Kyle Rittenhouse Judge's Odd Joke Is Not Going Over Well

People are calling it anti-Asian
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2021 2:44 AM CST
Kyle Rittenhouse Judge Makes Odd Joke About Asian Food
Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. Schroeder discusses how closing arguments and jury instructions will be handled after both sides closed in the Kyle Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.   (Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP)

The judge at Kyle Rittenhouse's intentional homicide trial made an ill-advised joke before the court's lunch break Thursday. "I hope the Asian food isn't coming... isn't on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor," said Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder. CNN reports observers in the courtroom were "confused" by the "strange" joke, and since it started making headlines, many outside observers have expressed not just confusion but anger. Some interpreted the odd joke as placing blame on Asian people for the supply-chain backlogs currently plaguing the country. The defense wrapped up its case Thursday, with closing arguments expected to begin Monday.

Criticism has poured in about the comment, which "harms our community and puts us in the crosshairs of micro aggressions as well as actual physical violence," says John Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Tweeted a Stanford law professor, "The biased judge in the Rittenhouse trial just made a thinly-veiled anti-Asian comment. Because all Asian food comes from China like the boats haha what a bigot."

That wasn't Schroeder's only eyebrow-raising behavior of the day; in honor of Veterans' Day, he also asked the courtroom to applaud the single veteran in the room—an expert witness for the defense. The move could have boosted the witness's credibility with the jury, USA Today reports. The New York Times takes a look at Schroeder, who has been making waves since before the trial even began, here. (Read more Kyle Rittenhouse stories.)

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