It's that time of year. The holidays are coming up, with Thanksgiving just around the corner. It's not difficult to imagine that the verdict of the Rittenhouse trial will soon come up at dinner tables across America.
Kyle Rittenhouse, recently exonerated of fatally shooting two people and injuring another during a Black Lives Matter protest last summer, has been inescapable recently. Coverage of his trial has been extensive, including footage showing the ruling judge allowing Rittenhouse to randomly select his own jury. In the court of public opinion, Rittenhouse is incredibly divisive.
It was by claiming self defense that Rittenhouse was found not guilty of murder. Regardless of whether one agrees with the verdict or not, it is incredibly weird to uphold Rittenhouse as a hero in the fight against unruly leftism.
Prior to the shootings, Rittenhouse was recorded lamenting how badly he wished he had his gun so he could shoot CVS looters. Soon after the protest shootings occurred in Kenosha, Rittenhouse was photographed posing with Proud Boys and flashing the white power symbol. This is not someone deeply moved by protest movements or politics, or someone ultimately worthy of any media attention.
Rittenhouse is little more than a concrete reminder of the power of white supremacy and privilege in America today.
Complaining about the ethics of Thanksgiving while still partaking in the holiday is largely performative. In a year when it feels as if there’s little to celebrate, individualized protests against colonialism still do little to actually lessen the harm caused by Thanksgiving or to generally accomplish much in general.
If holding on to this shred of moral dignity is what helps someone avoid an unproductive and antagonistic discussion of Rittenhouse with their extended family, however, more power to them.