There is a real danger that Kyle Rittenhouse will become the political right’s George Floyd.
The most obvious difference between Kyle & George is that one is living and one isn't however there are a multitude of parallels between how their circumstances have been, in my opinion, negatively politicized.
The shocking nature of watching a knee on the neck of George Floyd triggered an emotional reaction for the American public & generally people agree that his death was preventable. However, it's what happened after his death is where the two political sides differ.
The political left used the tragic death of George Floyd as a symbol of a greater problem. They made George Floyd into a political martyr at which George had no intention of becoming. While the nation was locked down, George’s body traveled the country for public consumption.
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On the other end, the ‘right’ had a problem with George being elevated into near sainthood and didn’t feel it was appropriate to make him into something more than he actually was. They agreed he shouldn’t have died, but they disagreed with how & why he was being politicized.
Similarly, the shocking nature of seeing a 17-year-old boy with a rifle being chased and subsequently, shooting 3 people, killing 2, also triggered a multitude of emotional reactions. “Why was he there?” “Where were the police?” “It was self-defense”
Admittingly, Kyle’s case interested me because I saw it as a clear self-defense case, but I never took it further than that. Immediately after Kyle’s acquittal, I saw something happening on the ‘right’ that felt much like what I saw before with George Floyd.
Similarly to George, Kyle is now doing a U.S. tour, but the only difference is that there is no golden casket for Kyle, only a red carpet. Kyle is now being held up as an American hero fighting for the rights of Americans, but even in Kyle’s words, he wasn’t there to be a hero.
Kyle is a victim of circumstance, not a hero with intentions. He is a living martyr for a political cause which he had no intention of being part of. If he could turn back time knowing what he knows now, he wouldn’t have gone out that evening.
One of the fundamental issues I see is this constant desire to have representatives for a political cause to the point of anointing accidental ones. Martyrs purposefully sacrifice something for a greater cause or for the sake of principle; neither George nor Kyle did so.
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The 'right' cannot talk negatively about how the 'left' is callously using the death of George Floyd while simultaneously making Kyle into an American hero when he had no intention of being one.
The ‘right’ also shouldn’t pretend that receiving appropriate justice is a rarity in this country, just like the 'left' shouldn’t pretend that black people getting justice is a rarity.
Kyle is an adult now, so he can make the best decisions for himself & take whatever opportunities come his way. However, these opportunities are only coming because there is currently a demand to consume him.
He is not a thought leader; he is not a hero & he is not a martyr. Treating him as such only makes the 'right' appear hypocritical when they complained throughout 2020 about how the 'left' was doing the same thing.
Being principled is far more important than owning the ‘libs’.