Joy Reid discusses influence of ‘male, white tears’ on Kyle Rittenhouse trial in viral video

"The ReidOut" host compared Rittenhouse’s tears to those of Brett Kavanaugh in a TikTok video making its rounds on the internet

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MSNBC host Joy Reid on Thursday reacted to the trial of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse by highlighting a parallel between his successful trial and that of U.S. Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh; specifically, the presence of “male, white tears.” 

“This Kyle Rittenhouse trial. It reminded a lot of people of something… I can’t remember what it was,” ‘The ReidOut’ host began in a video posted to TikTok on Thursday.

“Oh, the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, in which Brett Kavanaugh who had been accused by a high school friend of committing sexual abuse of her, cried his way through the hearings to make him a permanent member and associate justice of the United States Supreme Court,” Reid continued.

“His tears turned out to be more powerful than the tears of Christine Blasey Ford, which were the tears of an alleged victim,” she added.

Reid then said that Rittenhouse and Kavanaugh are “Karens,” the pejorative term for “an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors,” according to Dictionary.com.

“In America, there’s a thing about both white vigilantism and white tears, particularly male white tears. Really white tears in general, because that’s what Karens are, right? They Karen out and then as soon as they get caught it’s extreme waterworks,” the host said.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 19: In this screengrab, Joy Reid speaks at the 33rd Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision – VIRTUAL EVENT on May 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images Ms. Foundation for Women)

“White men can get away with that, too,” she continued. “And it has the same effect, even as the right tries to politicize the idea that masculinity is being robbed from American men by multiculturalism and wokeism. They still want to be able to have their tears.”

Rittenhouse, an Illinois teenager, fatally shot two people during an August 2020 Jacob Blake protest in Kenosha, Wis. The protests started after Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot in the back by a Kenosha, Wis. police officer. Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down. Rittenhouse was charged with homicide, attempted homicide, and reckless endangering of safety. 

The 18-year-old was acquitted of all charges Friday after pleading self-defense in the deadly shooting that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism, and racial injustice. 

Kavanaugh came under fire in 2018 after being accused of alleged sexual assault against Blasey Ford and several other women, but was sworn in as the 114th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in spite of a heated national debate about abuse and toxic masculinity amid the rising #MeToo movement.

Reid’s video has been viewed more than 32,000 times on Tik Tok as of Saturday evening, and over 1 million times on Twitter.

theGrio’s Ny Magee contributed to this report

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