Rage over the failure of the state of Wisconsin to convict Kyle Rittenhouse did not boil over – as many had feared and others had hoped – into widespread destruction and pandemonium. Why? Because, when all is said and done, the Rittenhouse trial had absolutely nothing to do with race. It is entirely likely that those people, extreme left-wing activists and politicians, who incited and orchestrated the riots, burning, looting, and in some cases, killings, that erupted across America in 2020 in the name of so-called racial justice, woke up on the morning of November 20 with a sense of disappointment.
The deflated emotions they may be feeling do not stem from the acquittal on all charges of 18-year-old Rittenhouse, who was tried in the shooting deaths of two men and the wounding of a third in Kenosha, WA. The real disappointment for them will be that the unrest seen overnight in cities like New York and Portland, OR was, compared to last year, relatively mild.
So, what happened? Though a riot was declared in Portland – which these days doesn’t mean a great deal; one might almost consider that an average Saturday in that city – the verdict in the Rittenhouse trial did not evoke the same level of anger on the streets as last year’s shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha or the fatal shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 and other killings of black men by police that provided fuel to the race-baiters and agitators.
Rittenhouse shot three white men and that in itself makes it a tough sell for extremists trying to pour gasoline on the fires of discontent. Further clouding the issues and disrupting the racial justice narrative is that this young man’s trial was about self-defense and, despite the best efforts of propagandists in the media and the halls of political power, bore no relation to real or perceived “systemic racism.” Rittenhouse did not go to Kenosha on that fateful night in 2020 to participate in a racial struggle. In fact, there is no evidence that he had any political or racial motivations whatsoever to put himself on the streets of that city with an AR-15. He claimed to be there to protect local people and businesses from looters and nothing came to light during the trial to suggest otherwise.
With astoundingly irresponsible lies and shrill hysteria, the people who appear hell-bent on tearing the U.S. apart have tried their level best – both during and after the trial – to place Rittenhouse firmly on one side of the race war they seem determined to bring about. The street activists themselves, though – along with the many who have used unrest as a mere excuse to loot and destroy – clearly did not feel the same level of outrage as they apparently did following Brown’s death or Blake’s shooting or other fatal encounters between police and black men.
Despite their best efforts to make the Rittenhouse trial an extension of the Blake shooting that triggered the Kenosha riots, those driving and stoking racial tensions in America were unsuccessful. Even though certain left-wing media organizations tried hard to downplay – or even to conceal – the fact that the three men Rittenhouse shot were white, it turns out that most Americans, even the ones who need very little excuse to cause chaos, aren’t willing to burn down cities because one white man shot some other white men.
No amount of verbal contortion could make the Rittenhouse case into a racial cause. Perhaps some of those who were out on the streets on November 19 really believed they were there to fight for racial justice. They were wrong. Prejudice was not on trial in Kenosha; self-defense and the Second Amendment were. Ultimately, that is why the left wanted Rittenhouse convicted; the real or imagined oppression experienced by black Americans has, more often than not, been simply an excuse to wage war on American values and freedoms.
~ Read more from Graham J. Noble.