Kyle Rittenhouse said during a sit-down with Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement — blowing up the competing partisan caricatures of the “Kenosha shooter.”
The left’s portrayal of Rittenhouse as a right-wing extremist is so off base that it’s not even clear the mainstream right can claim him anymore.
“This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense” Rittenhouse told Carlson in a preview of the interview released Sunday. “I am not a racist person. I support the BLM movement. I support peacefully demonstrating.”
Kyle Rittenhouse: "This case has nothing to do with race."
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) November 22, 2021
Rittenhouse — speaking to Carlson after being acquitted of all charges Friday in his high-profile murder case — went on to call for criminal justice reform.
- The interview, Rittenhouse’s first, will air Monday on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
HOW PEOPLE REACTED
On Twitter, some critics of the media, like left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald, pointed out that Rittenhouse’s expression of support for BLM flew in the face of months of coverage elite coverage and commentary suggesting he was a violent racist.
Kyle Rittenhouse — now free of all criminal liability — did his first interview and said he believes systemic racism is a problem in the US and supports "BLM."
If you think this will cause anyone to reevaluate their decree that he's a "white supremacist," you'd be incorrect. https://t.co/t20yykKeVU
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 22, 2021
On the left, many commentators dismissed Rittenhouse’s comments and stuck to their unfounded view that he’s a white supremacist.
Kyle Rittenhouse: I support Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter: No thank you.
— Young Daddy (@Toure) November 22, 2021
Some gleefully highlighted obscure right-wing users who expressed dismay at the news.
Conservatives losing their shit over Kyle Rittenhouse saying he supports BLM is so incredibly funny holy shit pic.twitter.com/x44Bb7LvJp
— Mother 🦂 (soy bisexual) (@punishedmother) November 22, 2021
Prominent figures on the populist right, though, argued that Rittenhouse should be allowed to try for a normal life, even if that meant mouthing progressive pieties.
I have no problem with Rittenhouse's BLM comment.
The kid is trying to avoid both violent backlash to himself and his family, as well as a weaponized biased DOJ investigation.
From a crisis comms perspective, it was a smart move.
He's been through hell. Give him a break.
— John – Pinochet Aviation Academy Grad – Cardillo (@johncardillo) November 22, 2021
Jenna Ellis, a legal adviser to Donald Trump during his presidency, warned that right not to “turn on Kyle for saying this,” saying, “He isn’t a political champion for either side.”
If the Right turns on Kyle for saying this (as Mediaite wants), they’re just as badly politicizing him. He’s entitled to his own opinions. He was acting in self-defense as a matter of law and fact. He isn’t a political champion for either side. https://t.co/jSEqMx6Ma6
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) November 22, 2021
Hosts of the Young Turks, a popular progressive news commentary show, were last week surprised to learn basic facts that supported Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense, even though the relevant video has been online since immediately after the deadly shootings, which took place on Aug. 25, 2020 amid rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“The evidence, in my opinion, is so overwhelming in support of the self defense argument that Rittenhouse is making that we don’t need the judge to chime in”-Ana Kasparian
— Jimmy Dore (@jimmy_dore) November 17, 2021