Another sickening and low moment for all of us

The immediate lionization of Kyle Rittenhouse

This piece appears in my book Lockdown in Hell World.

I have to stop this somewhere but every time I think I’ve said enough a year’s worth of history happens the next day.

I know we’ve each said something like this about a hundred different things in the past couple of years but I don’t think anything has made me feel like the bottom has fallen out more than the immediate lionization of Kyle Rittenhouse the vigilante boy who killed two people and injured a third in the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin amidst the protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Perhaps when I read that the police had handcuffed Blake to his hospital bed despite having paralyzed him by shooting him seven times in the back for nothing. That there was another particularly sickening and low moment for me and for all of us too. But this effort to turn Rittenhouse into a hero has been something to behold.

“How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?” Tucker Carlson said on his program the following night. Numerous fundraisers popped up after the news broke last week including one on the “Christians for Christians” fundraising platform GiveSendGo which I just tried to log on to but it appears to be down perhaps because so many Christians are trying to send him cash.

“Kyle Rittenhouse just defended himself from a brutal attack by multiple members of the far-leftist group ANTIFA— the experience was undoubtedly a brutal one, as he was forced to take two lives to defend his own,” they wrote. They had raised almost $200,000 for him last I saw. Hundred large a scalp.

A second fundraiser by a group called National Association for Gun Rights justified his shooting similarly.

“Kyle was doing his best to protect business owners from losing their entire livelihoods when criminal actors instigated violence against him,” they said. “Unfortunately for them, Kyle was armed with an AR-15 and their rocks, skateboards, and handguns stood no chance against his well placed shots.”

Another effort was set up by the Arizona State University college Republicans group.

“Half of all funds collected this semester for Republicans United will be donated to 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse legal defense fund,” they tweeted. “He does not deserve to have his entire life destroyed because of the actions of violent anarchists during a lawless riot.”

All of which would be bad enough if it didn’t inevitably coil its way through the sewers and up out through the plumbing into the brain of Donald Trump who not only refused to condemn the shooter when asked but in fact justified his actions.

“He was trying to get away from them I guess it looks like,” he said. “And he fell. And then they very violently attacked him . . . I guess he was in very big trouble. He would have been, he probably would have been killed.”

And to think all this time all of our other mass shooters could have just been doing shit like this and gotten a pass. They might have gone out and only killed two or three “Antifa thugs” at a go and they could have become right-wing celebrities overnight. Probably a bad precedent to set here! I wonder if any other potential vigilantes out there will consider the approval of Rittenhouse from the president and vast swaths of the right and think about trying something themselves?

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