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Opinion What we can learn from the Rittenhouse trial

Kyle Rittenhouse watches as attorneys for both sides argue which charges can go to the jury during proceedings at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 12.
Kyle Rittenhouse watches as attorneys for both sides argue which charges can go to the jury during proceedings at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 12. (Mark Hertzberg/AP)
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The coverage of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has helped me understand the events that led to death and destruction that day in Kenosha, Wis. I cannot, however, stop thinking about the many enablers in our society that facilitated these events: easy arms acquisition by minors, the perception that armed mobs and peaceful protest can coexist, encouraging adults who think untrained minors can do the police’s job, and the list goes on.   

I hope this trial and the discourse around it can bring more attention and resources to productive engagement of youths in our communities: adults who can create opportunities for youths to discuss conflicts and dissents in a calm and peaceful way; police who can constructively discuss violence prevention; mentors who can engage youths in understanding civility and responsibilities in a democracy; family members who can support and protect vulnerable youths; and role models who can highlight the many things that young people can do with their lives.  

Sudha Sivaram, Potomac

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