Bruce Schroeder, the judge heading the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, has drawn flak for making an off-color joke about Asian food inside the courtroom this week.
What he said: In response to an inquiry for a lunch break on Thursday, Schroeder reportedly said “I hope the Asian food isn’t coming … isn’t on one of those boats from Long Beach Harbor.”
- The 75-year-old judge was likely referring to congestion issues in California ports, which have caused delayed shipments of imported goods from Asia, according to CNN.
- Schroeder, who serves at the Kenosha County Circuit Court, is said to be the longest-serving active judge in Wisconsin.
- He previously ignited controversy after saying that those Rittenhouse had shot last year in August cannot be called “victims,” as per USA Today.
Reactions: Schroeder’s “joke” drew criticism from members and allies of the Asian American community who charge that it was racist.
- “It harms our community and puts us in the crosshairs of microaggressions as well as actual physical violence,” Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) President John Yang told CNN. He added that “any Asian American that sees or hears his statement will understand that he is making fun of or mocking our community.”
- Stanford professor Michele Dauber described Schroeder as a “biased judge” who just made “a thinly-veiled anti-Asian comment.” “Because all Asian food comes from China like the boats … what a bigot,” Dauber tweeted.