By John F Di Leo -
The nation has been mesmerized by a televised trial in Wisconsin. A teenager is charged with murder for a case of clear self-defense…
THREE clear cases of self-defense, really.
The haters say that all that doesn’t matter, because he didn’t have to be there in the first place. He shouldn’t have gone. He shouldn’t have put himself in that position. He wouldn’t have had to defend himself, after all, if he were back home in Illinois, watching TV or playing video games, the way teenaged boys are supposed to spend their time, right?
I wonder how many Americans have heard this line of reasoning, and asked themselves the question, "Doesn’t that sound an awful lot like the victim-blaming commonly used regarding incidents of rape, mugging, and car break-ins?"
"You shouldn’t have parked in that neighborhood; everyone knows people break into cars there."
"You shouldn’t have taken the alley entrance to that apartment building; you should have walked around the front, and used the sidewalk entrance, because everyone knows that muggers like the dark alleys."
"You shouldn’t have worn that cute dress, or that short skirt, when you walked through that neighborhood. Everyone knows that guys can’t resist a cute girl walking alone."
It happens everywhere; and we are taught – aren't we? – to resist the temptation.
We are taught, in school and in conversation, and by politicians and newsmen, to avoid the temptation to blame a person for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is America. We should be able to park anywhere, walk anywhere, travel anywhere in the country, safely, free of the risk of assault by criminals.
After all, we have a criminal justice system costing trillions of dollars, from policemen to state troopers, from a court system to a prison system.
With all this in place, we should be at minimal risk, because all the criminals should be caught after their first or second or third crime, arrested and imprisoned, safely removed from society for decades if not forever, so they pose no danger to the rest of us.
Crimes should be a rarity. There is no excuse for crimes to be frequent in America.
But America has consciously, intentionally destroyed this system, through tolerance of half a century or more of gradual attacks upon it by the Left.
Technicality acquittals… a preference for expecting the most of the police and tolerating everything from the criminals… ridiculously short sentences even when people are convicted… and a terrible talent discrepancy between prosecutors and defense attorneys … these have all combined to leave us with an inexplicably expensive criminal justice system, that nevertheless leaves almost all of America's criminals free to rampage anyway (and then, the open borders crowd happily invites in hundreds of thousands more).
Back to Kenosha, now.
Throughout the summer of 2020, dozens of American cities burned for weeks or months at a time.
Controlled by leftist politicians, these cities' leadership was far more akin, philosophically and politically, to the arsonists, thugs, and other demonstrators who spent the summer destroying their towns, than to their honest, law-abiding constituents.
Most of these city fathers therefore tolerated these destructive demonstrations in which billions and billions of dollars of real estate and other property were intentionally and violently destroyed, sometimes even fanning their flames in vocal solidarity.
Shop owners who tried to defend themselves were overwhelmed.
And honorable police were overwhelmed.… Or worse, were told to stand down, ordered by their city fathers to give the criminals free rein of neighborhood after neighborhood.
In many cases, in many of these cities, alderman, mayors, and even some law-enforcement officials were essentially accessories to the crimes, as buildings were burned down, stores and other businesses were looted and emptied of valuables, as whole shopping areas and business districts were literally wiped out, likely never to arise again.
Many parts of many American cities went from prosperous shopping districts to blighted ruins in less than a year, as a result of this unholy alliance between the unelected criminal element and the elected one.
We must consider the Rittenhouse trial in the context of these events. Kenosha became, for a couple of weeks last year, Ground Zero for this anarcho-communist attack on the United States.
In a summer of Craigslist ads and Facebook groups recruiting criminals and other activists to participate in these riots, people descended upon Kenosha during those infamous weeks to do what they had done to Minneapolis and Seattle and Portland, and so many other cities, already that same summer.
Where is the investigation to expose the billions of dollars in funding that made it possible for these thugs to travel from city to city, wreaking havoc, destroying property, setting cars on fire, smashing windows, terrorizing communities?
There is no investigation to be seen of George Soros, antifa, and the many other Democratic Party allies who organized that year of destruction.
But there is a trial, today, and everyone is watching it. Young Kyle Rittenhouse, who tried to be one of the good guys, who tried to help out when his help was needed.
Those of us who have studied our past will remember the concept of the barn raising, an old-fashioned concept, most associated with western settlers, which enabled the American prairie and the American west to be settled and populated in the 19th century.
All the men of the community would get together, sharing in the work of hewing the logs, building the walls, adding on the roof, putting a safe structure in place, in an era that pre-dated the architecture and construction firms we take for granted today.
It didn’t matter if you were a professional carpenter or an amateur; everyone was welcome to help, everyone’s assistance was appreciated. The town needed a job done, and honorable man volunteered to help.
It was the American way.
Similarly, in the summer of 2020, when businesses were under attack in Kenosha, when honest, law-abiding citizens were afraid to leave their homes or workplaces for fear of a traveling mob of communist agitators, Kyle Rittenhouse and others from outside the area tried to pitch in and help.
They hoped that their presence would dissuade the arsonists from destroying their relatives' shops and car dealerships. They hoped that their presence would help deter the crimes that were otherwise certain to destroy the town.
They had seen it done in city after city, all year long. They didn’t want it to happen to their friends and relatives, to their honest neighbors. They wanted to stand up and be Americans, to honorably pitch in when needed, to hold the line against barbarism.
This trial is about more than a young man availing himself of the laws of self-defense.
This trial is also about a young man with more courage than most of us today could ever muster. A young man who faced down criminals with long rap sheets…. Who attacked Kyle Rittenhouse? Who made up this throng of demonstrators and arsonists? A child molester, a robber, a guy who beat up his own grandmother…
But young Kyle Rittenhouse had the courage to show up on that street, armed and ready… to defend the right against the wrong.
This trial is a reminder, not only of the Second Amendment and of our inalienable right to self-defense.
This trial is also a reminder of the corruption of so many cities. It is a reminder of the ongoing destruction of our criminal justice system.
But thanks to Kyle Rittenhouse’s courage, this trial can also be a reminder of what America was meant to be, and of what a real American citizen is supposed to be:
A nation of honorable people who come to their honorable friends' defense, who pitch in and help when civilization itself is under assault.
The United States of America was meant to be a City on a Hill, a beacon of liberty for the world to admire… and hopefully, to copy.
Thank you, Kyle Rittenhouse, for being an American.
Copyright 2021 John F Di Leo
John F Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.
A collection of John’s articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, are both available in either paperback or eBook on Amazon.
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