I'm sure the very last thing Kyle Rittenhouse wanted was to become a living meme, but sadly that's what's happened to him. America is as divided over his case as it has been over President Trump - so much so that it's not far-fetched to call it "Rittenhouse Derangement Syndrome", after the similarly weird and wacky "Trump Derangement Syndrome". To cite just a few examples over the weekend:
- The star of "The Mandalorian" TV series, Pedro Pascal, tweeted: "Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 27, murdered August 25th, 2020. Rest In Peace." This, despite abundant evidence (including video and audio recordings) presented at Rittenhouse's trial that proved they were the instigators and aggressors in the conflict, not its victims. It's as if the evidence didn't even enter into Mr. Pascal's consciousness. He must have had very selective sight and hearing to miss it. They were not murdered: they were shot in self-defense, and the court verdict confirmed that.
- Mark Ruffalo, another actor, tweeted: "We come together to mourn the lives lost to the same racist system that devalues Black lives and devalued the lives of Anthony and JoJo. #ReimagineKenosha". Sorry, Mr. Ruffalo, but 'Anthony' and 'JoJo' were convicted felons who were actively engaged in felonious conduct. Their race had nothing to do with their actions. They paid the price for their crime (assault, rioting) when they were shot by the person they were assaulting. Again, video and audio evidence makes that undeniable and beyond doubt. To ignore it is to ignore reality.
- A social media director for the Democratic Party in an Illinois county posted a series of tweets in response to last night's attack on a Christmas parade in Kenosha. Referring to the attacker, she said: "Living in Wisconsin, he probably felt threatened ... I’m sure he didn’t want to hurt anyone ... He came to help people." Later she added, "The blood of Kyle Rittenhouse’s victims is on the hands of Wisconsin citizens, even the children ... It’s sad people died, but when you open the door to vigilante justice, everyone seems threatening ... Wisconsin put that bad energy out there. It came back real fast." Again, she appears to be in denial of the reality so clearly spelled out during Rittenhouse's trial. It's as if she didn't bother to watch any of the evidence, and isn't interested in what it proved. Her ideologically warped and twisted perspective isn't even nudged by the facts. Instead, she finds amusement, even perhaps a diabolical pleasure, in the murder of children last night for what appear to be politically motivated reasons. I'm very, very glad that I haven't been infected by her brand of mental derangement.
- A great many anti-Rittenhouse tweets and posts have described those he shot as black, and claimed that the outcome of his trial is evidence that the judicial system is biased and unfair. In fact, as we all know (at least, all those of us who bothered to read the evidence and watch the video clips ourselves), none of them were black. They were all Caucasian. A white man with a gun shot three white protesters who were attacking him. Where's the racism in that?
- Amber Ruffin, speaking on her show on NBC, said: "It's not okay for a man to grab a rifle, travel across state lines and shoot three people and then walk free. It's not okay for the judicial system to be blatantly and obviously stacked against people of color. It's not okay for there to be an entirely different set of rules for white people. But I don't care about Kyle Rittenhouse. I don't care about that racist judge. And I don't care about how f***ed up that jury must be. White people have been getting away with murder since time began. I don't care about that ... Every time one of these verdicts come out, it's easy to feel like you don't, but I'm here to tell you that you do, you matter. You matter so much that the second you start to get a sense that you do, a man will grab a gun that he shouldn't have in the first place, and travel all the way to another state just to quiet you." To me, that entire diatribe is so far from reality, so devoid of facts, that I have to question whether Ms. Ruffin and I inhabit the same planet. She obviously believes in, and feels strongly about, what she said - but I look at the evidence-based reality of our situation, and I can't recognize where she's coming from. The Rittenhouse case dealt with only one race, and it wasn't black. It had nothing to do with her racially tinged outlook on life, but she can't see that. She's incapable of seeing that... and that bodes very ill indeed for the future of America, given how many people watch her show and clearly agree with her sentiments.
For liberals there are only two acceptable explanations for the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse: racism and (or) the lack of gun controls depriving private citizens of their Second Amendment rights.
. . .
Racism? Kyle Rittenhouse is white. The two men he shot and killed — and the one he wounded — were all white. Yet President Biden and too many other nitwits in Hollywood, the media, professional sports, and among the hoi polloi Democrats insist that Rittenhouse is a white supremacist despite the lack of a scintilla of evidence that he is or was.
The liberals’ insistence that the law, the trial, and its outcome are tainted by racism is risible. But, to them, it has to be true because they have only two frames of reference, racism, and gun control.
There's more at the link.
On the other side of the equation, there are some very strong reactions as well. I'll mention only two here. First, the brother of one of the victims of the late and unlamented Joseph Rosenbaum writes on Reddit:
So sick of people praising my brothers rapist
I'm not going to talk about the Rittenhouse Case verdict or my opinion on it, but instead I wanna reflect on the insane amount of people praising Rosenbaum, including celebrities.
In the Early 2000s, my younger brother was sexually abused with I think about a dozen other kids by Rosenbaum. The court cases are sealed because they/we were minors so I won't be providing the names of any of them or the exact charges. He and every other victim deserves privacy. We already had batshit crazy conservatives try to unseal the case so they could tout around the victims stories as a "gotcha" moment.
Anyways, the f***er plead out of like 11 counts of child rape (there were more accusations, they just never made it to court) and only got like 10 years (ended up only being 8). My brother and I are late 20s/Early 30s now and he has mostly moved on but up until he was 14 he would cry almost every night and ask to sleep In the same bed as me or my sister or mom. I can only imagine what the other victims are going through.
Now, somehow he made his way to Kenosha and was shot dead. Whatever. Couldn't care less. Also couldn't care less about the trial or the verdict of Kyle.
What gets me is all these f***ing celebrities calling him cutesy f***ing nicknames and talking like him like he was such a great human being. "RIP Joseph" "Such a kind soul" "He didn't deserve this" Pedro Pascal is a good actor but somehow saw fit to call this POS a Hero.
What finally made me lose it was Mark Ruffalo's "RIP JoJo" What the whole f***? Literally petnaming him. I'm so f***ing angry. This man was a terror who deserved hell 20 years ago and major celebrities are making him to be a Martyr.
My brother is acting like he's ok through this whole thing and he has been on a media blackout. I on the other hand have been listening since day one and am so sick of people defending a pedophile. I'm so goddamned disappointed in our politicians and celebrities and athletes who all have acted like he was a hero.
Larry Correia embarks on one of his well-known rants, fisking an idiot who lies through his teeth while completely misrepresenting the legal situation surrounding Kyle Rittenhouse's actions. Here's a short excerpt. Text in italics is from the idiot; normal text is Larry's response.
Legally, if you are in the process of a commission of a crime, it negates your ability to claim self defense if you kill someone. As in, it can’t even be entered as your official defense in court.
– except this trial needed to determine if KR was in fact in the commission of a crime or not. Related, and I’m surprised this guy didn’t bring it up is the claim that the judge was “biased” because he wouldn’t let the rioters be called “victims.” Well duh, that’s because the purpose of a case like this is for the jury to decide if they are victims or assailants.
On that note, since I’m shooting down all the other stupid talking points, here’s a common one. Whenever some prog says the judge was biased, ask how, and then watch them choke. If they respond, it’ll be the “victims” bit, or it’ll be that the judge yelled at the prosecutors for saying that invoking your 5th Amendment rights makes you guilty, or when they got caught not giving the defense the right evidence. But none of that was bias. That was embarrassing levels of prosecutorial misconduct. They didn’t deserve to be yelled at, they deserve to be disbarred, and then sent to jail.
It is similar to getting rear-ended at a red light through zero fault of your own, but you were driving without a license or insurance. It automatically makes you at fault because you weren’t even legally allowed to be driving.
– as you will see, this guy loves to torture analogies. Too bad they don’t actually apply to this case.
That 17 year old in Kenosha had committed two crimes and was not even legally allowed to open carry the rifle he used to shoot three people. This means that he legally cannot claim self defense.
– Demonstrably false. He was legally allowed to be carrying that rifle in Wisconsin. So that whole opening argument was moot. The weapons charge was dropped because the Wisconsin law did in fact allow KR to carry that gun, in that way, in that place.
I’m glad he didn’t bring up the whole hE cRoSsEd sTaTe lInEs!! talking point though, because that’s just stupid. He drove in from the suburbs to a place where he works and a bunch of his close family live.
Another key discussion is the Castle Doctrine
– thus begins a super long digression into a law which doesn’t really have anything to do with the KR case in an attempt to sound smart to low information types.
Some of you may be vaguely familiar with it,
-More than this jackass, obviously.
Again, more at the link. Recommended reading.
I want you to notice two things about the last two excerpts posted above. They're solidly based on facts and the law. There's no speculation, no jumping to conclusions, no second-guessing the court or the verdict. They're grounded in reality - something that's far from evident in the anti-Rittenhouse comments quoted earlier.
That's what I look for in deciding whether someone is worth listening to, or just another idiot living in cloud cuckoo land (whether they're on the left or the right of the political spectrum). I don't want feelings: I want objective, verifiable, undeniable facts. To quote the late, great Robert A. Heinlein:
What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
It's not just the "loony left" that ignore the facts. The right has more than enough of its own loonies to deal with. When you hear someone rant about "niggers" or "the Joos", or posting anti-semitic or anti-black cartoons, or assigning blame for any crime or wrongdoing or tragedy to a particular racial or ethnic group, you should have learned the hard way by now that they're always wrong. It's never one race or ethnic group behind anything like that. It's our fallen, sinful human nature - and if you believe our nature isn't that way, you know nothing about life at all. Even if you reject any belief in God, if you deny the existence of objective evil, and the capacity of any human being to act in an evil way when there's sufficient pressure or provocation... you don't know what you're talking about. The most ordinary of people can become monsters, and frequently have. I've seen far too much of that reality, as regular readers of this blog will know (and, yes, it applies to me, too; it applies to each and every one of us). We saw it in World War II, on all sides of the fighting. It cannot be denied.
Furthermore, one can't blame an entire race or group or whatever for the actions of individuals. There may be (no, there certainly are) criminals and evil people in every race and ethnicity and skin color - but there are also good people, even saints, in those same communities. To tar everybody with the same brush is to ignore reality yet again. If anyone blames a group for the evils they see around them, without acknowledging that reality, you may be sure that they haven't thought things through, and their perspective on reality is fatally flawed.
What's more, responding to evil by doing evil oneself is to make yourself as guilty as the original perpetrator(s). There's legitimate self-defense, and then there's murder. Both may involve the same actions, but both are not morally or ethically or legally equal, as the Rittenhouse verdict shows yet again. It's a tired old saw that "two wrongs don't make one right" - yet many of us seem incapable of applying it. We'd rather blame Rittenhouse for objectifying all that we see as wrong with "the system", even if he had nothing whatsoever to do with those wrongs.
So, when we see these extremist reactions to current events, let's take a step back and a deep breath, and look for the facts. They are our only reliable guide. It's not about our interpretation of the facts, or the spin we put upon them - it's what they actually tell us about reality. Far too many people won't do that... and the polarization we currently see all around us is the result.