Kyle Rittenhouse judge makes ‘racist’ joke about Asian food in court

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Kyle Rittenhouse judge makes 'racist' joke about Asian food in court

The Wisconsin judge in Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial has been criticized for making a joke about Asian food in the courtroom that some denounced as racist.

“I hope the Asian food isn’t coming … isn’t on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor,” Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder said Thursday as court was preparing to adjourn for lunch.

It was an apparent reference to the ongoing supply-chain backlog due to a number of ships waiting to enter California’s Long Beach Harbor port.

Schroeder’s words were slammed as racist by some online, who argued his off-color joke was placing blame on Asians for the large-scale supply-chain issues.

John C. Yang, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, tweeted: “Maybe I’m supposed to applaud him for not saying ‘Oriental food’.”

Judge Bruce Schroeder
Judge Bruce Schroeder made a racially charged joke about Asian food in the courtroom on Nov. 11, 2021.
Sean Krajacic/Pool via REUTERS

“Seriously, this remark can only be seen as a joke at the expense of Asians/Asian Americans. During a trial that clearly has race implications, no less. Definitely not okay,” Yang added.

Others suggested that Schroeder’s comment was meant to imply that food from Asian countries comes to the US via boat.

“Racist, me thinks, the judge, is,” Eric Feigl-Ding, a public health scientist and Asian American immigrant, tweeted.

“And yes it is RACIST. The boats in the harbor are majority boats from Asia. And he said Asian food – which further connects the Asian boats. It’s racist c’mon.

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, sits with his attorney Mark Richard as the day is about to begin at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 12, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Kyle Rittenhouse sits with his attorney Mark Richard as the day is about to begin at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Nov. 12, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images

“Most Chinese-Americans knows the racist idiomatic slang ‘Slow boat to China’ to mock anything that takes a long time. I’m Asian-American immigrant — I heard this crap all the time. It’s racist. He could have just said the lunch was late.”

The judge’s comment came about a week after a juror in the Rittenhouse case was dismissed over a joke they’d made about the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha last year to a bailiff outside court.

“I’ve talked quite a bit about public confidence in the outcome of the trial,” Schroeder told the court of his Nov. 4 decision to dismiss the juror.

“It’s clear that the appearance of bias is present and it would seriously undermine the outcome of the case,” he added.

The juror had allegedly said, “Why did the Kenosha police shoot Jacob Blake 7 times? Because they ran out of bullets.”

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