Each week Liberty Nation straps on its Personal Protective Equipment and dives into the TwitterZone to bring you the biggest news, the most outlandish arguments, and the real Zeitgeist of what is taking place in the internet’s wildest frontier.
This past week has steered public discourse in a new direction. As with so many of the recent riots, tensions erupted upon breaking news of a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where police officers shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake during an attempted arrest outside his girlfriend’s home. As with other police shootings of unarmed black men nowadays, citizens began to protest the supposed unjust use of force, decrying it as another example of the conflict between racial minorities and the police. The facts about the shooting would not be revealed until later.
As it turned out, Blake’s presumed ex-girlfriend had called the police on him for trespassing, and he had resisted arrest and reached for a knife on his car floor when he was shot.
Twitter Fury With a Twist
The majority of the drama on Twitter did not stem from outrage over the Kenosha confrontation, as it turned out. Instead, the events surrounding a 17-year-old counter-protester named Kyle Rittenhouse stirred up leftist ire on Twitter for his actions and subsequent arrest on Wednesday, August 26.
Rittenhouse has been charged in a police investigation involving the shooting of three protesters during the outbreak of violence in Kenosha. On Tuesday night, rioters were attempting to start fires outside of local businesses, with their efforts being countered by what appeared to be members of a militia armed with weapons and fire extinguishers. The teenager was recorded on video saying that his responsibility was to protect the local businesses and help people, claiming he was armed for self-defense, but that his primary interest was in treating the wounded and defending the businesses nearby.
As reported by multiple news outlets, Rittenhouse was confronted and attacked by two different groups of protesters. The first time, he was chased into a parking lot where he discharged his weapon at one man, killing him. He then called a friend and ran away, apparently intending to turn himself in to police. Rittenhouse was eventually chased by another, larger group of protesters, who appeared to have the intention of attacking the teenager and seizing his weapon after previously witnessing him defend himself.
Rittenhouse would trip during his escape, shooting two individuals attempting to attack him and take his rifle while he was down on the ground, killing one and injuring the other. After getting back to his feet, the teenager walked further down the street and approached police officers with his hands up, in an act of surrender. Police drove right past him however, unaware that he had just shot someone. Mr. Rittenhouse was arrested later in his home state of Illinois, where an extradition hearing is set for Sept. 25.
Mob Rule Takes Over
Immediately after the incident was reported, Twitter decried the shooter as a white supremacist, an example of vigilante justice in Trump’s America, and an irresponsible teenager more obsessed with protecting property than human life. Leftists on Twitter immediately went up in arms at the optics of a Trump supporter shooting protesters in self-defense. Interestingly enough, most critics pointed out that Rittenhouse didn’t need to be in Kenosha, since he lived out of town. They argued that the teenager had come into the city seeking out violence, defending property that wasn’t his.
The hypocrisy from blue checkmarks on Twitter is astounding. For one, videos of Rittenhouse being chased and attacked are all over social media, but instead, they choose to focus only on the inaccurate descriptions being published by their favorite leftist news outlets, such as The Daily Beast and HuffPost. Why aren’t members of Antifa attacked for coming from out of town to incite violence? Why is it only a problem when Trump supporters and everyday citizens come together to stop looters and rioters from tearing apart their city?
It is considered okay for violent extremists to co-opt peaceful protests and start riots throughout cities across America, but only when citizens defend themselves and fight back against the destruction and violence does it seem to draw the ire of Twitter activists.
Read more from Jose Backer.