It didn’t start with Kyle Rittenhouse, nor will it end in Kenosha

Media tried and failed to convict Kyle Rittenhouse, and now, after the verdict, which way America? Opinion.

Jack Engelhard ,

Kyle Rittenhouse
Kyle Rittenhouse
Sean Krajacic/Kenosha News/Pool via USA TODAY NETWORK/ REUTERS

Finally, after three agonizing weeks, the verdict is in, on a trial and a televised courtroom drama that had the nation riveted, though in a sense, it is the nation that’s still on trial.

Will there be more bloodshed?

Going back to last summer, the mobs who came to punish Kenosha, Wisc. after a police shooting, knew they were in the right place at the right time to get a green light for bedlam.

From earlier riots in Minneapolis, Portland, Kansas City and Seattle, they learned that guilt-ridden, or terrified, or simply yellow governors and mayors would make no moves to stop them, until plenty of damage had been done, or until the point was made, mission accomplished – whiteness is the root of all evil.

From out of the 1960s came word, let it Burn, Baby, Burn.


He came to interrupt a riot in progress. How rude! The streets should be safe not for the law-abiding, but for the mobs.
As Downtown Kenosha was going up in flames last August, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse arrived with an AR-15 rifle to help restore order, or to make things worse.

(True. They don’t make teenagers like they used to.)

Was he part of the solution, or part of the problem? Was he guilty or not guilty for firing at three “demonstrators,” two of whom were killed by his bullets?

Was it murder or self-defense?

Today, Friday, Nov. 19, the jury found him not guilty on all charges.

So that’s the end of that story. If only it were so.

Rittenhouse’s prosecutors kept arguing that the “demonstrators” were “only” targeting property. They had a right to do this, without intervention, because property, such as cars, homes, shops, synagogues, churches, schools, hospitals, libraries, books, are lifeless, inanimate entities and therefore of no consequence.

Nothing there, they say, that deserves protecting.

That’s how Rittenhouse became anathema to the Left. He came to interrupt a riot in progress.

How rude!

The streets should be safe not for the law-abiding, but for the mobs.

That pretty much sums it up for the Left. It has been their Soviet/Mao view for some time that property is valueless and individualistic, if you know your Marx and Lenin.

Or Bernie Sanders.

Nobody, it goes, is entitled to own anything. That is communism 101, but the thugs on the streets, tossing Molotov cocktails, need nothing so theoretical.

Any excuse will do, rain or shine.

My friend Kuana Bell once explained why they seldom are out rioting when it rains. That’s because the downpour would ruin their coiffure.

These days, many in the media say property is racist…the same media that, by use of consistent bad vibes, tried and convicted the kid before they knew the facts.

Rittenhouse, they said (without evidence) is a white supremacist.

Property, they say, is white privilege.

So, prepare for more violence in our streets because we know how one thing leads to another; how vandalism against property begets brutality against people.

Only human life, they say, is worthy of our blood, sweat and tears… theirs especially.

Others, like myself, would contend that property is life…case by case. We can begin with your car and home, without which you have no life.

For slow learners, for example Biden voters, I will unpack all this later. For the rest, there is only the obvious…

Such as a Torah Scroll, parchment that lives and breathes, and for which there is nothing more sacred. It is life itself.

Kristallnacht targeted property, as a preview. We know how that ended, and we know the damage to lives and livelihood when, from Gaza, Hamas sends incendiary kites and balloons into Israel for the purpose of turning that good earth into properties of waste and scorched land.

Rudy Giuliani (Mayor of NYC, 1994, 2001), changed everything when he introduced the “broken windows” initiative which got tough against small and property crime.

The idea was that policing small crimes…turnstile hoppers…windshield wiper intruders…creates a culture of law and order that sends a ripple effect to discourage serious crime.

It worked. NYC then was safer and cleaner than it had been maybe ever.

These days is there anyone like that to step up? Or is that asking too much?

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epic “The Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website: www.jackengelhard.com












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