In a shocking display of both-sidesism, Fox News host Will Cain defended the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who was mistakenly shot by 84-year-old Andrew Lester after ringing the wrong doorbell. The tragic incident took place in Kansas City, and Cain’s attempt to dismiss any possible racial motivations in the case is deeply troubling.
The story is undeniably heartbreaking: a young man, just 16 years old, goes to the wrong address to pick up his siblings and ends up being shot by the elderly homeowner. It’s easy to empathize with both parties involved, but Cain’s insistence that there is “zero evidence that it is racist” comes off as a hasty dismissal of any potential racial biases in the situation.
Cain’s own advice to “reserve judgment” and wait for the facts seems hypocritical, as he seems eager to exonerate the shooter before all the information is available. He chooses to believe Lester’s account, which claims that Yarl pulled on the door handle, without considering the victim’s perspective.
Yarl’s version of events, as he told the police, was that he did not pull on the door handle and was waiting after ringing the bell when the door opened, and he was shot in the head and then in the arm. He also reported hearing a voice saying, “Don’t come around here.” Cain’s eagerness to accept Lester’s story without considering Yarl’s side is a disservice to the truth.
Even Andrew Lester’s grandson acknowledged that his grandfather’s actions were his responsibility, and that the fear and paranoia stoked by the 24-hour news cycle and wild conspiracy theories had not helped his mental state. Yet, Cain appears to endorse the idea that fear is an adequate defense for shooting or even murdering people.
Cain’s implication that seeing a Black teen at your door justifies shooting him and that it’s not racist is deeply disturbing. As progressive, young readers, we must challenge such narratives and demand fair and accurate representation of the facts, especially when it comes to matters of life and death.