Kyle Rittenhouse At WKU: A Lesson In America's Obsession With Mediocrity

Rittenhouse is being hosted by conservative group TurningPoint USA

Mar 19, 2024 at 12:34 pm
Kyle Rittenhouse who shot 3 people, killing two in 2020 during a protest will speak at Western Kentucky University
Kyle Rittenhouse who shot 3 people, killing two in 2020 during a protest will speak at Western Kentucky University from TurningPoint USA

It is bad enough that we are subjected to “conservatives” making hate into legislation in our government systems but now their spawn are inviting the very detritus of humanity to speak at universities to our children. Kyle Rittenhouse is scheduled to speak at Western Kentucky University on Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m. The “Rittenhouse Recap” is supposed to cover the Second Amendment (this played-out conservative dirge) and the “lies” of the Black Lives Matter Movement — because there is no one more qualified to speak about a Black life than a murdering, uneducated mouth breather who has never lived as a Black person. But, hear me out, let him speak.

In case you don’t remember who Kyle Rittenhouse is, and my sarcasm above wasn’t enough to trigger the memory, let me refresh it for you. Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 when he fired an AR-15 during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin killing two people and injuring another. He claimed self-defense because one of the men he murdered grabbed the barrel of his gun, likely afraid to be shot or to prevent others from being harmed by Rittenhouse who ran “Rambo” style into a crowd of protesters. Another of Rittenhouse’s victims swung a skateboard… yes, a skateboard at Rittenhouse and tried to grab the gun probably for a very similar reason. The third man, who was wounded by Rittenhouse, was the only person who approached him with a weapon intending to disarm him… or the good guy with a gun, an activist and paramedic, who wanted to stop Rittenhouse from shooting anyone else. Yanno, all wild speculations because two men are dead who can’t tell their stories and the third was wounded and wants to change his name because of conservative harassment. The wild part of this whole debacle is that Rittenhouse was acquitted because no one waited until he killed someone first when they saw the assault rifle.

Rittenhouse is named in at least two civil lawsuits related to this event.

Back to the issue at hand, Rittenhouse has become the poster boy for conservatives’ circle jerk over the Second Amendment and they’ve put the proverbial lipstick on a pig and paraded this monkey all over creation… coming soon to our own backyard.

All gibes aside, Kyle Rittenhouse should not be celebrated for coming to speak at a university. He’s not really qualified to speak on either of these topics with any authority other than being the subject of a murder trial.

Should he be allowed to speak?

As a supporter of letting people take their lumps in public, I am not opposed but it shouldn’t be tied to some conservative circus like TurningPoint USA that lets Rittenhouse be sequestered and salivated over only amongst his bible-beating, flag-waving peers. He should have to take the stage for all students to have access and for all students to have the chance to debate and engage with his rhetoric without having to share their email addresses with this group. With that said, tickets are free, so all who are willing or interested should jump right in. That TPUSA is building their email list from this is sickening.

A university is a place where one goes to be educated and, to be fair, this is a perfect chance to be educated in how America props up violence and white mediocrity — Rittenhouse is a Lakes Community High School dropout.

At the time of the shooting and subsequent trial, Rittenhouse was a 18-year-old, doughy hothead who got lucky on a technicality. He’s certainly no marvel in this nation. He’s just another one in this nation’s long history of producing and celebrating the worst people. So should students be protected from him? No. Should he be on a stage? Not really, but here we are. So let him come, put him on a public platform for all of the kids (and adults) at Western.

WKU is attempting to wash their hands of any direct responsibility. In their statement issued March 14, the university said, “Since this event is not sponsored by WKU, we do not have any additional details to share. You are encouraged to contact the event’s organizers with any questions. While WKU’s commitment to free speech includes allowing groups to invite guests to campus, that does not mean that the university supports, endorses or agrees with the views of those individuals.”

Even if WKU is not sponsoring the event, this event is happening at a public university, it has public implications and the university can’t sit this one out. They do bear some responsibility and if anyone is injured or hurt during the protests that are planned, they will have to take some heat and probably some insurance adjustment.

Ultimately, Kyle Rittenhouse is another tool for conservatives to prop up during the demise of America democracy and the sell-off of our safety in their quest to take the United States back to a pasty, fictional past where Ozzie and Harriet represented the perfect American life — a life based on the fear of anything different. Kyle Rittenhouse just represents another person whose fear made him willing to kill to keep folks inside the lines of what conservatives imagine America to be.

There are multiple calls to stop the show but I propose we let the show go on and meet it face to face. A wise man I met in a bar once said to me, “the only way out is through,” and he’s been right so many times. The only way we get out of this conservative nightmare is to plow our way right through the bullshit and meet it head on.