by Quinton Mitchell
Has anything you’ve done made your life better? Avery Brooks playing Dr. Bob Sweeney talking to Edward Norton playing Derek Vinyard in American History X (1998)
Table of Contents
- Introduction, Thoughts, Viewing the Case through Ethics over Critical Theory, etc.
- White Supremacy, Settler Politics, and how MAGA consolidated Right Wing Aesthetics.
- From 9/11 to the Present. Deconstructing reality to draw a formula for the world that Kyle was indoctrinated in.
- Profiling Kyle Rittenhouse. How educational (possible dyslexic or ADD), economic, and physical insecurity can lead to clout chasing dreams of grandeur.
- Sources, Works Cited.
Key Words: #KyleRittenhouse, #politics, #rightwing, #conservatism, #poverty, #dyslexia, #race
Word Count: est. 7,947
Forward: Kyle Rittenhouse has a decision. To take the easy road of fame, possibly being used as a token figure by the Right-Wing movement, or he can take the harder and more humanist role by reflecting on the fact that life was taken, and to better understand the reasons why the protestors were protesting police overkill. Yet, Kyle coming from poverty will likely take the easier road in that fame and acceptance seems to have been his intention all along. Kyle Rittenhouse was interviewed by conservative pundit, Tucker Carlson, and he stated that “he supports BLM”. But, what does he really mean by that? Does he mean he agrees with their right to have those beliefs, but he’s distant from that, i.e., he doesn’t accept their intentions? What has he done to show that his claim is true? I am writing this because the world we live in now as far as the American political landscape, has largely been defined by a confluence of factors, notably those which arose after 9/11, and Kyle is essentially a byproduct of the agglomeration of all of this. A kid radicalized by the postmodern landscape of the internet. In the abyss of all the trauma that America has gone through (9/11, wars, Recessions, veterans, discussions on race, the first black President, the ascension of Trump’s ultra-nationalism), it was a matter of time before someone like Kyle came. I am not a clinical psychologist. Many people of color or even white people weren’t giving the benefit of psychoanalysis when it came to understanding them before they were sent to jail. Yet, to prevent more Kyles from coming, we must understand who he is.
I. Introduction, Thoughts, Viewing the Case through Ethics over Critical Theory, etc.
Kyle Rittenhouse: There’s so much to unpackage relating to Kyle Rittenhouse. We can view this Rittenhouse case through the lens of race or gender, etc., and that is totally acceptable because there is precedent for the application of that analysis, i.e., Critical Theory. Yet, the harsh truth is that a large amount of people in the United States are incapable (or, unwilling) of processing intersectional analysis and if they do, they typically internalize the criticisms of structural oppression as a personal attack on their very being (or, pretend to be offended to flip the script), which is ironic because such reactionary sentiments have always been used to protect structural oppression, largely since, as thinkers such as W.E.B DuBois stated, is that the white working class despite being exploited by the predominately white and male industrialist classes were given certain “social wages”, i.e., privileges, to anesthetize the white working class from uniting with others in order to protect the powers at be.
So, yes, we can analyze this situation with Critical Theory, and I assure you, I support this and see value in this. However, as already stated, many are uncapable or unwilling to see the world through such lenses.
So, how we can view this case otherwise? We can view it from an ethical and moral perspective. Particularly an ethic that conservatives, let alone most people including liberals can agree on. Old-fashioned All-American morality such as “two wrongs don’t make a right”, or “if your friends jump off a bridge, would you?”. We must view what Kyle did against an innate or historically based sense of bare morality that everyone can somewhat agree on.
But all the people in case from Kyle, Anthony Huber, Gaige Grosskuertz, and especially Joseph Rosenbaum were all selfish. Most protesters were lawful but these events attract thrill seekers. If these 4 men weren’t there… different story. Kyle never should’ve been there and Rosenbaum never should’ve been out of the hospital. When you see the murders by Darrell Brooks in Waukesha Wisconsin, it’s easy to try to find a racial comparison but to me the issue is a failure of institutions. Brooks as a career criminal never should’ve been released. Rosenbaum never should’ve been released. Kyle Rittenhouse never should have been out.
It’s not an Either/Or. The Criminal Justice system failed on Brooks. So many innocent people have been killed by cops but cops drop the ball on actual wanted felons? The state of Nevada knew Darrell Brooks was in Wisconsin but this information fell through the cracks likely due to “passing the ball” politics, i.e., it’s their problem. The public health and criminal justice system and possibly lags in progressive policies failed on Rosenbaum where he never should’v been out of jail but he was a victim allegedly of sexusl abuse in his life but that’s no excuse for him preying on others. State by state gun laws and our bipartisan culture war failed on Kyle.
So, what I am saying? Kyle despite being proven innocent by the courts, he ultimately made a selfish decision and exercised poor ethics. He made the decision to leave Dominick Black’s house with a gun that he knew he needed to have parental supervision to have, considering he was smart enough to exploit state loopholes regarding guns and conducted what we can consider to be an illegal straw purchase of a firearm. Kyle playing ignorant to his initial motivations and yearning to “see action” is also morally poor and ethically weak, i.e., he was covering for his intentions but when faced with the consequences he hid his intentions instead of facing up or owning the passion he felt to conduct his actions. So, Kyle is selfish in that if he didn’t insert himself into that situation for his own experiences or voyeurism, knowingly positioning himself as a counter to the intention of protests, then people would be alive. No one died before he got there, but people died while he was there.
Kyle had no sentimental attachment to the Car Source. The Car Source was just a reason to be out. Kyle could have easily stayed at Dominick Black’s house, played with his gun with a higher probability of having parental supervision, and protected that property, but he didn’t…he wanted action. Also, Kyle easily could have waited for the protests to simmer down, have the police who he supports do their own job instead of him being impatient and LARPing (Live Action Role Playing), and did volunteer clean up after everything was done. Hell, if he just waited and did actual volunteering instead of what appears to be is volunteering for social media photos, he could have used those volunteer hours for…college, maybe even applying to an actual First Responder job, etc.
Imagine yourself as a parent. Your kid comes home and says mom, dad or mom and dad, or mom/mom or dad/dad, that I just killed two people and wounded one at a party. Sure, you would want to protect your child, but many parents would be extremely disappointed that their kid didn’t use judgement and not walk away from a situation where they knew the chance of danger could be. The fact Judge Schroder didn’t even scold Kyle is very telling of the symbology that Kyle represents, with that being Kyle is “America’s son”, an America’s son, especially as half the country feels America is declining due to the political Left, had to be protected. The acquittal of Kyle was a sort of sociological gift to Right Wing America to convince them “they’re still important”.
So, even with Kyle being innocent, it is odd that the Right Wing doesn’t see anything wrong with his actions. Even if they stand by self-defense, the way the Right Wing is reacting, with this sense of rabid elation, is alien to how social conservatism was in the past or how it posed as being in the past, in which the social conservatism that I remember (where most Americans regardless of politic were to some degrees socially conservative), was anchored in a more-so Protestant “blessed are the poor”, “avoid vices”, “respect your elders”, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”, “if you’re friends jump off a bridge, would you?” moralism and righteous of easily understood parable. Essentially, the fact that modern MAGA Republicans don’t see anything wrong with Kyle’s actions in any way shape or form, is indication that MAGA Republicans are desperate and have been radicalized. There’s no “this situation really sucks, but…”, but more so, “we won and that’s all that matters”. The stereotypical Ronald Regan Era TV Sitcom nuclear family or Brady Bunch persona that conservatives claim to be about actually just hides a sense of pettiness and blood lust. They don’t even trust their own supposed moral conservatism, but simply use it when convenient most of the time, yet double down on that conservatism when it comes to blocking their opposition.
The way a real conservative would view Kyle is, sure, he may be innocent because he had a right to self-defense, yet, Kyle still made a selfish decision, i.e., “two wrongs don’t make a right”. It’s even more disturbing that the Right Wing can’t even speculate how the decision of the judge might create precedent for more violence, where such violence might even affect conservatives. You would a think a judge whose role is to ensure the public is safe, would hand out a ruling to send a message to both sides of the equation, i.e., self-defense stands, but Kyle isn’t simply walking away from this.
Yet, what’s probably the truth here is…conservatives don’t care.
I’m rationalizing, when really there’s likely no rationalizing with a people who inhabit a homogeneous racial-religious-cultural reactionary politic.
II. White Supremacy, Settler Politics, and how MAGA consolidated Right Wing Aesthetics.
But I must state that white people and white supremacy are two different things. Of course, there are many great white people, millions of them, tens, or hundreds of millions even, and yes, your white supremacy can’t exist without white people, but the goal of a white supremacists is to make criticisms of the system of white supremacy appear to be attacks on individual whiteness, and they do this of course to gain followers, e.g., the backlash to the term white privilege. Whiteness as a concept is a relatively new concept in the span on human history. People didn’t see themselves as white back in the old world, and if anything, the various ethnic groups of Europeans saw themselves as different, but the concept of whiteness as a specific thing arose with the Age of Discovery and colonialism, largely as means of subjugating indigenous populations, stratifying the various classes, etc.
We turn on the TV or YouTube daily and see just another “Karen” spewing racist rhetoric at innocent people. We see “Karens” spaz out in shopping malls as they are called out for following black people while shopping. We’ve seen Proud Boys or other related groups show up to school board meetings to harass people. We can sign online to apps like Instagram and see the many pages ran by anonymous users posting Right Wing content.
The truth now that I write is that conservatism as we knew it, is long gone. The conservatism that understood pluralism but also civility and negotiating is far gone. I look back to Republicans like George H.W. Bush or even Bob Dole, and sure I didn’t agree with them and in many ways, they were very problematic but at least they carried themselves professionally.
Yet, there’s no need for nostalgia.
I’m glad that Trump revealed the true animus of white supremacy, where white supremacy isn’t anti-white, but the acknowledgement of a system of many overlapping systems, e.g., law, business, academia, the arts and entertainment, beauty, etc., disproportionately controlled by a majority group of people, where certain social privileges are granted such as having a lack of stigma around simply being yourself, etc. Chuck Palahnuik, the author of Fight Club, in a book of memoirs called Stranger Than Fiction, where he as a gay white man, brilliantly stated that whiteness is essentially being wallpaper. You’re everywhere and no thinks about it.
White supremacy is an overt and covert ideology based around in-groups and out-groups which uses romanticism, grand origin stories, historical revisionism, and historical supremacy (showcasing the history of their group while hiding the rich histories of others), etc., to create justification for the unfair ownership of power, in which marginalized groups were denied such access until recent times. White supremacy is essentially “Settler Politics”, which you can see it the aesthetics of many white conservatives (hunter, farmer, “work with your hands”, guns) and we can see this in all sort of colonial or post-colonial nations particularly those descended from the British Empire such as how you have “Good ole Boys” or “Rednecks” in the USA, Bogans in Australia, Loyalists in Northern Ireland, Homesteaders and Settlers in Canada, or Afrikaners, Boers or similar in South Africa or former Rhodesia, etc. Guns were never about mere self-defense initially but were for conquests by baiting indigenous people into conflicts by simply taking land that wasn’t theirs, and then using those guns and a disproportionate amount of violence to kill indigenous or native peoples once they reacted. State Rights, individualism, an odd obsession with secession, etc., are often just code words for segregation.
White supremacy despite crying against “collectivist” ideologies such as Marxism or Communism, etc., is ironically a collectivist ideology centered around race and it uses systems in both blunt and innocuous, sanctioned (military, law, and police) and unsanctioned way (hate groups, militias) to maintain power, yet unlike socialism where wealth is shared, white supremacy with its natural sense of defensiveness against “outsiders” justifies hierarchies even if at the detriment of white people themselves, just as long as “others”, i.e., minorities are even more so oppressed. The underlying animus of US conservatism was always supremacist fascism dating back to movements such as Manifest Destiny which is nothing more than White Zionism (similarly to the white supremacy of people such as Cecil Rhodes of the British Empire in Africa), yet for many centuries, and decades within the twentieth century, conservatism felt safe enough that it didn’t need to hit the “red alarm button”, but the election of Trump proved the safety glass protecting that button was smashed and the hand that pushed the button is still pressing.
White supremacy is interesting in that not only is it collectivist despite no not claiming to be so, is that is had a tendency of individualizing the actions of its own but collectivizing the actions of others, e.g., how so many studies go towards the black race, but the same amount of tenacity isn’t applied to white America, and even if there is, you can bet you’ll hear the analysis on minority groups before you would hear any sort of psycho-analysis on the majority group.
This is an effective strategy in the sustainment of white supremacy, because it resists any sort of claim of a “trend”. Racism thus can never be systemic or structural, but always the behavior of a “few bad apples”. The goal was always to maintain solidarity by using ambiguity and denial.
What’s even more ironic about white supremacy is that it kills white people all the time, such having violence towards women. Many notable serial killers, being white men raised in a time of explicit white supremacy, felt a sense of entitlement over their racial sexual counterparts, and this isn’t surprising because women within white supremacy were always second class and their role was created to be the “sexually submissive, ego boosting” counterpart to that of the male id, however, there are many women totally fine with fulfilling this role because there is “social wage” in participating in this system, i.e., they become the prized “virginal damsel” (e.g., the proto-psychology of what we consider Karen entitlement). When Ted Bundy was caught once, he went in front of a judge and the judge saw Ted just like any other “good All American, Coors Light drinking, country listening white guy”. Ted was also aspired to enter politics…
The fact that conservatives didn’t see anything wrong with what Kyle did, even if they felt it was just in the end, is proof that despite all the romantic philosophy, despite all the appeals to Biblical text, is that conservatives see themselves as a team trying to win, and they’ll tabulate whatever points they can get, indifferent to the actual moral of whatever the situation is. If someone aesthetically aligns to them wins, they see is as victory, without even being able to apply the supposed conservative moralism they use to take the high ground position.
But I feel Kyle is guilty, but if the courts say he’s innocent, then that’s just how the law is, even though we can disagree. When I saw conservatives cheering, I was thinking, why would think this is good, when really all this acquittal does is reassure the Left or Liberals what they’ve always suspected about the criminal justice system? Cheering is more of a smoking gun example of what everyone has been saying. Conservatives think they won a philosophical battle, but they really didn’t. They haven’t got the Left or Liberals to revoke their beliefs and “crawl back” to conservatism, but if anything, what they witnessed during the trial solidified their position.
Ultimately, this is all the fault of the court and Judge.
The fact the Kyle walked away with nothing, despite two people being dead, especially Mr. Huber, and one other wounded, where Mr. Huber and Mr. Grosskreutz could have been seen through a light of a Good Samaritan or seeking their own self-defense, resulted in a further divide. The fact that two people are dead, the fact the judge threw out the weapon charges, and Kyle is innocent, means what? Two people died by magic? Two just so happened to die and Kyle was there, but for no real reason? It would be better if somehow Kyle walked with a misdemeanor for the gun charge, manslaughter for Mr. Huber, and maybe acquittal for Grosskreutz and Rosenbaum (despite many feeling that Kyle should have a murder charge for Rosenbaum as well, despite Rosenbaum’s previous criminal record. Rosenbaum was a predator, yet, Rittenhouse supporters bring thing fact up, but by doing so, what are they really saying? Did Kyle know he was a predator and then killed him? Was Kyle hunting people? If Kyle knew the character of those he shot then the self-defense claim is diminished, despite, socially, people feeling creeped out by Rosenbaum’s history as a sexual predator, and not feeling much sympathy for him).
To walk away with nothing is just…odd. The judge didn’t even order Kyle to pay any sort of restitution, especially with some of that Go Fund Me money he received essentially giving him millions of dollars. The judge didn’t scold Kyle. The judge didn’t even give Kyle a charge that could have resulted in community service. Kyle in theory could easily now join the military or a police agency without any questions into his background or character, but his very presence in any of these organizations would be highly divisive, i.e., a distraction.
III. From 9/11 to the Present. Deconstructing reality to draw a formula for the world that Kyle was indoctrinated into.
The truth is that this system has created many Kyles.
To prevent more “Kyles” we must understand how Kyle was made as far as his personal life, but also the paradigm his consciousness developed in. Zoomers and young millennials, i.e., impressionable young men and women who grew up in the postmodern sludge of the internet who were sucked into the Right-Wing pipeline which ranges from the Intellectual Dark Web with Western Chauvinist figures such as Jordan B. Peterson to the Proud Boys organization (who espouse sexists, misogynist, racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic beliefs), to the male-dominated trolling of gamer culture in the residuals of Gamergate by figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos, and to the fact that the 2000s onward have been defined by war.
This warrior culture, appealing to men by calling our manhood into question, was a byproduct of America’s War on Terror and Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the state, Hollywood, video game companies, etc., projected a sense of American exceptionalism, and critics of US intervention were labeled as weak or unpatriotic. Funding hundreds of billions to a trillion on a war was seen as “masculine”, but using money to invest in social programs was seen as “hurting capitalism”, “feminine”, “weak”, etc.
Warrior Culture was exacerbated by the fact that many veterans joined police forces, and these police forces after 9/11, despite still benefitting from the lack of oversight due to localism, were embedded into the national security apparatus through the creation of The Department of Homeland Security and were awarded military grade equipment (even those in rural America where the threat of attack is nearly nonexistent, e.g., MRAPs, i.e., Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, were given to small towns). Cops effectively became more militaristic and were treated with the same sort of adornment as military service members. This militarization of the police was compounded by the already existing SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) agenda, typically suited for larger metropolitan areas, but this SWAT mentality slowly replaced the traditional concept of your small-town cop across America. But, further, TV shows glorifying police had been a common staple of American media, where one could even argue that COPS by Fox Media was one of the first “reality TV shows”, but as we know, “reality TV” is never truly 100% real. The lines began to blur, thus the cultural differences between cop and military started to blur, and we can see this today with the nexus of Right-wing militarism, police worship, survivalist, Christian Right (such as quoting Romans 13:1-4 or Psalms 106:3), “Good Ole Boy” culture, militias/paramilitaries, etc. The dangerous thing about treating cops like the military is that there are major differences in how they are organized and controlled, where military forces including military police are under centralized authority and follow top-down orders, whereas police as empowered to exercise individual decision-making by somehow knowing the “entirety of criminal and civil law” (which is impossible). Police also don’t go through as much training as military personnel, so many cops can project that they are military when really, they inhabit a very different albeit visually similar universe.
Yet, by 2008, the United States had entered a Recession caused by Wall Street, and unemployment and foreclosures rose rapidly. The working classes were hit hard (where the working class had always been controlled through racial dynamics), but since police are ultimately protectors of private property, police altercations increased (such as with traffic stops and ticketing or evictions), particularly because local governments saw a drastic loss in property tax revenues from home foreclosures, businesses closing, etc.
Similarly, to how the recession of the 1970s helped give rise to early Neo Nazi organizations (such as The Order) particularly as a Vietnam War Era white reaction to what conservatives considered the to be growing threat of Communism which they blamed for the social progress of the 1960s onward (e.g., Orange Country, California in the 60s through 80s was home of to a high membership rate of John Birch Society members and non-surprisingly, O.C., was home to many Neo Nazi youth gangs), yet, the twenty-teens was also an era where you had a lot of young, angry, unemployed or underemployed people, but instead of flyers or newsletters handed out by racists of days gone by, instead newer generations had the internet, video games, Reddit, forums, chat rooms, etc.
During this Recession Era, cops effectively became crowd control of the working classes, but also “tax collectors with guns” to fund their cities. Yet, people had something they never had before. Smart phones with cameras.
Citizens started recording police altercations, where many resulted in the deaths of citizens, and this led to an outcry from communities such as the African American community, where minority communities are more vulnerable to macroeconomic calamity and many live in segregated, impoverish, and heavily policed areas, i.e., minority communities experience a denser level of stress whereas the majority group despite having more people, economic calamity is able to “spread the heat among a larger surface”. Yet, the showcasing of police violence didn’t just mobilize black people, but it showed many others such as women regardless of background, the treatment that people suffer, and people started to mobilize around Black Lives Matters. Yet, Black Lives Matters caused a white reaction, culminating in Blue Lives Matters (as a supplement to All Lives Matters), and this reaction was largely exploited by Breitbart leader Steve Bannon who ran the strategy for the election of Donald Trump. Breitbart even had a section for “Black Crime”.
Trump instead of being a voice of reason or moderation who could facilitate the hard discussions about our nation’s history, treatment of minorities, and biases, instead he simply read off the Bannon script of American Hyper-nationalism. We must remember Steve Bannon is crazy. Steve Bannon is a Cold War, Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy reading maniac, who has spent the last few years being a global agent provocateur infringing on European politics such as setting up a school for Far-Right politics in Italy, to rubbing elbows with Far-Right leaders from France to Austria and Hungary. Steve Bannon reminds me of the main character of the Willian Gass book titled The Tunnel, where he’s an aging Midwest or Mountain West white guy with an obsession with “understanding Hitler’s Germany” for “hobby purposes”.
Trump was the aggregate of everything Right Wing, from the Far Right with its hatred of the United Nations, to claims of white genocide at the hand of African Marxists such as allegedly within South Africa, to Antisemitic conspiracy theory such as Z.O.G (Zionist Occupied Government) descended from the Protocols of the Elders of Zions, to Soldier of Fortune magazine nuts living in the Mountain West time zone like North Idaho (former home to the Aryan Nations), to your casual moderate center-right Republican since this was Bannon’s strategy always. Bannon was able to merge The Real Housewives of Orange County with Right Wing FM or AM Radio, with those still sour about Waco, TX, and the Branch Davidians, but also Ruby Ridge in Montana.
Trump won through the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote because Bannon decided to adopt far-right talking points to fish in the fringe right, yet, he also exploited white working-class grievances, notably of Baby Boomers, in places which had lost their heritage of unionized manufacturing (which were traditionally and politically Democratic despite being culturally conservative, e.g., Wisconsin, Montana, West Virginia, etc.). Trumpism needed these insane racists and Nazis to inch forward to victory on “legal technicality”, so Trump could never disavow those he used and became bedfellows with, e.g., his botched speech after the Charlottesville Riots. I can go much more into MAGA, but I summed MAGA up as being Antisemitic White Supremacist Zionism in a nutshell, where white Evangelicals and Jewish Zionists/Israelis (who disapproved of President Obama’s loose “two-state solution” approach to Palestine) used Trump, but Trump needed the Far-Right to win, otherwise he would have gone down in history as another George Wallace and Curtis LeMay 1968 presidential run disaster.
What we were left with as Trump took power and even has his power was taken from him when he lost in 2020 was the socio-political and cultural accrual of The Right Wing spanning what I stated previously, i.e., your Neo Nazi worshipping The Turning Diaries to your consumerist suburban Republican waiting for Starbucks pumpkin spice season.
It’s like a formula on how we got to be here.
[9/11 creating a larger culture war where concepts such as Western Civilization became popular + War and Nationalism ^ Hyper masculine veteran warrior culture] (x) Recession resulting in the criminalization of the working classes (x) the reaction to the election of Barack Obama with movements such as the “libertarian” or “Jeffersonian” Tea Party (x) the popularity of sports such as UFC which is in alignment with Veteran Warrior culture (x) militarization of police (x) a vulnerable and exploitable working class who lost faith in the power of institutions during a recession who were preyed upon by conspiracy theory grifters such as Alex Jones (a gateway to what would become Qanon) which also had an effect on the emerging resurgence of New Age ideas including Occultism, gangs, hate groups, and police (x) Postmodern culture of pop culture and the evolution of the internet ranging from memes, podcasters such Joe Rogan who has an ambiguous almost “3rd Way syncretic” politic yet stylistically and more so as time goes on espouses right wing conservative views while platforming veterans, CIA officers, people associated with the Alt Right, etc., forums like 4Chan and 8Chan, anime (which does fetishize the female body for male pleasure but characters are also whitewashed typically with a European or Germanic aesthetic), gaming with genres like first-person shooters with story arcs relevant to the real world such as in the Call of Duty franchise (which could be considered military recruiting tools), screamo or metalcore (which are a blend of emo, hardcore punk and metal music, where Emo as a genre as been called out for sexist undertones, i.e., female blaming), and EDM or nostalgic “wave” genres which defined the counter culture of younger Millennials and Zoomers where the Far Right often appropriates these mediums to insert their fascist ideology to angst ridden populations like teenagers resulting in sexism, racism, misogyny, etc. For example, white supremacists such as Riley June Williams who was arrested at the January 6th Insurrection was seen in a video doing the Heil salute with a skull mask used by The Base hate group to EDM music, likely since the techno tunes of EDM has an “accelerationist” or “hyper” sound and White Reactionaries often follow accelerationist beliefs, i.e., they want to accelerate race war or the demise of the existing order (x) video publications of Police abuse leading to Black Lives Matters which brought forth Blue Lives Matters (x) the Intellectual Dark Web, i.e., the Kook Right Wing, ranging from Jordan B. Peterson’s “Jungian self-help” which is a cover for Western chauvinism, anti-feminism, a denial of systemic racism, and a need for hierarchies, to Sam Harris (Islamophobia and Racial IQ) or Stefan Molyneaux (racial IQ and anarcho-capitalism or libertarianism), Ben Shapiro (supposed Judeao-Christian conservativism coining terms such as “Facts over Feelings), etc.. (x) Trump.
Note: The notion of Alphas, Betas, and Sigmas which are common in the Manosphere, i.e., Men’s Rights Movement, is an obvious nod to Darwinism, i.e., survival of the fitness, and this of course aligns perfectly with fascism or far-right politics, despite the terms being highly debatable when in relation to complex human psyches, nature, etc.
It’s interesting to note that there are many intersections between the IDW and what would grow into the Men’s Rights Movement, which is a movement of sexist, manipulative womanizers, and wannabe pick-up artists, who use terms such as Alphas, Betas, Sigmas, etc., as means of “recapturing a manhood they feel was robbed from them by progressivism or socialism”. A lot of men with too much time on their hands, lost in pseudo-philosophy, co-opting medieval iconography, militarism, and a fetishization of Classical culture, who are “sexually bitter” and horny in a world where it seems sex is everywhere – such as the hyper high definition content of modern porn – but they aren’t getting any action, which could be partially the result of our isolation epidemic, i.e., social media gives the false sense of connection, but also an existential dread around feeling disposable (such as dating apps) and technology has created larger barriers between personal relations thus resulting in people projecting themselves online to get attention in ways they might not be in real life. Essentially, you’re left with angry men, but it’s not the fault of feminism, through you can make an argument that many of our laws are still based on a traditional model of gender roles (such as men traditionally providing, yet men pay alimony or child support, despite women being more active in the work place and exceeding men in areas such as higher educational obtainment, etc.) but regardless, largely this negative reaction to feminism is the fault of men not able adapt to a changing world and question how our expectations at times can be problematic, i.e., we aren’t’ entitled anymore to women.
What’s interesting about this is… Kyle was just a baby when these things were developing, and he developed within this world especially as Right-Wing populism grew. He probably isn’t even aware of the historical context of the world he came up in but was simply “pushed” into this world and in an environment or situation where he was basically a “malleable useful idiot”.
That’s the dangerous thing about our world now. The hyper and chaotic speed of things leads to a vortex merging of large-scale events, yet people are reacting in real time, sometimes with violence, and they existentially seek answers, often in the wrong places, to develop of sense of personal order. People seem to have shorter attention spans and seem to be losing the ability to look back to history to see how the present was crafted, yet, they react in real time under a sense of ignorance, but they’re simply trying to protect their egos or Maslow Hierarchy of Needs.
Kyle is like a byproduct of the evolutionary trajectory of the entire 21st Century within American culture and politics, but he represents a side that is at odds with “progressivism”.
IV. Profiling Kyle Rittenhouse. How educational, economic, and physical insecurity can lead to clout chasing dreams of grandeur.
Overview: The same level of profiling, i.e., understanding, isn’t given to most juvenile offenders of color when it comes to juvenile offenders in high profile cases. It is unfair. We never day a young black male charged with murder has on the struggling to survive, but we see him a criminal. Yet, I’m simply doing this to understand Kyle. Possibly a dyslexic who struggled with learning and comprehension, which likely resulted in bullying, even though the bullying was likely blown out of proportion by an over-protective mother. He was over-weight so this compounded with learning issues and poverty likely resulted in insecurity issues and the development of “dreams of grandeur” by finding opportunity within the political culture wars of the internet. He possibly has a hard time focusing on multiple things but for the things he really likes the borderline obsesses over them, such as his yearning to be a First Responder, yet, his learning disabilities and possible ADD, caused him to lose attention quickly and not complete prerequisites. From a low-income household that experienced economic hardship which can give a young person anxiety, eating disorders, etc. From a divorced home where he might have resented his mother to a degree, i.e., disrespecting her authority since he felt he was the “man of the house”, yet heavily relied on her. Admitted to using nicotine, alcohol, and driving without a license, insinuating he’s willing to bend the rules, especially when he was younger. His parents used alcohol, other narcotics, and nicotine. He sought male guidance which he found from Dominick Black who gave him a gun, but Kyle was already exposed from an early age to gun culture. A rough background created a psychological need for power, authority, and attention. He is of a generation where “clout chasing” is common, particularly as young people experience insecurity on social media seeing “the lives of the rich and famous” who are social influencer icons.
Kyle is another white low-income youth you got caught up searching for his masculinity in order to feel socially accepted and made a poor and selfish decision to put himself in a situation that resulted in him using violence.
But how do we save “Kyles” who are out there from being the actual Kyle Rittenhouse?
We must understand who he is.
Kyle is symbolic of “Roseanne America”, but grew up in a time where that aesthetic is more right-wing, as opposed to political partisan, i.e., Roseanne America of the 1990s had a good chance of being Democrat (unionized Midwest workers) just as much as they were to be Republican, but now it’s heavily more Republican as far as perception.
Kyle is the youngest of three children and was living with a single mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, who experienced an eviction before, and allegedly filed a restraining order (supposedly denied by law enforcement – ironically) against Kyle’s father in which he allegedly punched her in the stomach, though he denied the charges (Omar, 2021).
His father Mike Rittenhouse, who was nowhere to be seen during the entire series of events relating to his son, yet, Jessica McBride (2021) stated, “Mike was a machine operator who struggled with alcohol and drugs and unemployment and was accused of domestic battery against Wendy, but he denied the charges, which were later dismissed, according to The New Yorker, which said Wendy and her kids lived in a homeless shelter for a time.”
According to Jessica McBride (2021) who referenced Paige Williams of the New York Times (2021), “She is dyslexic and has had health issues, The New Yorker reported, so Kyle, as a teen, worked jobs to help support the family.”
Her dyslexia might seem like a minor detail but that is a neurological trait which can be passed down genetically and result in educational issues for children unless diagnosed properly.
Karen N. Pert (2013) of Yale News, referenced a detailed study by Dr. Jeffrey R. Gruen, a professor of pediatrics, genetics, and investigative medicine at Yale University, where Dr. Gruen’s study was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. Pert (2013), stated, “In previous studies, Gruen and his team found that dopamine-related genes ANKK1 and DRD2 are involved in language processing. In further non-genetic studies, they found that prenatal exposure to nicotine has a strong negative affect on both reading and language processing. They had also previously found that a gene called DCDC2 was linked to dyslexia.”
Pert (2013) stated, “In this new study, Gruen and colleagues looked deeper within the DCDC2 gene to pinpoint the specific parts of the gene that are responsible for dyslexia and language impairment. They found that some variants of a gene regulator called READ1 (regulatory element associated with dyslexia1) within the DCDC2 gene are associated with problems in reading performance while other variants are strongly associated with problems in verbal language performance.”
Lastly, Pert (2021), stated, “Gruen said these variants interact with a second dyslexia risk gene called KIAA0319. “When you have risk variants in both READ1 and KIAA0319, it can have a multiplier effect on measures of reading, language, and IQ,” he said. “People who have these variants have a substantially increased likelihood of developing dyslexia or language impairment.””
Kyle was supposedly bullied in school but taken out of school (which goes to defy the conservative stance that boys should fight and how “men in the west are weak, now”). He was attending online school, yet from his statements on the stand, and his tendency (which could be ab act) of being forgetful or not understanding questions, likely means he wasn’t a good student.
According to Jessica McBride (2021), “According to The Washington Post, Kyle Rittenhouse was a “high school dropout who viewed law enforcement officers as his personal heroes.” However, the Chicago Tribune reported it wasn’t clear if Rittenhouse attended school. He attended Lakes Community High School in 2017-18 but is no longer enrolled and went to Lake Villa School for one semester in 2017, the newspaper reported.”
Dyslexia is among the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, with a prevalence of 5–12% (Schumacher, Hoffmann, Schmäl, Schulte‐Körne, and Nöthen, 2007).
“The psychosocial consequences are correspondingly grave. Affected individuals attain a much lower educational level and have substantially higher rates of unemployment and psychosocial stress than would be expected for their level of intelligence. In childhood, approximately 20% of those with dyslexia also present with attention‐deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whereas in adolescence depressive disorders and disorders of social behaviour are often associated with dyslexia. Whether dyslexia is more common among boys than girls has been part of a controversial discussion in the past, although recent epidemiological studies indicate a twofold increase in the risk for boys compared with that in girls.The sex ratio may be influenced by severity, IQ and assessed cognitive profiles.” (Schumacher, et al, 2007).
He probably spent a lot of time online and was radicalized.
Being from a poor and broken household he likely experienced an extreme sense of insecurity especially as he’s undergoing puberty and development, i.e., the prime condition be exploited by a gang. Even though Kyle might not be a part of a physical gang or what can consider to be a “traditional gang”, he could be considered part of a larger cultural decentralized movement that recruits members using the same gang tactics, and the recruits end up being “lone wolf operators”, able to express the agendas of the “gang” but in a way where there is no clear connection. Certain individuals might be “activated” or triggered to carry out the agendas of those who control the overarching ideologies. Interestingly, such a model is used by White Supremacist groups, such as Atomwaffen SS, who tend to operate in cells or cadres (small sleeper cells), and this organization was likely taken by White Supremacists using the “Werewolf” model of SS Units in the ending days of World War II. I am not saying that Kyle is an explicit or even conscious white supremacists, but the style and movements he followed have been coopted or are adjacent to white supremacist movements.
Being the baby of the family and the only male, Kyle likely had a special role in the house, i.e., he was coddled by an overprotective mother who couldn’t control her son always.
“She previously sought “an order of protection from police in January 2017, claiming that a classmate of her son’s had been threatening him and calling him ‘dumb’ and ‘stupid,’” The Post reported.” (Jessica McBride, 2021)
So, you pulled your son form school for being called dumb and stupid? Seems a bit extreme, even if we can consider it bullying. Yet, he was likely pulled from school because he had undiagnosed learning disabilities such as dyslexia which his mother had, and this genetic trait possibly could have manifested itself due to environmental conditions such as a mother possibly smoking and/or drinking while pregnant, stressful environments defined by being low income, and any sort of genetic characteristics handed down by his father as well (who was mentioned as having substance abuse issues), etc.
Kyle admitting that he smokes cigarettes, has been seen drinking alcohol at a bar (with his mother meaning she drinks, but in Wisconsin you can drink with a parent at a bar), and admitted to driving without a license, likely means that Kyle isn’t a “goodie two shoes” kid.
The fact that he was enrolled in something equivalent to Cop ROTC and volunteering with the Antioch Fire Department, but still had the reasoning to drive without a license, indicates a level of privilege, i.e., Kyle saw himself as “cliqued up”, i.e., as a part of the police/fire fighter world but he was just a volunteer, i.e., it appears Kyle has a power fantasy projection and dreams of grandeur.
We can also notice in Kyle’s pictures when he was much younger is that he was over-weight. Him being overweight could in part be due to genetic predisposition, environment such as low-income homes often can only afford cheaper more fatty foods, lack of exercise potentially because of the family’s stressful economic situation/moving around yet also potentially because his mother was over-protective and working meaning he spent more time inside rather playing outside, etc. Him being overweight in his youth on top of his economic insecurity lead him possibly having a very self-conscious view of himself. It doesn’t seem like Kyle had participated in any organized sports which could have helped divert any sort of adolescence depressive disorders by giving him a healthier sense of camaraderie, adult male supervision, being able to track his improvement by following directions, etc.
Kyle’s sister, Faith Rittenhouse, supposedly overdosed on over-the-counter opiates (Omar, 2021), though it seems she survived, and this is important because white America was hit hard by opiate use, and this was something that Trump addressed such as Trump’s comments on fentanyl.
Kyle also has been seen playing with guns at very young age, etc., which is common in certain households especially those who hunt or are exposed to hunting outdoor culture. In many ways, Kyle could be labeled as coming from a “redneck household” of Midwest, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way.
Without a good male role model, being bullied, being coddled, from a low-income working-class home, and raised in a predominately white environment, like many young men who join gangs, Kyle effectively did the same thing, but many white youths are lured into White Supremacists or white supremacists’ adjacent gangs (Proud Boys, Three Percenters, etc.).
I wouldn’t be surprised if Kyle knew how to play his mother, or even say himself as having a slight position of power to speak over his mother, potentially because he resented his situation and partially blamed his mother. In one minute, he’s just a good kid, but really Kyle is just like any other teenager trolling online and wanting to get drunk, try to get girls, etc.
According to St. Clair, Crepeau, Gutowski, Hinkel & Heinzmann of the Chicago Tribune (2021), “Rittenhouse said he wanted a lawyer but would answer questions until the attorney could arrive. The detectives and his mother explained that’s not how the legal system works, bringing the conversation to an abrupt end. As Rittenhouse slumped in his chair and buried his head in his arms, Wendy Rittenhouse insisted he needed a lawyer because of things she had read on social media. Her son cut her off as she spoke. “Can you stop talking, Mom?” he asked.”. Kyle needing to be corrected by his mother insinuates that Kyle felt he knew how the system works, which he obviously didn’t, and once corrected by his mother, a sense of embarrassment kicked in, and he publicly disrespected her.
Kyle was looking for clout and honor in that he was probably insecure about who he was, so he naturally gravitated towards men but also to jobs where a person has authority.
His Tik Tok account with a problematic name “4doorsmorewhores” is like a corny Barstool sports tagline of an aspiring frat boy. Kyle wanted to be one of the bros, to be accepted, and in our culture, he gravitates towards the hyper masculinity of our culture (militias, cops, Joe Rogan, pining over seemingly unobtainable models, etc.), but it was all to deal with insecurity.
When Kyle was on the stand the prosecution stated the wasn’t a real EMT, yet Kyle’s quick response, almost offended seemed to be obsessive and a little delusional. How dare you say I’m not a real fire fighter or EMT. The fact that Kyle lied to people at the protests that he was an EMT despite not being an EMT and not even having the patience to finish an actual EMT course is proof that Kyle is not only obsessive but also impatient. He was desperate for action, and whether he was smart enough or sociopathic enough to realize, he inserted himself into the forefront of a larger cultural war, knowing one side would back him no matter what. Because, it’s not about morals or ethics, it’s about winning.
In Kyle’s most recent interview with Tucker Carlson (as if that wasn’t predictable), interestingly, the tears that flowed from his face while on the stand were non-existent.
McBride, J. (2021). Wendy Rittenhouse, Kyle Rittenhouse’s Mother: 5 Fast Facts. Heavy.com. Retrieved 11.25.21. Source: https://heavy.com/news/wendy-rittenhouse-kyle-mother-mom/
Omar, Abdel Jibri (2021), Wendy Lewis Biography: 13 things about Kyle Rittenhouse’s mother from Antioch, Illinois. Conan Daily.com. Retrieved 11.25.21. Source: https://conandaily.com/2021/11/23/wendy-lewis-biography-13-things-about-kyle-rittenhouses-mother-from-antioch-illinois/
Pert, Karen N. (2013), Is dyslexia genetic? Yale study unravels genetics of dyslexia and language impairment. Yale News. Retrieved 11.25.21. Source: https://news.yale.edu/2013/06/12/yale-researchers-unravel-genetics-dyslexia-and-language-impairment
Schumacher, J., Hoffmann, P., Schmäl, C., Schulte-Körne, G., & Nöthen, M. M. (2007). Genetics of dyslexia: the evolving landscape. Journal of medical genetics, 44(5), 289–297. https://doi.org/10.1136/jmg.2006.046516
St. Clair, S., Crepeau, M., Gutowski, C., Hinkel, D., and Heinzmann, D. (2021) Kyle and Wendy Rittenhouse focused on social media comments as teen asked for a lawyer and did not answer cops’ questions, new video shows. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 11.25.21. Source: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-kyle-rittenhouse-video-police-interview-20210126-2djapgmpnjbltpjmftwl4qolyu-story.html
Williams, P. (2021). Kyle Rittenhouse, American Vigilante. After he killed two people in Kenosha, opportunists turned his case into a polarizing spectacle. The New York Times. Retrieved 11.25.21. Source: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/07/05/kyle-rittenhouse-american-vigilante