The Killer Shed No Tears
In the courthouse when Kyle Rittenhouse squeezed his face up in a grimace that approached sadness, there were no tears. Not a drop. See the dry eyes.
He did look around to see if the jury was buying it.
But here’s now much he really cared: on the night that he pleaded guilty to the murder of two human beings, he smiled as he made the “OK” white power sign to members of the far-right Proud Boys group.
The judge at the trial did not allow the prosecution to use the picture, claiming that he did not know that the Proud Boys were a hate group. He also said that their celebration of Rittenhouse was a “happenstance”.
No doubt, though, he bought into the tearless crying gig.
Left unsaid was an exploration of the circumstances for the trial. Here are the four reasons that Kyle Rittenhouse used for shooting three people and killing two:
1. I was afraid.
Who put him in a situation that made him afraid?
He went on his own. He brought an assault rifle to a chaotic event. Without any training in crowd control, he provoked violent encounters and then said “I’m afraid”.
He’s a vigilante, pure and simple. The trial reveals the weakness of an American justice system that has cut itself off from the values of humanity. The two young men who were killed, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, had aspirations for their lives; dreams that will never be fulfilled. Their families held hands in the courtroom, stunned while hearing the ‘not guilty’ verdicts. Where is their closure?
Huber’s parents made it clear that there is no closure: “Today’s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son. It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street.”
President Biden reportedly said, “I stand by what the jury has to say. The jury system works.”
If he actually said this, then we need look no further for the reason behind his falling popularity numbers. Where is the spine of values that should drive his view? Where is the outrage that this should take place. He should have been standing outside that courtroom with a flaming sword denouncing the crime of that verdict.
No, the jury system did not work. A tortured display of evidence shredding has produced a result that could only happen in racist America: a man who killed two people on camera walks free.
In no other nation would this kind of warping take place: not Canada, Britain, France, Germany…even in countries without much jurisdictional tradition. Can you imagine some wanker in a Russian scuffle killing two people? Putin would say “Get up against this wall, son, this will only take a few seconds… aim, fire!”
Killing Rittenhouse would not help, of course, but putting him behind bars as punishment might help curtail the coming waves of “stand your ground” defence pleas from white gunmen who will now have an Open House in crowded meetings.
They will copy their hero: “I was afraid. But I’m really good, because I cried. See me cry. Set me free.”