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Political Rewind: Contrasts between trials of Rittenhouse and trio charged in Ahmaud Arbery shooting


Kyle Rittenhouse listens as his attorney Mark Richards gives his closing argument during Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Nov. 15. Credit: Sean Krajacic, AP

Monday on Political Rewind: Self-defense was a key argument in the pursuit of acquittal in Kenosha, Wisc., in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Meanwhile in Georgia, defense lawyers in the trial of Gregory and Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan" also claimed self-defense as closing arguments unfolded on Monday. Both trials have highlighted deep racial and partisan fault lines.

Morehouse political science professor Dr. Adrienne Jones said race provides a crucial context for understanding the trials.

"We are living in two different worlds, right?" Jones said. "The Black community in the United States is experiencing the police and the vigilante system differently than the majority of people here in the United States. It's historical, in the South in particular."

The trials also sparked conversation on gun laws in the United States. Adding to the conversation, an accidentally discharged gun led to panic at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this weekend. Officials from the Transportation Security Administration said more guns have been confiscated at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport than at any other airport in the country so far this year.

In other news, the government agency charged with monitoring workplace safety said it is suspending enforcement of the federal vaccine mandate for large businesses. An appeals court had stayed the mandate. What are the consequences for federal enforcement of COVID-related public health policy.


Riley Bunch — Public policy reporter, GPB News

Emma Hurt — Reporter, Axios Atlanta

Dr. Adrienne Jones — Professor of political science and director of pre-law, Morehouse College

Dr. Tammy Greer — Professor of political science, Clark Atlanta University

Copyright 2021 Georgia Public Broadcasting

Bill Nigut has been a program host and producer at Georgia Public Broadcasting since November, 2013. He currently hosts “Two Way Street,” a show that features long-form conversations with authors, artists, chefs, scientists and other creative people who have fascinating stories to tell. He is host and producer of “Political Rewind,” a twice-weekly political roundtable show featuring some of Georgia’s best-informed insiders weighing in on the big state and national political stories.
Sam joined the Political Rewind team in 2019. He graduated American University in 2015 with a degree in journalism and spent time in North Carolina as a reporter at WCHL in Chapel Hill.
Sarah Kallis