Only In America
From Accused Killer to Hero
If you are a young, white, cherub, barely old enough to shave and you own a semi-automatic rifle and you come from the heartland of racism in middle America and you have proven that you can kill, then Fox News can make you a star. Only in America can a right wing, teen from rural Illinois, who was exonerated of charges of killing two demonstrators, be turned into a national attraction.
That’s what’s happening with Kyle Rittenhouse, the previously invisible, anonymous 17-year-old from Antioch, Ill. After his acquittal, Rittenhouse told news commentators that he wants to get back to a normal life and that he wants to meet a women “that just wants to, like, date me for who I am.” Normalcy has not returned to Rittenhouse’s life, as he has has become a national hero of the right wing after he was found not guilty of fatally shooting two men and wounding another during protests and civil unrest in Kenosha, Wis., last August. He claimed self-defense in the incident that followed the non-fatal shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer.
Rittenhouse has been honored by trump, offered jobs by right wing members of Congress and been interviewed by such right wing apologists and prevaricators as Steven Crowder, Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson. Tomorrow, Rittenhouse will be the be the focus of Carlson’s special fabrication on Fox, affectionately titled, “Trial of Kyle,” and it promises to tell the “real story” about the incidents in Kenosha. And beginning on Saturday, Rittenhouse will continue on the road to stardom or ignominy, depending on whose side you are on, as one of the featured speakers at Turning Point USA’s “AmericaFest,” a three-day circus of trash bin, star studded speakers representing a who’s who of American racism, and billed as the “largest conservative event in America” to be held in Phoenix, Ariz.
And if you want to help the poor boy to offset the unfair, legal costs that grew to win his freedom, you can just donate at freekyleusa.org, a fund raising page created by Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, which features a photo of her son, who appears to be just approaching puberty and to be no older than 12. She is the same Wendy who spoke in a television interview during the trial about how her son had brought a semi-automatic rifle to the protests and that her son “brung that gun for protection, and to this day if he didn’t have that gun, my son would’ve been dead.”
“HUGE NEWS! [Rittenhouse] Is Now CONFIRMED To Speak At the Biggest, Greatest Freedom Party Ever!,” the Turning Point USA Twitter account posted on Tuesday night. “This Event Is Gonna Be Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen…DON’T MISS OUT!”
Rittenhouse will join a giant gathering of all the popular conspiracists, right wing apologists and trump-loving Stop the Stealers, along with Fox commentators and dozens of darlings and other assorted morons and miscreants of the racist right.
Among them, will be Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Donald Trump Jr.; Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene; Rep. Madison Cawthorn. R-N.C., Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Color.; Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Rep. devin Nunes, R-Calif. and Rep. Kat Cammack, an obscure, unimportant GOP Congresswoman from Texas who I never heard of, and who was one of the 139 members of Congress who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 7, the day after the attack upon the Capitol.
Others on the speaking list include such luminaries as Beneful Johnson, a political columnist and chief creative officer at Turning Point USA, who was fired from the staff of BuzzFeed after it was revealed that many of his published articles were plagiarized.
And adding to the carnival atmosphere, if it’s entertainment you want, aside from the deceit and fabrications of the politicians, there’s scheduled appearances by fighters and football players, soldiers and bowhunters, along with various clergymen and last but not least, the founder of Jimmy John’s Sandwiches and of course, live country music.
The organizers said that “AmericaFest is going to be an event unlike the movement has ever seen by creating an experience that breaks the traditional norms of a political conference as we continue to bridge the gap between politics and entertainment to win America’s culture war.”
And like any good old American event, the many sponsors have all cashed in on the excitement.
Among the dozens of sponsors, there is “Igbcoin,” “A Decentralized Meme Token That Supports the Let’s Go Brandon Movement.” Another is “Good Ranchers,” a beef mail order company that I would guess only markets in white meat; and Patriotmobile.com, “America’s only Christian conservative wireless provider.”
“Patriot Mobile donates a portion of every dollar earned to support organizations that fight for First Amendment Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech, Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms, Sanctity of Life and the needs of our Veterans and First Responders,” the website claims.
There also is “2nd Vote,” an organization whose goal is to “stop companies and organizations from funding the attack on traditional American values.” To guide the consumer away from anything other than right wing, the company has researched more than 1,600 companies and formulated a score for each one that “reflects their stances on Judeo-Christian values” like gun control and abortion.
Arsenal Media Group is represented at the carnival. It is a PR agency that has represented lots of clients like Mark Levin, Dan Bongino, Ben Shapiro, Sara Sanders and Madison Cawthorne; the “Students for 2A” website just leads to the NRA website; and you can buy religious-oriented clothing from “Proclaim Streetwear” where the goal is to “spread the Gospel throughout an industry in desperate need of spiritual and sustainable transformation.”
Amy Robbins, co-founder of “Alexo Athletica,” is advertising her niche product, clothing that makes it easier for women to carry their handguns without any unsightly bulges. Robbins realized that having a license to carry or carrying other tools such as mace or a taser “does a woman little good if there are no comfortable, functional (much less great-looking) apparel options that would allow her to exercise while also exercising her right to carry and still look and feel great.”
Then there is “X Strategies,” a political consulting company led by Alex Brusewitz, one of the organizers of “Stop the Steal.” To find the perfect clothing for the MAGA man or woman, visit the MAGA Mall, “a retailer and wholesaler of fine quality MAGA and patriotic products.”
MAGA Mall wholesales products to state and county Republican parties, conservative clubs and retailers all across the United States.
“The company has been instrumental in Republican parties and conservative clubs raising millions of dollars to help get conservatives elected,” the MAGA Mall website claims. “Our team is a group of patriotic Americans who love President Trump and our country. A portion of the proceeds from every sale is donated to conservative causes and candidates to help Make America Great Again.”