David French described Kyle Rittenhouse’s conduct this way in his illuminating article in The Atlantic:

“He didn’t impose order. He didn’t stop a riot. He left a trail of bodies on the ground, and two of the people he shot were acting on the belief that Rittenhouse himself was an active shooter. He had, after all, just killed a man…without any meaningful training, he was engaged in remarkably dangerous and provocative conduct. But that dangerous and provocative conduct did not eliminate his right of self-defense, and that self-defense claim is the key issue of his trial, not the wisdom of his vigilante presence. But that brings us to the danger of Kyle Rittenhouse as a folk hero. It is one thing to argue that the law is on Rittenhouse’s side—and there is abundant evidence supporting his defense—but it is quite another to hail him as a model for civic resistance.

It was frankly to be expected that an American jury, composed mainly of people who appeared to be white, would acquit a young “brave” hero, as Trump described him, who wanted to protect them from the black hordes. It would have been surprising had they not done that. It is also not surprising that the jury accepted the claim that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense, even though he created the dangerous conditions by showing up where he did not belong with an automatic rifle. Did his victims not have the right to use self-defense to protect themselves against him? That’s how the law, especially in the United States, works when the police and justice officials are also infused with the same mythology. As a result, the law in its majestic manner arranged for Rittenhouse to walk away a free man while 2 men were left to die on the street as a result of his highly unreasonable actions.


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