I went to school in Kenosha and grew up in one town over. Sadly, nothing about this news story surprises me.
This same thing happened when I was working in Michigan the summer of the riots after four young, black boys were wrongly beaten.
One of those rural area-big trucks-with guns and flags pulled a gun on me when I was clearly just a bit too dark from the summer sun to be in the part of town I was in. When I got to my car to leave, they chased me for over 45 minutes until I was able to lose them. I was 19.
These areas of the Midwest have some of the same underlying systemic race issues as the South. During wartime, a lot of people from the south who were unable to fight in the war were brought up to work in the factories of Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois.
Their segregationist confederate culture, which is putting it politely, came with the emigration. This is a large contributing factor of what we are seeing playing out in the racially charged current events today. I’m sure nearly a half a year in shelter in place hasn’t helped with the boiling point within many of these struggling rust-bucket communities as well. I hope that something good can come out of this tragedy and that it won’t cause further division in neighborhoods that are already segregated.