UNC Prof: Whites 'Deputized' to Murder Blacks in Kenosha

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill / Wikimedia Commons
August 31, 2020

A University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill professor suggested that government officials have "deputized" whites to murder blacks in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

UNC-Chapel Hill associate professor Tressie McMillan Cottom tweeted that "They have deputized all white people to murder us," referring to Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who allegedly shot and killed two men who were chasing him in Kenosha. Cottom is black. The men shot by Rittenhouse, however, were both white.

Cottom's comments came in response to a CNN segment in which commentator Dana Bash asked Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wisc.) if he condemned Rittenhouse. Johnson said the shooting was "a tragedy" but did not comment on the pending litigation against the gunman.

"Listen, I don't want to see anybody lose their life," Johnson said. "I don't want to see the violence continue. I don't want to see businesses burn down. I don't want to see economic destruction. I condemn it all."

The University of North Carolina said it had no comment. Cottom did not respond to requests for comment.