“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
On August 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, shot three assailants during a Black Lives Matter riot in the wake of a police shooting. Kyle was invited by friends to stand guard outside of local car lots to prevent looting and destruction. When agitators began lighting fires in the vicinity, Kyle ran to the fires with a fire extinguisher and was resultingly isolated from the larger group of those standing guard over the businesses. Rioters pounced on the opportunity to further isolate, verbally assault and threaten him. Kyle had an AR15 rifle strapped around his neck.
When Kyle attempted to flee the scene, he was chased on foot by Joseph Rosenbaum, a white man, and a convicted child rapist. While running away, someone in the crowd fired off a gunshot. With Rosenbaum bearing down on Kyle and lunging for his rifle, Kyle turned, and falling back he fired off 4 shots that killed Joseph Rosenbaum. He proceeded to run away while placing a call to report the shooting. A mob, now enraged, proceeded to chase him further.
Kyle was chased down and drop-kicked by a member of the mob. He fell to the ground and fired off a couple of shots missing this individual. A convicted domestic abuser, Anthony Huber, ran in and proceeded to beat Kyle with a skateboard while trying to grab his rifle. He was shot once and stumbled away before collapsing. The third assailant named Gage Grosskreutz ran in with a pistol in hand and pointed it at Kyle before Kyle fired off a shot hitting Gage in the gun arm and this is where the violence ended. Kyle stood up and ran away. He placed his hands in the air and approached law enforcement to turn himself in.
On August 27, 2020, just two days after the shooting and before any investigation, the District Attorney brought 6 charges against Kyle Rittenhouse including first-degree intentional homicide. On November 19, 2021, a jury unanimously found Kyle Rittenhouse innocent of all charges. Anyone who had bothered to watch the video footage of the entire incident understood that this was a clear-cut case of self-defense and that the charges brought without investigation were a matter of political posturing during a tumultuous time.
Many readers are already familiar with the details of this case. It received an extensive amount of coverage in the corporate media. The reason that I have recounted them here, however, is that if you hadn’t watched the video footage of the incident or the trial and only relied on the corporate press for your understanding of the case, you may have been led to believe any number of details surrounding the case that were false or misrepresented.
The most common representation of this case by the corporate media was of a white supremacist child, who illegally crossed state lines to put an illegal assault rifle in the face of minority protestors as an act of vigilantism. Joy Reid of MSNBC referred to Kyle Rittenhouse as a modern-day slave catcher that valued property over people. MSNBC host Tiffany Cross called Rittenhouse a “little murderous white supremacist.” GoFundMe banned contributions to Kyle’s legal defense, and a Virginia police officer was fired for donating to it. Of Kyle Rittenhouse, then-candidate Joe Biden depicted him as a white supremacist militia member in his campaign videos.
No evidence exists or was presented to suggest that Kyle Rittenhouse was in any way motivated by race or a member of a militia. Kyle and his assailants were all white. Kyle stayed in Kenosha on the weekends where his father lived, and the rifle he was in possession of was legal for a 17-year-old in Kenosha. At no point was Kyle Rittenhouse an aggressor in any of these scenarios. In all of them, he is retreating until cornered and no longer able to retreat.
The press knew all of these things. Yet at every point, the corporate press, celebrities, and even President Joe Biden wasted no opportunity to sell hate, racism, bigotry, and division throughout this ordeal. They weaved context into the event where it was simply unjustified. The disinformation that they imparted to the public was so blatant, that it cannot be dismissed as merely hasty or negligent. They have been active participants in sowing discord and strife in society.
These antagonists are culpable for any unrest that will result from their actions, and we may already have seen the first act of blowback. Two days after the Rittenhouse verdict a rapper named Darrell Brooks, Jr. that goes by the name of MathBoi Fly ran his car through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing 5 and injuring 40. While the press has been quick to chalk this up to fleeing an unrelated altercation, nobody chased said individual through parade barricades, and on now-scrubbed social media, he shared black nationalist posts, called for knocking white people the f*** out, and rapping about how to run people over. The week prior, Brooks was released on $1,000 bond after running over a girlfriend in a gas station parking lot.
Despite the best efforts of the American Pravda to write a divisive narrative for political gain, true justice won out in this case. Kyle Rittenhouse will likely win any defamation suit that he brings, just as Nicholas Sandman did against CNN, the Washington Post, and others, who apparently didn’t learn their lesson the last time they slandered and libeled an innocent young man as a white supremacist. One can pray that eventually, civil financial repercussions will make such naked propaganda cost-prohibitive in the future if no criminal liability can be established. Without some form of punitive action, the Pravda will continue to spread divisive disinformation, and societal reconciliation doesn’t stand a chance.