To see the state of American society today is to witness the celebration of murder. Watching the far right end of the political spectrum it is shameful to see how far we have sunk in four years. With no denunciation, or even a mention from the president about his actions, a teenage boy who allegedly carried out a murderous spree is suddenly being hailed a hero by some. And how sad is it that those who say these horrible words won’t be condemned or suffer any consequences. It is a tone of divisiveness that has been well established over the last four years.
And it is a tone is set from the top, and although it’s impossible to make a direct connection, the Washington Post writes:
“It’s facile to assume that we can identify that spur as the rhetoric offered by President Trump and his reelection campaign. But it’s impossible not to notice how that rhetoric echoes in what appears to have happened in Kenosha. The night before those protesters were shot, five different speakers at the Republican National Convention, including the president’s son, decried uncontrolled violent mobs that they claim have taken over the nation’s streets.
“…Donald Trump Jr. told viewers that “anarchists have been flooding our streets and Democrat mayors are ordering the police to stand down” — both untrue claims but ones which might understandably prompt a credulous person to believe that they themselves would have to stand in opposition to the horde.”
We may never know the motivation behind the madness, but the the environment exists in the right-wing media echo chamber to not only celebrate the violence but for large corporations like Fox to exploit America’s divisions for profit.
As for the events in Kenosha, it’s hard to imagine how anyone can justify a 17-year-old walking the streets openly carrying an assault rifle. It’s even harder to imagine how you could justify someone like that shooting three people. But that’s exactly what some with media megaphones are trying to do in the case of accused Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter aren’t just saying it was okay that he gunned down people, they are actually celebrating him. Coulter is saying she wants Rittenhouse to be her president and Carlson is saying the teen “had to maintain order when no one else would.”
I know Ann Coulter is a provocateur, I know she says horrific things just to get attention, but this is a big deal. Open celebration of militia members murdering unarmed protesters. It’s hard to put into words just how bad this is. pic.twitter.com/6xrXPVBebB
— Erika Onlyfans Hoedewald (@erikaheidewald) August 27, 2020
As for Carlson’s comments, former Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, Robert Reich wrote: “If they don’t take action after this, every one of Fox News’s executives, directors, and advertisers is complicit in Tucker Carlson’s racist, murderous rants.”
I will answer @TuckerCarlson. My daughter was killed by an 18 year with an AR 15. Just walked into her school. Tucker, you are a fucking lunatic who will get people killed. I hope advertisers dropp you immediately today. You should be removed for the safety of our kids. https://t.co/uclTKu2zkZ
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) August 27, 2020
For the record, the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal writes that Rittenhouse “was not old enough to legally carry the assault-style rifle he had, according to statutes, which say anyone under 18 who “goes armed” with any deadly weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.” Furthermore, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee adds that “In this case, police could have asked Rittenhouse how old he was and stopped him before he allegedly pulled the trigger.”
But these facts aren’t swaying certain people from putting Rittenhouse on a pedestal. Former baseball player Aubrey Huff also shared his opinion, in a now-deleted tweet.
The @SFGiants decision to disinvite Aubrey Huff from the 2010 World Series reunion because he "made multiple comments on social media that are unacceptable and run counter to the values of our organization" has aged well.
Aubrey Huff thinks a murderer is a national treasure. pic.twitter.com/GvIjZSP3Gd
— Andrew Lam (@atllam) August 27, 2020
There are also those throwing around the word “hero” and “great kid.”
Kyle Rittenhouse was cleaning up trash and carrying a medical kit. He was armed in case something like this happened. Good thing he was. He's a hero and a great kid. pic.twitter.com/XsnkiNkZMC
— Mike Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) August 27, 2020
Meanwhile today, we are still learning more about the Illinois teenager. Buzzfeed reports:
Rittenhouse’s social media presence is filled with him posing with weapons, posting “Blue Lives Matter,” and supporting Trump for president. Footage from the Des Moines, Iowa, rally on Jan. 30 shows Rittenhouse feet away from the president, in the front row, to the left of the podium.
The Kenosha Shooting Suspect Was In The Front Row Of A Trump Rally In January: https://t.co/R7HLlcu712
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) August 26, 2020
Much else is still unknown about Rittenhouse, who was charged Wednesday with first-degree intentional homicide after two people were killed and another seriously wounded by gunfire at the demonstrations. But brief accounts from neighbors and local institutions paint the picture of a high school dropout who viewed law enforcement officers as his personal heroes.
So much so that, when massive protests, looting and fires broke out in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday, he crossed state lines to offer his support to local policemen — at times, speaking as if their duties were his, too.
A reporter from the right-wing site, The Daily Caller actually interviewed the suspect before the shooting. Rittenhouse told him his “job” was to protect a local business.
I interviewed the alleged shooter before the violence started.
Full video coming soon: pic.twitter.com/G3dVOJozN7
— Richie🎥McG🍿 (@RichieMcGinniss) August 26, 2020