Christian teachings command that “we turn the other cheek” when struck. Rather than strike back with as much vigor as we can muster, we should forgive the injustice and move ahead. I pretty much adhere to that philosophy until I’m confronted with the reality that some people will just continue to strike you because they are “right” and you are “wrong”, “different” or “just don’t know the facts”.
A while back I posted a piece on the Kenosha shootings, and got quite a bit of negative feedback from my Facebook friends. I use the word “Friends” because that’s what Facebook calls them. I’ve never met them, never broken bread with them, never shared stories about my children or theirs, we are just people that have some shared link that Facebook thinks we can explore, or Facebook can exploit.
I liken the feedback from my Kenosha article as akin to stepping on a yellow jacket’s nest. Suddenly you’re being attacked by a swarm of drones that only know to lash out when they are confronted with something that threatens their world. In this case, their world is the belief that society at large is empowered to walk into crowds with military weapons and provoke others with their presence.
They argue that Kyle Rittenhouse had the “right” to be there. He had the “right” to be armed. He had the “right” to defend himself from the crowd that was trying to detain what they saw as an active shooter. He had the “right” to not render aid, even though he purported to be a medic. He had the “right” to not turn himself in to any of the police scattered about the area.
The judge in the case had the “right” to withhold the evidence of Kyle beating a girl a couple of weeks before Kenosha. The judge had the “right” to withhold the tape of Kyle telling a friend he would shoot looters. The judge had the “right” to instruct the attorneys to not refer to the victims as victims, but they could be described as looters or arsonists although none of the victims had been arrested for a crime.He even had the “right” to throw out the weapons charge which was clearly a reach of jurisprudence.
The jury had the “right” to set Kyle free if they didn’t believe in his guilt, in fact they had the obligation to do so. I just wonder how some of the jurors feel after seeing this:
If the link is still working you’re seeing a paste up that Kyle did on his Twitter feed of his crocodile tears over gas prices. These are the same crocodile tears that he used to convince America that he was just a poor little misunderstood do-gooder who was trying to do “right” and help the fair people of Kenosha maintain control of their town.
I don’t know what shocks me more, his temerity or his lack of judgement. Clearly his lack of judgement has been documented, but it would seem like some sort of primal survival instinct would take hold that would flash red when Kyle attempted to act in a manner inconsistent with what all of the “right” people believe him to be. Maybe his handlers gave him some free time to be creative and this is what he came up with. The video certainly shatters the idea that he is remorseful for taking two innocent lives and maiming another.
Kyle’s lack of judgement puts me in mind of a quote from Nicole James, “You finally figuring out that being right isn’t nearly as important as knowing when to shut up?” I think the quote could fall into the category of “words to live by” for a lot of folks. Looking at you Facebook friends.