of the acquittal of George Zimmerman of the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2013,” Mudde wrote in a Guardian column.
“In essence, the Rittenhouse ruling has created a kind of ‘stand your ground’ law for the whole country. White people now have the apparent right to travel around the country, heavily armed, and use violence to protect the country from whatever and whoever they believe to be threatening to it. Given the feverish paranoia and racism that has captured a sizeable minority of white people in the U.S. these days, this is a recipe for disaster.”
The Rittenhouse verdict, Mudde went to on to say, gives “rightwing vigilantes a legal precedent to take up arms against anyone they consider a threat – which pretty much runs from anti-fascists to so-called Rinos (Republicans in Name Only) and includes almost all people of color – means it is now open hunting season on progressive protesters.”
“It takes courage to publicly protest in any situation, particularly when protesting state powers,” Mudde wrote.
“Now protesters in the U.S. will have to fear not only police brutality but an emboldened and violent far right, fired up by the Republican party and the broader rightwing media and protected by the local legal system.”
UGA’s website said that Mudde teaches, among other classes, Far Right Politics in Western Democracies, Defending Democracy, and Post-Industrial Democracies.
Mudde’s research interests, according to UGA’s website, include comparative European politics, political parties and social movements, and Islamophobia.
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