The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict has The View cohosts divided on how the verdict could shape future cases involving white vigilantes.
Rittenhouse, who was on trial for killing two protestors and injuring a third during a 2020 Wisconsin rally against police brutality. He claimed his actions were in self-defense, while prosecutors pushed for first-degree intentional homicide and four felonies. He was found not guilty, which has people worried about how the case will serve as a precedent for future attacks against protestors.
Joy Behar said during Monday’s episode of The View, “This is gonna have serious repercussions,” as reported by Decider. “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.”
Guest host and conservative commentator Kristen Soltis Anderson argued that most people wouldn’t be able to imagine themselves in Rittenhouse’s positions, many others might not be able to understand the position of the protesters. She also claimed that many watching the case might not have been given all of the facts about Rittenhouse, saying that one of Rittenhouse’s victims threw a plastic bag at him and “instigating some violence toward him.” Sara Haines also added that she was “shocked” at how the public “jumped to a certain story,” stating that in her opinion the case was a “cut and dry case of self defense.”
But, as what usually happens on 'The View,' Behar and Sunny Hostin presented the arguments that most of 'The View's' audience agrees with.
Behar rhetorically asked Hostin, “Sunny, if he were Black, would he be free now?”
“No,” said Hostin. “He wouldn’t be alive right now.” She also added that the verdict shows where America is regarding race, saying, “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.”
As Primetimer reports, Hostin responded with Haines’ “self-defense” bit by saying, “I disagree that it was a cut and dry case of self-defense. I think that when you, certainly, go to a place with an AR-15-style weapon and you shoot someone and you’re running away from that shooting and people are running after you because they think you’re an active shooter, I don’t know that that is a cut and dry self-defense case as to the second person and third person.”
She also hit back at Haines saying it was a riot.
“There were four days of protests, right? Jacob Blake was shot on Sunday seven times, and he’s paralyzed because of that,” she said. “On Monday, there were protests, and there were a very small group — they say it’s about 1% of the crowd — started burning some buildings. Yes, no question about it, and started ransacking some buildings. Martin Luther King said that a riot is the voice of the unheard, and I think that’s what we saw. Tuesday, when this happened, just two days after the shooting, the protestors were corralled by the police and they were shot and tear-gassed.”
She took the panel down the timeline of what actually happened, adding, "This has been framed as all rioting, and that's just not the case."
“On Tuesday, that’s what Kyle Rittenhouse was going to do. He was going to ‘protect property,’ apparently it was a used car lot. He had no affiliation with that car lot, no ownership interest, but that’s what he was responding to. On that Tuesday, there were police members that were, I guess, firing shots of rubber bullets, fake bullets, and also tear gas at protestors, trying to disperse the crowd because they had imposed a curfew, and that is what Kyle Rittenhouse started. So, the notion that this was a ‘riot,’ that there were days and days of riots, is just not an accurate framing.” What a mic drop moment.
The View is known for their explosive debates about politics, often showing the extremes of conservative talking points against moderate and liberal points of view. Many viewers have taken to Twitter to ask the show to keep conservative Tara Setmayer to join the show as a permanent host, citing her “fair arguments” regarding politics.