Posted by Curt on 17 November, 2021 at 2:51 pm. 10 comments already!


Here is what I thought was true about Kyle Rittenhouse during the last days of August 2020 based on mainstream media accounts: The 17-year-old was a racist vigilante. I thought he drove across state lines, to Kenosha, Wisc., with an illegally acquired semi-automatic rifle to a town to which he had no connection. I thought he went there because he knew there were Black Lives Matter protests and he wanted to start a fight. And I thought that by the end of the evening of August 25, 2020, he had done just that, killing two peaceful protestors and injuring a third.
It turns out that account was mostly wrong.

Unless you’re a regular reader of independent reporting — Jacob Siegel of Tablet Magazine and Jesse Singal stand out for being ahead of the pack (and pilloried, like clockwork, for not going along with the herd) — you would have been served a pack of lies about what happened during those terrible days in Kenosha. And you would have been shocked over the past two weeks as the trial unfolded in Wisconsin as every core claim was undermined by the evidence of what actually happened that night.


This wasn’t a disinformation campaign waged by Reddit trolls or anonymous Twitter accounts. It was one pushed by the mainstream media and sitting members of Congress for the sake of an expedient political narrative—a narrative that asked people to believe, among other unrealities, that blocks of burning buildings somehow constituted peaceful protests.

Take this, for instance, from CNN:


So, too, this statement posted by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, which perfectly summarizes what was, until the vertigo-inducing trial, the mainstream position on the matter.

But just as in the cases of Covington Catholic’s Nick Sandmann or Jussie Smollet or the “Russia-collusion” narrative, almost none of the details holding up that politically convenient position (boys in MAGA hats are bigoted; racism is as much a blight as it has always been; Trump conspired with Putin) were true.
Take each in turn:
First, the idea that Kyle Rittenhouse was a white supremacist.

There was zero evidence that Rittenhouse was connected to white supremacist groups at the time of the shooting. He was a Trump supporter, yes, though he wasn’t old enough to vote. He was an admirer of police and firefighters, also true. He was a lifeguard. He’d been part of a “police explorer” program, and was also a firefighter/EMT cadet with the fire department in Antioch, Illinois, where he lived with his mom and two sisters.

That Rittenhouse had no connection to Kenosha.

In addition to having a job in Kenosha, Rittenhouse testified that much of his family lived there: his father, his grandma, his aunt and uncle, and his cousins. He also testified that on the morning of the shootings, he went downtown with his sister and friends to see the damage done by rioting the night before, and spent about two hours cleaning graffiti off of the local high school.

That Rittenhouse drove across state lines with a gun that night to oppose the protests.

This was a line that we heard constantly—never mind that Antioch, Illinois, is about 20 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the trial has shown, Kyle Rittenhouse did not travel to Kenosha to oppose protesters. He testified under oath that he had traveled to Kenosha for his job the night before the shootings, and was staying at a friend’s house.

So what about the gun?

Rittenhouse didn’t bring the gun to Kenosha. The gun was purchased for Rittenhouse months earlier by a friend and stored in Kenosha at the home of that friend’s stepfather, as then-17-year-old Rittenhouse was too young to purchase it.


But it was illegal for him to even have the gun given that he wasn’t yet 18 years old, right?


That is not true. Under Wisconsin law, 17-year-olds are prohibited from carrying rifles only if they are short-barreled. The weapon Rittenhouse was carrying was not short-barreled. Which is why, during closing arguments, the court threw out the charge.

He was out there looking for a fight, and he got one: He killed two people and severely wounded a third.

Unless there’s evidence we haven’t seen, there’s no clear indication that Rittenhouse sought to kill anyone. What we know is that he showed up with a first aid kit and an AR-15-style rifle. Video evidence, and Rittenhouse’s own testimony, indicates that he offered medical assistance to protestors and ran with a fire extinguisher to try to put out fires—and that later, after being pursued, he killed two people, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and severely wounded a third. Both video evidence and the only living person that Rittenhouse shot that night, Gaige Grosskreutz, undermined the idea that Rittenhouse was simply an aggressor looking for a fight. During cross examination Grosskreutz acknowledged that Rittenhouse shot him only after Grosskreutz had pointed his own gun at Rittenhouse. Here’s how it went down:

Prosecutor: When you were standing three to five feet from him with your arms up in the air, he never fired, right?
Grosskreutz: Correct.
Prosecutor: It wasn’t until you pointed your gun at him, advanced on him with your gun—now your hand’s down pointed at him—that he fired, right?
Grosskreutz: Correct.
Had the people Rittenhouse shot, as Pressley claims, “assembled to affirm the value, dignity, and worth of Black lives”?
Watch this video of Joseph Rosenbaum and ask yourself if that is how you would describe this person:

Rosenbaum, 36, had spent years of his life in prison because he was a convicted sex offender. The morning he was killed, Rosenbaum was released from a Milwaukee hospital where he had been admitted after a suicide attempt. Ryan Balch, another witness for the prosecution, testified that Rosenbaum threatened both Balch and Rittenhouse saying, “If I catch you guys alone tonight, I’m gonna fucking kill you.”

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