As Kyle Rittenhouse listened to his verdict, I wept as if he were my own son. This might have seemed odd in previous times. Today, as on so many other hundreds of days these past two years, I felt the trembling of my country’s dying heart, until each of the juror’s verdicts sounded a steady beat. Out loud I shouted a hallelujah, thank God, I screamed, yes, yes! until my mother urged me to quiet for the neighbors. So I wept stinging tears of beauty, and rage and love, and awe. My country lives. She lives.
For weeks preceding the Kenosha riots, lawless mobs had burned, looted, battered and even murdered their way through many communities, destroying people’s lives (of every ethnicity), and taking over cities in no-go zones for law enforcement. On this particular night, Kyle Rittenhouse chose to defend one of those cities. Concerned for the wounded, for local businesses and properties and even for the very lives of citizens of Kenosha, he showed up. He did so while much of the city remained within their homes, waiting it out. He did so when law enforcement was overwhelmed to the point of at least passively allowing volunteers to be present and available. For this, he nearly lost his life, and today, he nearly lost it again. Not this time.
I watched him tremble and fight tears, and go to the floor when he heard the words, the bells, that rang him free. Those are American bells. Constitutional bells. They are my bells, too, our collective birthright, not for anyone to take.
I felt the pride and respect that, here in America, twelve strangers can gather together and properly judge evidence—and fit the verdict to that evidence, ringing truth free. It mattered so much to me that the rule of law means that an American cannot twice be put in jeopardy. It mattered that rules are in place to protect the self-defendant. The Constitution may seem to be on life support, but just for today there was beating a heavy, steady beat, right there in Kenosha. We who love our country exhaled in relief, seriousness, pride and joy as a revived breeze of liberty whispered through the heartland—flyover country, Barry’s “dark, backward cavern where people cling to guns and Bibles.” A piece of us hadn’t been destroyed yet. Are there more pieces? Can my community still deliver a politically incorrect verdict? Can yours? Can we defend those pieces, really?
The law of self-defense, the most inherent of all human rights, is on the guillotine of the woke, the globalists, the progressive thieves of our free civilization, bought and paid for by blood and flesh and grief and hard work, theirs to sell off and throw away now, in their minds, and in the minds of our enemies. We and our Constitutional rights, are in their way. This will not do! Tonight, tomorrow and in coming weeks and months, the rogues will work harder than ever. Maybe burning, looting and pillaging again; maybe BLM will grow ever richer tonight, not to spend a cent in a minority community to improve it, but to come after us, we the people. Us, with a gun on the ready, us, trying to protect our children from being sexualized, us, trying to vote, us, involuntarily pumping tax dollars into their invasion projects, into Iran, into China and into the infrastructure of Russia’s pipeline. No, it wasn’t Trump who did those things with Russia. Let them say it anyway. They are past redemption. They, the woke mob, want to bring us to our knees, kill our rule of law, kill our second amendment, kill us.
And so it happened that this unlikely hero, this 17-year-old boy, out at night hoping to save property, save lives, make a difference, showing up for that dusty old girl, the Constitution, showed up so that the rest of us can show up. I don’t know him or his family. I don’t know if they taught him to fight, to stand, to will survival or to believe in things higher than himself. It does appear so. I just know that he showed up. Invited by the desperation created in the void of those stronger and more plentiful than himself, he ultimately was forced to alone face the powered up mob, a mob born by national failure to prevent its conception and empowerment, what might in truth terrify most of us. And there, on that dark street, he faced that blood-thirsty mob alone. Their idea, not his, as they see him going away—to make him stay and die.
All of the facts are in. He did only what he had to do. Every human being has an inborn right to self-defense. His rights were protected by the rule of law, by his day in court—a court not afraid to follow the law, a jury not afraid to render verdicts based on facts rather than identities and media narratives, zealous defense attorneys to ward off the wicked, lying, scheming, cheating servants of the woke mobs. Today, it worked like it is supposed to work. And the bullies will not like it. They don’t just want to hear the last dying gasp of America. They want to cause it.
How do we survive?
A Constitution. Its defenders, the courts, the rule of law, its enforcers, the police. An unrigged voting booth. Again, the rule of law.
Accountability by the media for fostering false narratives that cost lives.
A gun. Someone, lots of someones, who only need a gun for defense of self, family and country.
Us. It has always been, us.
And, now and then, a boy, whose bravery may exceed our own.
November 19, 2021