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Amber Ruffin tears up in powerful speech after Kyle Rittenhouse verdict: 'You matter'

Amber Ruffin tears up in powerful speech after Kyle Rittenhouse verdict: 'You matter'

Comedian Amber Ruffin called out the justice system and told minorities in America that they mattered.

Comedian Amber Ruffin fought back tears as she delivered an emotional speech about the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. The teenager had traveled to a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha with an AR-15 and shot two people dead and injured another, but was found not guilty on all counts in a verdict that shocked many. The verdict sparked a sharp backlash and many said it was just another example of white people being protected by the system. The comedian was about to start Friday’s episode of 'The Amber Ruffin Show' when she decided to address the verdict, saying she has a responsibility to say the things that aren't being said. “There are very big obvious truths that no one wants to say on TV, but I will. I can’t believe I have to say this but…” started Ruffin, fighting back tears.



 

 

After taking a few seconds, she continued, "It’s not OK for a man to grab a gun, travel across state lines, shoot three people and walk free. It’s not OK for the judicial system to be blatantly and obviously stacked against people of color. It’s not OK for there to be an entirely different set of rules for white people.” Ruffin then drew in a sharp breath, and directly addressed her audience, "You matter." It was a powerful moment of television. 



 

 

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 21: Activists protest the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial on November 21, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse, an Illinois teenager, was found not guilty of all charges in the fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and for the shooting and wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020. (Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

 

“I don’t care about Kyle Rittenhouse. I don’t care about that racist judge. I don’t care about how f—–up that jury must be. White people have been getting away with murder since time began. I don’t care about that. I care about you. And I can’t believe I have to say this but: You matter. You matter," she reiterated. Ruffin said the system can defeat you at every turn but that doesn't change the fact that 'you matter.'



 

 

“Every time one of these verdicts come out, it’s easy to feel like you don’t, but I’m here to tell you that you do. You matter. You matter so much that the second that you start to get a sense that you do, a man will grab a gun he shouldn’t have in the first place and travel all the way to another state just to quiet you. That’s the power you have. So don’t forget it,” she concluded to loud cheers from the audience. 



 

 

Rittenhouse faced seven criminal charges for shooting at people during the Kenosha protests, which erupted in the wake of the killing of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police. "Racism runs from the courtroom to the police station to the mayor's office. They all have blood on their hands," said Jacob Blake's uncle in response. Rittenhouse's attorneys successfully argued that he acted in self-defense when he brought an AR-15 to a protest and shot at protestors Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz. Judge Bruce Schroeder, who presided over the case, was criticized for being seemingly biased in Rittenhouse's favor. The prosecution sought to present evidence of him flashing the 'white power' sign used by white supremacists, but Schroeder didn't allow it. He also barred prosecutors from playing a video in which Rittenhouse punched a girl and another, and a video of the teen saying he wished he had an assault rifle so he could shoot at people he believed were shoplifting from a drugstore. By contrast, Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy in Ohio was shot and killed by officers for merely playing with a toy gun, in 2014. The officers were let go without any charges, reported CNN.



 

 

Amber Ruffin, who became popular as a writer-producer for NBC’s "Late Night With Seth Meyers," became a regular on the show, and often speaks on topics related to politics, culture, and social justice issues. Last year, she got her own "Amber Ruffin Show" on Peacock after nabbing an Emmy nomination for writing for a variety series for its freshman season. 



 

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