• Gabrielle Hendricks

The Fair and Just Acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse

On Nov. 19, 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Ill. was found not guilty on two charges of first-degree homicide for fatally shooting two rioters during the Jacob Blake protest of August 2020 in Kenosha, Wis. The three weeks of the State of Wisconsin v Rittenhouse trial were filled with media manipulation, online bullying and character defamation of Rittenhouse, despite him being the true victim of violence.


On Aug. 25, 2020, Rittenhouse attended the Kenosha, Wis. protest, two days after its start. The protest was over the death of Jacob Blake, a black man who was shot by the police in the city. There were two civilian groups partaking in the protest, Black Lives Matter and the counter group, Kenosha Guard. The Kenosha Guard (or the militia) was started on Facebook. They are pro-cops and claimed to attend the protest to defend city property that rioters would vandalize.


Rittenhouse is also pro-cops and even had “blue lives matter” in his Tik Tok bio. Rittenhouse claimed to come to the riot to help protect his community and provide aid to those who needed it on either side. From the facts stated in court, he seemed to be there for the reasons he claimed, despite the media’s criticisms.


Media manipulation has surrounded the Rittenhouse case from its start on Nov. 1, with sources painting Kyle as a white supremacist looking for trouble. The popular criticisms Rittenhouse has faced from the public include not belonging to the Kenosha community, crossing state lines with a firearm and being a privileged white male who can get away with crime. These criticisms are skewed and taken out of context due to the mainstream, social justice warrior culture.


The people who were killed by Rittenhouse are also being painted as martyrs despite their heinous behaviors and not being actual activists. Many onlookers, especially on social media, have gone with the news information released about Rittenhouse, instead of searching for the real information themselves.


Rittenhouse did technically reside in Antioch with his mother and two sisters but he did belong to the Kenosha community because that is where his father, Michael lived. Rittenhouse was even life guarding during the summer of the riot in Kenosha. He had not physically crossed state lines during Aug 25, he had been staying with a friend in the Kenosha community.


Rittenhouse saw that his second home was being terrorized during the riots and felt that he needed to protect his city. The reason Rittenhouse had a firearm was not to attack people but to protect himself, which is what he did when he was attacked. He is seen as villain for having a weapon and has become the poster child for white, domestic terrorism despite BLM rioters carrying firearms also.


Rittenhouse is the opposite of a privileged white male getting away with crimes. For one, he comes from a humble background and has worked multiple jobs, including custodian work to help support his family. He also does a lot for his community such as lifeguarding and EMT volunteering. He furthered his community service by going to protect a car business from terrorism in Kenosha after the owner asked for his help. He not only served the car owner, but also gave medical assistance to people hurt during the riot. Clarifying the information regarding Rittenhouse’s personal life and his actions before him shooting his attackers goes to show his sincerity and good intentions.


The two men killed by Rittenhouse were Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. Both were white males, which further proves Rittenhouse was not racially motivated to kill them. Rosenbaum was also not an activist, he verbally and physically threatened Rittenhouse. He told Rittenhouse and Kenosha Guard members, “I’m going to cut your hearts out and kill you f*cking n*ggers.” The man was clearly mentally deranged, and a BLM activist would not use the n-word.


Rosenbaum had also been recently released from a mental hospital and convicted of sexually assaulting little boys before attending the riot. Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum in self-defense after being chased and lunged at by him. After killing Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse had gone running down to the street to notify the police but was then chased by a mob and repeatedly bashed in the head with a skateboard by Huber. To protect himself from Huber, Rittenhouse shot him also. Rittenhouse finally made it to the police cars and was holding up his hands, but an arrest was not made until the next day.


Overall, the Rittenhouse trial displayed a media crusade for fake social justice in a racialized era. Rittenhouse may have gotten off on all charges, but the young man will forever be socially stigmatized and villainized because of media manipulation. The leftist culture of the U.S. blinded many people from the truth, causing further racial division and propaganda. Our media needs to be held liable for fabricating false narratives and we as citizens need to be more vigilant.