How Kyle Rittenhouse Got to Be a ‘White Supremacist’

November 18, 2021 Updated: November 22, 2021

Commentary

For more than four years now, mainstream media outlets have allowed the outrageous allegation that Donald Trump is a white supremacist and a supporter of Nazis to stand uncorrected. They who have made a crusade out of sniffing out and suppressing what they call “misinformation” have had hardly a word to say against what isn’t just misinformation, but what they might call a Big Lie.

The same Big Lie was trotted out in the 2020 presidential debates by none other than then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.

You remember him. He’s the one who also said to Donald Trump in the same debate that “everybody knows you’re a liar.”

A good joke! Also during the 2020 campaign, Biden cited the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was on trial this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for murder, as an example of the threat posed to the nation by “white supremacism.” The media have gone on saying so ever since, even though certain facts have emerged at his trial that, to say the least, cast doubt on such a characterization.

All three of the people Rittenhouse shot in the incident, including the two convicted criminals whom Rittenhouse killed as they were assaulting him and Gaige Grosskreutz, who had pointed a gun at Rittenhouse before being wounded by the then-17-year-old in as clear a case of self-defense as you could ask for, were white men.

So how does that make him a white supremacist?

Here’s how. Grosskreutz was a member of Antifa or one of its allied groupuscules. If we assume that, as I believe, the riots in Kenosha, such as those in Portland, Seattle, and other parts of the country, though ostensibly spontaneous, were in fact orchestrated by Antifa, an easy explanation falls into place.

The clue is in the name. “Antifa” (which Joe Biden claimed during the debate to believe was “just an idea”) stands for “anti-fascist.” And who, then, are the fascists? Anyone Antifa is against, obviously—especially the police and those who believe that the police should enforce the law, which is pretty much everybody but themselves.

George Orwell recognized three-quarters of a century ago that the word “fascist” was by that time “almost entirely meaningless” in everyday English language because of its overuse by the Marxist left to mean anything that they didn’t like. In particular, then as now, it had nothing to do with the historical phenomenon of fascism in Italy, but it was used to describe indiscriminately anyone who didn’t agree with the left’s revolutionary prescription for the fundamental transformation of society.

Nowadays, the word can also be used interchangeably with not only “white-supremacist,” “Nazi,” or “racist,” but, thanks to the magic of “intersectionality,” with “sexist,” “homophobe,” “transphobe,” “Islamophobe,” “colonialist,” and no doubt as-yet-unreported others.

“Anti-vaxxers,” anyone?

All these words are as meaningless in English now as “fascist.” Only in the lexicon of the left do they take on a common meaning as “those we oppose.”

This is classic revolutionary logic. If you’re not Antifa yourself, you too must be “fascist” or one of its ever-multiplying cognates. You had better get on board with the left if you don’t want to be branded as an enemy of the people and canceled.

In the age of Biden, we Americans are now governed by people who play these silly, but dangerous word games in place of genuine debate in order to establish their entitlement to power. And the allegedly truth-loving media are there only to validate them.

This is the deal with the devil that the media made when they chose five years ago to give up reporting and analyzing the news in a semi-objective fashion in favor of out-and-out advocacy on behalf of the “woke” revolution. If you’re going to be woke, you’ve got to use the woke vocabulary—and, by the way, to use it without telling your readers or listeners that you’re not writing or speaking English anymore, but you’re using this special language instead.

That’s how you can get people who hate fascism and white supremacism to hate the people that you call fascists and white supremacists—even if, in reality, they’re only the harmless next-door neighbors who just put a “Trump” sign in their yard.

This is also how parents who oppose the teaching of critical race theory to their grade-school-age children came to be “a good chunk of voters out there [who] are OK with White supremacy,” according to Tiffany Cross of MSNBC.

This is how Larry Elder came to be “the Black face of white supremacy,” according to Erika D. Smith, of The Los Angeles Times, or how Winsome Sears, the newly elected lieutenant governor of Virginia, came to be “a Black face speaking on behalf of a white supremacist legacy,” according to professor Michael Eric Dyson.

Whatever these words may mean in woke-speak, they’re sheer nonsense in English.

This is also how Kyle Rittenhouse came to be a white supremacist—not just because Biden and his media supporters called him one before knowing any of the facts in his case, but because they’re still doing it even though they now do know the facts. The facts don’t matter to them.

Poor Rittenhouse became a white supremacist ex officio, as it were, when he was attacked by Antifa.

Antifa attacks fascists. Antifa attacked Kyle Rittenhouse. Therefore, Kyle Rittenhouse is a fascist—or white supremacist, according to taste.

The logic is fallacious, of course, tautological in its premises and false in its conclusion, but it’s how the media narrative was established and why the media narrative can never be corrected by mere facts.

As the independent journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote, “If you say that—after having actually watched the trial—you believe the state failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in light of his defense of self-defense, many will disbelieve your sincerity, will insist that your view is based not in some apolitical assessment of the evidence or legal principles about what the state must do in order to imprison a citizen, but rather that you must be a ‘supporter’ of Rittenhouse himself, his ideology (whatever it is assumed to be), and the political movement with which he, in their minds, is associated.”

In other words, the substantive question of his guilt or innocence of the crime with which he was charged is as irrelevant to the politicized media as it is to the people in Kenosha who were threatening new rioting and reprisals against jurors if they didn’t come to the “right” conclusion.

If the ruling class can never be wrong, those they identify as their enemies can never be right.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

James Bowman
James Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The author of “Honor: A History,” he is a movie critic for The American Spectator and the media critic for The New Criterion.