Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who shot to death two Kenosha, Wisonsin, protesters, is being hailed as an ‘American patriot’ on several Trump-supporting websites. Gab, the rightwing social media network created by Andrew Torba, has several memes of him next to other known Americans of the past who took up arms to defend the nation and even one where he is hailed a ‘saint’.
The QAnon groups are openly calling for crowdfunding his defense and 8Kun, the 8Chan successor, claims that the young boy is a defender of 2A, the right to take up arms. Several accounts on Parler and Bitchute are hailing him as a ‘saint’ who did ‘nothing wrong’.
A simple search for #Rittenhouse on Gab will get very strange results indeed…
Even his defense team, which consists of known attorney John Pierce, seems to take Kyle’s case a tad too far. Earlier this month, in a now deleted tweet, Pierce wrote: “Kyle Rittenhouse will go down in American history alongside that brave unknown patriot … who fired ‘The Shot Heard Round the World,”’ “A Second American Revolution against Tyranny has begun.”
The 17-year-old has seen an outpouring of support on these websites, to such an extent that they have raised some $2 million for his defense. Legal experts agree that there is a risk that Mr Rittenhouse’s case will be used as a way to once again claim that the law-and-order reelection theme President Donald Trump has struck, made sure he gained popular support in many before unknown Republican voters.
Robert Barnes, a prominent Los Angeles defense attorney, admitted: “They’re playing to his most negative characteristics and stereotypes, what his critics want to perceive him as — a crazy militia member out to cause harm and start a revolution.”