Justice Paul Street Politics Race

American Fascism on Trial in Kenosha

Kyle Rittenhouse acted as a tool and expression of a fascist movement bigger and more organized than him.
The Kenosha County Courthouse and Jail in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Kenosha County Courthouse and Jail in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Kenneth C. Zirkel)(CC BY-SA 4.0)

By Paul Street / CounterPunch

Never forget the inspiring righteousness of the great George Floyd, Brionna Taylor, and Jacob Blake Rebellion of 2020 – the popular uprising that sent the fascist president Donald Trump down into his bunker and helped undo his presidency. And never forget the sacrifice of the 14 martyrs who were murdered for participating in the uprising. Some of those martyred protesters were killed by cops. Two were killed by motorists. One was killed by a National Guardsman. One was killed by an active-duty US Army sergeant. Some were killed by small business owners claiming to protect their property.

Two of the martyrs, Anthony Huber and Joe Joe Rosenbaum, were killed by the cop-and Trump-worshipping teen vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 25, 2020. They died trying to prevent Rittenhouse from murdering people marching for Black lives and against the brutal and outrageous Kenosha police shooting of the 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake.

Closing arguments in Rittenhouse’s murder trial were made on Monday, November 15th. Most legal experts following the trial expect Rittenhouse to escape conviction on the most serious charges. Contrary to what his defense team claims, Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t come to Kenosha with a fully loaded and illegally owned military assault rifle just to protect used car dealerships. He hooked up in Kenosha with the Boogaloo Bois, a neo-Nazi network that wants to spark a genocidal race war. He later partied and made white-supremacist hand signals with the Proud Boys.

Still, we can over-focus on this sad, if dangerous, teenager. Rittenhouse acted as a tool and expression of a fascist movement bigger and more organized than him. He did so with the encouragement and protection of the Kenosha Police, the Wisconsin National Guard, and the sick fascist 45th president of the United States.

There was an abundance of guilt to go around in the murder of Joe Joe Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. Beyond the deranged adolescent shooter, there’s Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey, who sparked the Kenosha protests by needlessly and viciously shooting the 29-year-old old Black man Jacob Blake in the back seven times – this near the end of the long George Floyd summer.

There’s Kenosha County’s bumbling white Sheriff David Beth, who in 2018 said that Black shoplifters should be warehoused for life and prevented “from getting ten women pregnant.” Huber’s family has recently sued Beth, the city and county of Kenosha, former Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, acting Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larsen, and various “John Doe” Kenosha police and sheriff’s officers. The lawsuit charges that local authorities conspired with white militia members, tacitly blessing the extra-legal fascists’ reckless and violent conduct. “Defendants’ open support of and coordination with the armed individuals in the minutes and hours before the shootings deprived Anthony Huber and the other protestors of the basic protections typically provided by police. It was a license for the armed individuals to wreak havoc and inflict injury,” the lawsuit observes. The lawsuit, in other words, charges classic fascist collaboration between government and private paramilitary terrorists.

Also meriting condemnation is the city and business class of Kenosha, which consigns its Black population to the poorest, least well served, and most heavily police-terrorized part of town.

Then there’s the Kenosha local and country police and National Guard, who responded to the Jacob Blake protests with rubber bullets and tear gas. The police thanked Rittenhouse and other lethally armed fascist vigilantes for helping suppress the Jacob Blake protests. They encouraged Rittenhouse and even gave him water while he criminally patrolled Kenosha with his military assault rifle.

There’s Kevin Mathewson, a fascist former city councilman, who had earlier responded to the May 2020 George Floyd protests by calling on Facebook for “patriots willing to take up arms” to be part of the “Kenosha Guard” – an impromptu fascist militia meant to menace protesters. As The New Yorker reported last August:

‘…on August 25th [2020], as the city braced for a third night of protests in the wake of Blake’s shooting, Mathewson, who is a private investigator, posted a call for “Armed Citizens to Protect our Lives and Property.” He invited “patriots” to meet him at the courthouse at 6 p.m., to defend Kenosha from “evil thugs… Mathewson’s post caught the attention of Kristan Harris, a streamer whose work included conspiracy content of the Pizzagate variety. All summer, he had been live-streaming protests, calling himself a “citizen journalist.” Harris wrote a blurb about the Kenosha Guard, which got picked up by Infowars. On Facebook, thousands of people indicated interest in joining Mathewson at the courthouse. Mathewson posted an open letter to Kenosha’s police chief, calling himself the “commander” of the Kenosha Guard and warning, “Do not have your officers tell us to go home under threat of arrest.” …Mathewson’s “Armed Citizens” post elicited such comments as “kill looters and rioters.” Facebook allowed the page to stand even after receiving well over four hundred complaints. A crowd was building when Mathewson, in a Chuck Norris T-shirt, showed up at the courthouse with a semi-automatic rifle.’ 

There’s the Wisconsin fascist leader Ryan Balch, part of the Boogaloo Movement, a white supremacist network that advocates a genocidal race war targeting Black people. Balch and his “boogaloo boys” gave Rittenhouse and his fellow teen fascist Dominick Black protection and direction before the shooting.

There’s the wannabe fascist dictator Donald Trump, who encouraged fascist vigilante violence and terrorism during his 2015-16 campaign and across his noxious, pandemo-fascist presidency. Trump, Rittenhouse’s hero, responded to the George Floyd protests by calling for police to shoot “looters” and for the military to exercise “total domination” in the streets. Trump defended Rittenhouse after the murders of Rosenbaum and Huber. Trump would make a special point of coming to Kenosha on the last night of the 2020 campaign, an ominous signal of his support for armed vigilantism.

That campaign stop wasn’t about getting more votes; it was about signaling his readiness to activate yet more violence to “Stop the Steal” and stay in power. He was there to give his blessing to vigilante and police violence against Black people and “the radical Left.” As Chicago Refuse fascism activist Jay Becker notes, “We now know he was actively planning even then to take any extra-legal means needed, including armed assault on the Capitol, to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.”

Beneath all the madness in Kenosha lay the underlying system of capitalism-imperialism. This system, born in Black slavery, has stripped livable wage jobs from Kenosha. It has continued its long and intimate connection to racial oppression. It has flooded the nation with deadly weapons, glorified sociopathic violence, set people of different colors against each other, concentrated more and more wealth and power in ever fewer hands, and built up a giant and ever more militarized police and prison state to discipline and control the masses it cannot serve. And now it has generated a large and menacing fascist movement – a movement of which Kyle Rittenhouse was/is one small part.

Here we are fifteen months after the Jacob Blake protests. Rittenhouse’s multi-million-dollar right-wing defense team has mounted an absurd but expertly crafted “self-defense” case, presenting the cold-blooded, safety-off-AR-15-wielding teen killer as a tragic, teary-eyed teddy bear who was assaulted by a leftist mob while he was innocently trying to “protect property”

The trial has been steered towards exoneration by the openly demented right-wing white man Bruce Schroeder. This reactionary laughingstock of a judge made a pretrial ruling that the people Rittenhouse killed could not be referred to as “victims,” but could be referred to as “arsonists” or “looters.” Schroeder conducted a selection process that yielded a jury with just one Black member. The jurors seated include whites who had bought into the absurd claim that the Jacob Blake protesters meant to “burn down the suburbs” – this even as the judge dismissed a potential juror who said her bi-racial granddaughter had participated in the protests, and another who asked why Rittenhouse didn’t stay in his own city after the Blake shooting.

During a circus-like trial, the unbalanced Trumpist Schroeder has repeatedly interrupted the state attorney’s cross-examination of Rittenhouse with wild temper tantrums aimed at preventing the prosecution from demonstrating Rittenhouse’s racist and murderous motivations. Schroeder has denied the prosecution’s request to show evidence of Rittenhouse’s violence in the days and weeks prior to August 25, all out of concern not to “prejudice” the jury against him. But Schroeder is happy to let the evidence be presented suggesting that one of Rittenhouse’s victims was predisposed to violence. Schroeder has shown himself ready to help Rittenhouse out of tight spots when under cross-examination. Schroeder has blocked the prosecution from telling the jury that one of the defense witnesses works for the white nationalist (fascist) One America News Network. The ringtone on Schroeder’s personal telephone, which went off during the trial last Wednesday, is from Donald Trump’s favorite campaign theme song.

As of today (Monday, November 15, 2021), Schroeder has struck down the weapons charge on Rittenhouse on preposterous grounds and badly flubbed the jury instruction prior to the presentation of the prosecution’s closing (and compelling) argument.

This is a trial with enormous stakes. The Rittenhouse defense is the glorification of lawlessness in the name of law and order – a key fascist calling card. It is part of what Becker calls “the continuing war on truth, portraying those who protest police murder and white supremacy as ‘violent,’ and heavily armed vigilantes as ‘protectors of the [white] community.’” It has included a transparently coached and faked meltdown in which Rittenhouse pretended to have been in fear for his life on the night he murdered Rosenbaum and Huber. Paul Butler is one of the few mainstream commentators to comment on this nauseating gambit:

‘Kyle Rittenhouse, the man charged with homicide in the deaths of two anti-police brutality demonstrators, seems to have spent much more time at the gun range than in acting classes…While testifying about the moment he shot Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the protesters, Rittenhouse sniffled, quivered, contorted his face, bloated his cheeks and did just about everything else you’d expect of a novice actor attempting to convey sorrow. Pictures even showed him peeking around the courtroom as he worked himself into a lather. Though photos captured a single tear streaming down his face, I couldn’t tell whether it was from actually crying, or if he’d merely worked up a sweat from trying… It was a Razzie-worthy performance in my view, but I’m not the target audience for this sick show. The Rittenhouse murder trial is being prosecuted in front of a nearly all-white jury, before a white judge who uses conservative lingo to describe protesters, in a country where white vigilantism is often excused, if not worshipped. In that context, Rittenhouse’s tears, real or not, have tremendous value…There’s a type of person who is vulnerable to emotional appeals from violent white men, and Rittenhouse’s attorneys only need one of 12 jurors to fit the profile to win this case.’

The video the prosecution has shown (again) today of Rittenhouse killing Rosenbaum is evidence of murder. Rittenhouse is shown pursuing Rosenbaum and making his first or four shots far from arm’s length. A Not Guilty verdict in the murder of Rosenbaum will be a travesty.

The video the prosecution has shown (again) today of Rittenhouse killing Huber is evidence of murder. It shows Anthony Huber heroically trying to intervene against an active shooter. A Not Guilty verdict in the murder of Anthony Huber will be a travesty.

The video the prosecution has shown (again) today of Rittenhouse shooting Gaige Grosskreutz is evidence of attempted murder. A Not Guilty in the shooting of Grosskreutz will be a travesty.

The whole world is watching judge Bruce Schroeder’s racist circus with bated breath because we know that a Not Guilty verdict will be a green light to fascist terror and racist vigilantism from coast to coast. A Not Guilty verdict in the Rittenhouse trial will be an open season declaration for the continuation and escalation of that assault in a time when white nationalist fascism is ascending, with the right-wing Supreme Court poised to unleash a gun slaughter coast to coast.

The same goes, by the way, for the federal civil prosecution currently underway against the openly fascist white supremacists who instigated bloody and murderous assaults (also defended by then-president Donald Trump) on civil rights protesters marching against the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017. Also currently on trial are three white vigilantes who stalked and murdered the young Black man Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia in February of 2020.

Along with January 6 and the weak prosecution of the fascist Capitol marauders, along with the racist voter suppression and election nullification measures that are being set in place in dozens of states, along with the war on teaching historical truth, along with the violent threats being made against the school board and public health officials, and along with the right-wing legal campaign against abortion rights and gun control, a not guilty verdict in this terrible case will be yet another step on the path to a fascist America.

As we are seeing very clearly under Joe Biden, voting for Democrats once every 2 or 4 years won’t stop the racist, sexist, and authoritarian juggernaut. Only the power of the people united in a mass movement in the streets and public squares can do the job. It must be a movement dedicated to what Dr. Martin Luther King called near the end of his life “the real issue to be faced, the radical and democratic reconstruction of society itself.”

The only alternative to that reconstruction, the only alternative that revolution, King warned, would be a racist and fascist police state.

We have the power if we choose to use it, to bring that reconstruction about. We began to show that in 2020. We can and must show it again and on a much bigger scale before it’s too late.

Paul Street’s new book is The Hollow Resistance: Obama, Trump, and Politics of Appeasement.

40 comments

  1. THIS ARTICLE IS FULL OF LIES AND AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE TO BOTH THE AUTHOR AND SCHEERPOST.

    Setting aside the ridiculous use of “fascism” which i remind you is defined by mussolini as “Fascism […] is the merger of state and corporate power ” making biden more fascist than Trump, almost every fact asserted in this article is OUTRIGHT FALSE as demonstrated both during the trial and in the videos of the event, neither of which the author has seen unless he is a pathological liar. The rifle was legally owned and legally carried by Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse was there among other things to ERASE GRAFFITI and PUT OUT FIRES. The so called ” martyr ” rosenbaum HAD 11 COUNTS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT ON YOUNG BOYS INCLUDING ANAL RAPE and was coming out of the asylum. The other martyr was an abuser. The third, who got shot but survived was conceal carrying a pistol AND KYLE DID NOT SHOOT HIM UNTIL THE MOMENT HE DREW HIS PISTOL AND ATTEMPTED TO POINT IT AT RITTENHOUSE PRESUMABLY TO SHOOT HIM.

    But most damning of all IS THE VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE EVENT SHOWING RITTENHOUSE WALKING AWAY FROM THE MOB OF DERANGED LEFTISTS WHO THREW THINGS AT HIM, ASSAULTED HIM, THEN CHASED HIM, SAYING QUOTE ” CRANIUM HIM , STRUCK HIS HEAD, THEN JUMP KICKED HIM, THEN HIT HIM ON THE HEAD WITH A SKATEBOARD, and FINALLY PULLED A GUN ON HIM.

    Jesus christ robert and the mods what is wrong with you that you’d let such ludicrous woke propaganda on this site ?? After the pro-jab propaganda we get this ?? Even jimmy dore made a video on this, tho i cannot recommend rekieta law and viva frei s coverage enough, they are lawyers.

  2. Wow… Did this guy REALLY just called this Rosenbaum creep a “Martyr”? Is he confusing that idiotic deranged rioter, with the folks who died in Selma, desegregating the South, registering black voters, and going on the Freedom Rides?

    Talk about disconnected from from reality…this psychotic episode should end in an evaluation by a professional.

    After being seen engaged in Disturbance of the Peace – and acts of Arson and Riot… Mr. Rosenbaum CLEARLY ATTACKS Kyle Rittenhouse, unprovoked, and with fatal consequences, for himself – and another in the ensuing events.

    One doesn’t need to be a supporter of Trump or Rittenhouse – to acknowledge that the first shooting he did, was in all likelihood justifiable under the law.

  3. What the heck happened to Paul Street? I used to think he was a pretty good political commentator, but this screed places him squarely in the category of persons affected by Trump Derangement Syndrome. There is a tremendous excess of rhetoric in this opinion piece and a profound lack of actual facts. Not only that but Street who used to write about the problems the 1% have brought to this country now is fomenting the use of the term “fascist” to describe the tribulations of a seventeen year old boy who likes guns. Has he forgotten the classic definition of fascist which was promoted by Benito Mussolini and actually referred to the cooperation of government elites and corporate power in the bid to take over the world?
    And why would a journalist as esteemed as Robert Scheer stoop to publish such trash?

    1. What nonsense from you. It is you who are very short on any relevant facts, while big on windy bombast and mere complaint because the author doesn’t reflect your own viewpoint. Street is absolutely spot on regarding the growing right wing fascist movement in USA, and you are in denial, or most likely a right winger who can’t face the fascism of Trump, Boogaloo Boys, Proud Boys, and neo-nazis. What is fascism? It is white racist reactionary belligerent nationalism which is virulently against socialism, minorities and unions. For Hitler he attacked the communist party in DE, and of course made Jews his scape goat, his enemy. For Trump and his followers like Rittenhouse who certainly was an avid Trump follower, the enemy is blacks, hispanics and progressives be them white or black. The truth of the matter is that the USA since at least Reagan in the 80s has been lurching more and more to the right into fascism. The USA has become a right wing fascist military police state. That white supremacist vigilantes like Rittenhouse can openly go to human rights demonstrations with a semi-automatic assault rifle, kill demonstrators, be ignored by police, and then be aquitted in a show trial shows how far into fascism the USA has become. As Paul Street points out we are in an extremely dangerous time now. America is well on its way to becoming a right wing racist fascist police state.

      1. “Human rights demonstrations”? Give me a break. That was a riot and those who were shot were rioters one of which was armed and admitted in court to drawing his gun on Rittenhouse. Rosenblaum wasn’t even associated with BLM and was just released from jail after ten years for anal raping an 11 year old boy. He also pushed a flaming dumpster towards a gas station with people in it. Multiple witnesses and video evidence showed he violently attacked Rittenhouse before being shot. The true “fascist threat” in America is from cancel culture, woke propaganda that this article promotes as well as nearly all establishment media, and blatant censorship.

  4. This is a pet peeve, but I really object to the term “fascism” being used incorrectly like this. At its core, fascism is corporatism, and there’s nothing corporatist described here. Call it nationalism, racism, authoritarianism, some other -ism, or some combination. But these jerks have nothing to do with fascism. Hell, the Democratic Party is more fascist than these people. There are many kinds of evil ideologies, and calling everyone you don’t like fascist and every ideology you don’t like fascism is rather childish.

    1. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Fascism is not “corporatism”. Fascism is a form of authoritarian dictatorship which forces by threats of violence or takeover, corporations to cooperate with the fascist government. Fascism is capitalism without democracy, without union representation of labor, and often employs slave labor or forced labor–as Hitler made use of during his time in power. Similar to Hitler’s Germany, the USA today now uses vast amounts of prison labor for the benefit of American corporations. Fascism is based in white supremacy and unites through hatred of a perceived ‘enemy’: for Hitler it was Jews, Gypsies, communists and trade unions. For fascist Trump his ‘enemies’ are, not surprisingly anti-fascists, blacks/BLM protestors, and human rights activists (regardless of skin color). Fascists never gain support or power with a common good to bring people together; rather they manufacture through propaganda a common enemy to unify through hatred, which they spread to their followers through media propaganda just like Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda did to the Jews. So in short yeah–you’re totally wrong about what fascism is.

      1. I don’t know what I’m talking about? I use the definition that both Mussolini, the “father of fascism,” and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. use. You make up your own incorrect definition to fit your political ideologies, then say I don’t know what I’m talking about. Yeah, right!

        Anyone who uses Nazi Germany to define “fascism” is clueless, because Nazi Germany was a very peculiar form of it with other ideologies mixed in, and not at all representative of fascism. Fascist Italy and Spain were much better examples of fascism. Corporations running the government is fascism. Corporations merely cooperating with the government could be anything, from capitalism to socialism, depending on how that cooperation plays out.

        People who call everything they don’t like “fascist” or “fascism” are like children who get mad at their parents and don’t know how to articulate the reason for their anger. There are other words to describe things like a prison state, slavery, white supremacy, and all of the terms that I provided. Calling those things fascist is totally wrong, and it’s YOU who don’t know what they’re talking about.

  5. THIS ARTICLE IS FULL OF LIES AND AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE TO BOTH THE AUTHOR AND SCHEERPOST.

    Setting aside the ridiculous use of “fascism” which i remind you is defined by mussolini as “Fascism […] is the merger of state and corporate power ” making biden more fascist than Trump, almost every fact asserted in this article is OUTRIGHT FALSE as demonstrated both during the trial and in the videos of the event, neither of which the author has seen unless he is a pathological liar. The rifle was legally owned and legally carried by Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse was there among other things to ERASE GRAFFITI and PUT OUT FIRES. The so called ” martyr ” rosenbaum HAD 11 COUNTS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT ON YOUNG BOYS and was coming out of the asylum. The other martyr was an abuser. The third, who got shot but survived was conceal carrying a pistol and KYLE DID NOT SHOOT HIM UNTIL THE MOMENT HE DREW HIS PISTOL AND ATTEMPTED TO POINT IT AT RITTENHOUSE PRESUMABLY TO SHOOT HIM.

    But most damning of all IS THE VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE EVENT SHOWING RITTENHOUSE WALKING AWAY FROM THE MOB OF DERANGED LEFTISTS WHO THREW THINGS AT HIM, ASSAULTED HIM, THEN CHASED HIM, SAYING QUOTE ” CRANIUM HIM , STRUCK HIS HEAD, THEN JUMP KICKED HIM, THEN HIT HIM ON THE HEAD WITH A SKATEBOARD, and FINALLY PULLED A GUN ON HIM.

    Jesus christ robert and the mods what is wrong with you that you’d let such ludicrous woke propaganda on this site ?? After the pro-jab propaganda we get this ?? Quote from above the fold “Scheer’s parents instilled a strict moral code that favored seeking the truth and getting it out there for the world to know.”
    Get your facts straights, seek the truth as your bio claims.

    Even jimmy dore made a video on this, tho i cannot recommend rekieta law and viva frei’s coverage enough, they are lawyers.

    1. Terajo9660 lost all credibility in starting his or her rant by referencing Mussolini’s definition of fascism, as if that were the authority. Clearly more the writer’s role model. But to go on to say that the young man, (since we have to acknowledge his humanity along with his lunacy) was there to clean up graffiti and put out fires…. he’s looked up the wrong line in the Fascist Book of Excuses. Had the boy been out throwing acid, for example, you might take a bucket and say you were there to clean graffiti and put out fires, but how do you clean graffiti and put out fires with a machine gun? I think the writer should leave the boy’s defence to the defendant’s allegedly multimillion dollar defence team, who are clearly better-rehearsed than is he.

  6. I can’t believe what I’m reading in these comments. He shot a man that was chasing him, who was not armed. The commentary on Rumble and what’s missing tells more than what Rumble presents. I watch with tons of questions and the one guy who shot into the air is still alive presumably. Why wasn’t he interviewed for this presentation? It’s obvious Rittenhouse bit off more than he could chew and was looking for a fight. Is he a murderer? What did he expect, walking into a protest that he didn’t belong in with an AR15. He was the threat and he meant to be the threat. This boy placed his sad ass in that position and he got challenged and he murdered those who challenged him.

    1. Clearly you’ve not seen the video of this incident because it’s quite clear that the right evidence based verdict was handed down in this trial. It doesn’t matter how you roll politically because why should that have any bearing on the outcome of a trial? If it was the Grand Wizard of the KKK on trial in place of Rittenhouse, he too would be found not guilty because evidence and nothing else should determine the verdict. Rittenhouse appeared to me to be just a young conservative kid who strongly believes in law and order as administered by the police which is not in itself an unpopular stance for many people, objectionable as that maybe to many other people. If you do the crime you do the time and only the available evidence should determine the final verdict.

    2. A friend of the guy chasing him shot a gun multiple times from behind him as he was being chased. That combined with the fact that he was being chased by someone who was literally a dangerous psychotic who had just thrown something at him unarguably created a strong possibility that he was in reasonable fear for his life. Certainly far more reasonable than when cops claim it.

  7. Classical fascism takes on a different “flavor,” if you will, in every country in infects.

    Lawrence Britt pigeon-holed the fourteen defining characteristics of five fascist governments in the 20th c.

    Then came Sheldon Wolin’s masterpiece, “Democracy, Inc: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism.” That really opened my eyes as to who actually pulls the strings of state, local and national policy. It literally turned the concept of classical fascism on its head.

    I don’t think Wolin back in 2008 could have foreseen the rise of classical fascist militia groups we now see in the U.S.

    There is a similarity between Hitler’s anti-Jewish Brownshirts in the 1930s and the white-supremacist Proud Boys and Boogaloos of today, most with support from local law enforcement.

    Also, the massive involvement of Christian Nationalists in government affairs and its fierce loyalty to Donald Trump closely resembles the German Christian Church of the 1930s in which Hitler’s every policy was rubber-stamped as God’s will.

  8. I notice lots of the responses refer to Mussolini as the authority on what fascism is. Other than reflecting a certain coordination among posters – hmmm – they are wrong. Mussolini was a fascist, so taking his word for what fascism is, is asinine. Leftists define fascism as extra-legal terror used to blunt the left, in the service of the majority of capital, with aid from the capitalist state. Hitler, Mussolini and Franco all succeeded due to these methods. The KKK in the South, the Black Legion in the North, also operated with support from rich people, the legal system and the police. The present hard-rightists and crypto-fascists in the Proud Boys and the Boogaloos are similar, but not identical. Street’s identification of Trump as a fascist is actually over-wrought, Democratic Party hysteria.

    But if Rittenhouse gets away with this – underaged for Wisconsin Conceal and Carry, using an illegal gun, crossing state lines with his crazy mother’s help, running around, safety off, sometimes pointing at people, nowhere near a ‘business’ he was supposedly protecting, backed by local cops, judiciary and politicians – this has all the earmarks of a ‘permission to shoot to kill’ that cops also use when they are frightened. Who went looking for trouble? Who went armed? Who had malicious intent? Rittenhouse.

    1. “Mussolini was a fascist, so taking his word for what fascism is, is asinine. Leftists define fascism as …”

      THAT is what’s asinine. It is irrelevant what leftists think that fascism is; it’s only relevant what it really is. Someone who was an avowed fascist is far more qualified to say what it is than leftists. If leftists say that fascism is anything they don’t like, would that make it true?

      If you don’t want to accept Mussolini’s definition, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a more detailed and accurate one: Fascism is the opposite of communism. Communism is where the government runs the corporations, and fascism is where the corporations run the government.

      The terms “corporation,” “ruling class,” and “oligarchs” can all be interchanged in this context.

    2. Sounds like you are getting all your information from CNN. You should actually watch the case and form a real opinion, not just regurgitate MSM BS.
      Conceal carry has nothing to do with the case. How would you even conceal an AR? The gun was actually legal. He lived 10 minutes away from Kenosha. It’s not illegal to cross state lines with a firearm. How do you think people hunt in other states? For what it’s worth, bu video and testimony it’s clear that Rittenhouse demonstrated proper gun safety. He wasn’t “near the business he was protecting” because he was chased by lunatic who was beating him with a skateboard saying he was going to kill him. The cops were nowhere to be seen in this mess so it’s disingenuous to say they gave him “permission to kill” although when he tried to turn himself in the first time they told him to go home (and I seriously doubt a black man would of been told the same). I think if you go to a city with an intent to destroy it which is what these “demonstrators” were doing – that is “looking for trouble” with “malicious intent”.

  9. A week ago, I wanted Rittenhouse to rot in prison for the rest of his life and my wife and I mocked the image of him crying on the stand. It wasn’t until earlier this week – thanks to Matt Orfalea and the much derided Jimmy Dore – that we learned the details of the night in question. Couldn’t imagine it was possible to think less of the pathetic, broken minds that inhabit the left in America today, but this incident has me amazed at just how loathsome they can be. Mr. Street is free to write his garbage, but that Sheerpost would reprint it is infuriating. Goodbye.

  10. more evidence that Geoffrey Gore is correct
    “the amerikans liberal/progressive wants to preserve the essence of the past; the amerikan conservative wants more progress. the European radical wants to hasten the transformation of the future; the European conservative wants to preserve the essence of the past”

  11. After the Rittenhouse verdict, Americans have a new Roe versus Wade. Now you’re allowed to exterminate grown people that it’s inconvenient in your minds to have walking the streets in your neighbourhood. Welcome to Mob Rule, America. All those guns, and not one of them can be used to keep the peace.

  12. There is some serious stupid in some of the above comments. Organized violence
    is part and parcel of corporatist fascism. It’s how they create disorder in the name
    of “law and order” – thus to squelch serious dissent. That little (bleep) Rittenhouse
    was a capitalist tool, as much as any hedge fund crook or Pinkerton.

    He went to Kenosha in order to do what he did. Expect a lot more.

  13. This is a most excellent and comprehensive article by Paul Street which details and brings together all of the connected people, movements and events which have lead to this farcical grotesque aquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse–a grotesque perversion of justice, presided over by a judge, Schroeder who made to pretense of his massive siding with Rittenhouse. Schroeder did everything in his power to throw the case in favor of Rittenhouse. What a total farce, a complete kangaroo show-trial with makes the Stalin show trials of the late 1930s look like beacons of justice and impartiality by comparison. Can you imagine if Rittenhouse was black, and went to a Trump maga-rally or similar and shot 2 white demonstrators and seriously wounded a 3rd?? He would already be dead–like the police execution of Michael Reinoehl in WA state who shot a Trump supporter who was about to crack him over the head with a steel baton. And if a black Rittenhouse managed to survive and make it to a court trial, a judge like this racist Schroeder would give him life in jail or the death penalty, hands down. Moreover, like Paul Street points out here, this outrageously criminal verdict aquitting Rittenhouse of double homocide gives white supremacist vigilantes the green light to go to any BLM protest, human rights demonstration etc and shoot protestors dead: then glibly claim “I was just defending myself from an angry mob of looters”. So now, if you are a human rights, or BLM protestor you not only have the police against you, but you also have a shitload of Boogaloo Boys, Proud Boys, KKK, neo-nazis and similar scum ready to blow your brains out with a semi-automatic rifle. Also take notice that the comments below articles about Rittenhouse like this one here are being flooded with angry right wing extremists spewing their hatred of this author and SCREAMING IN CAPITALS on behalf of Rittenhouse’s innocence and “self defense”. It appears to me that there is a very active, well organized right wing troll army flooding all media outlets and comment threads with their angry bile and excrement against any who dare to question this farcical show trial and its highly politicized outcome. Well done Paul Street, yet another excellent article.

  14. I used to think of Paul Street as the guy on Counterpunch who’s only real talent was dreaming up insulting nicknames for Trump, but now I see he has jettisoned any journalistic principles he might have had – witness this gem,

    “Two of the martyrs, Anthony Huber and Joe Joe Rosenbaum . . ”

    Translation . . two habitual criminals, one a serial rapist of little boys (5 of them, aged 9 to 11), and spousal abuser, released the same day from a mental hospital for attempted at suicide (his second attempt), who promptly violated a restraining order by contacting his former partner.

    Makes you wonder about the editorial staff at Counterpunch. It’s also no surprise from this that their readers are deserting them for the likes of Jimmy Dore, Matt Taibbi, and Glenn Greenwald, etc. Meanwhile, Paul Street continues publish this gobbledegook and get top billing there.

  15. A week ago I might have halfway believed your bullshit article . But now I’ve seen Jimmy Dore interview videographer Matt Orfalea and he showed the videos of that night that the mainstream media has kept hidden. Here’s a link.
    https://youtu.be/9-SKkvH_AUc

    Rittenhouse is guilty of being a Trumper, a gun nut, and an idiot. He is not guilty of murder. I saw self defense in these videos every time. And he did us all a favor in killing that thug Rosenbaum, who was there causing trouble and destruction. He was no martyr for the cause.

    Your lies, exaggerations , and propaganda is part of the problem in this country. Do your homework next time or don’t post. This was highly unprofessional and a waste of everyone’s time. Come on, Sheerpost!!!

    1. You nailed what Rittenhouse is guilty of Julie. Trump broke the brains of most Democrats and progressives, and the unfounded comments here are a perfect example of the results of that.

    2. If you’re a Trumper, a gun nut, and an idiot, then (if you kill somebody)
      you’re a murderer. When George Zimmermann got out of that car with
      a loaded gun, he became a murderer. Trayvon Martin was legitimately
      standing his ground. But, silly me, standing your ground applies only
      to angry white men who assume that dark-skinned individuals are
      criminals.

      Rittenhouse was as much of a rioter as those he killed and maimed are
      accused to have been. After his first killing, he was an active shooter.
      Trying to stop him was fully justified.

      BTW: the character flaws of those who tried to stop him are irrelevant.
      His character flaws are completely relevant and were deliberately
      excluded from the trial by a clearly prejudiced judge.

      This verdict means open season on people who show their unhappiness
      about racism in the street, who don’t want Ruby Bridges unmentioned
      in the schools, and don’t think books by Toni Morrison should be banned.

      And yes, all these things are connected. Don’t kid yourself.

      1. Your comments are a perfect example of someone with TDS. They are totally illogical (“If you’re a Trumper, a gun nut, and an idiot, then (if you kill somebody) you’re a murderer”) and don’t at all deal with the facts here.

      2. Your take on this is delusional. Rittenhouse wasn’t there to oppose the protesters. He was there to defend property from wilful destruction by rioters who were probably there to riot and not be part of the legitimate protest. Why is being conservative and a republican voter considered grounds for incarceration?

  16. Oof! A sever misstep printing this here, Mr. Scheer. 4 paragraphs in and Street shows he has no grasp of the facts of the Rittenhouse case, just like all of the mainstream media he professes to despise. All else that follows, therefore, is irrelevant, including the useful background info on how we are — and have been since our inception — an unjust country, which, in the context of this article actually serves to paint Rittenhouse as a symptom, not a cause, of this system. Lastly, Street’s many guilt by association statements here make the entire piece hopelessly biased. Belief systems and political leanings do not dictate criminality.

    By design or ignorance, Street gets the lessons of the Rittenhouse trial all wrong.

  17. Dude, that’s either the most dishonest article you’ve ever published or the most uninformed. Very poor journalism indeed.

    1. Yeah, and what happened to CounterPunch? It used to be really good, and what it did was debunk establishment media. Now it’s reinforcing establishment media.

      Very little reliable media around these days!

  18. John 1965 has written:
    “If it was the Grand Wizard of the KKK on trial in place of Rittenhouse, he too would be found not guilty because evidence and nothing else should determine the verdict. Rittenhouse appeared to me to be just a young conservative kid who strongly believes in law and order as administered by the police.”
    First, the Wizard would be acquitted as well for fear of his organisation, whatever the merits. Nothing to do with the evidence.
    Second, the the strong belief in law and order was not a belief that it should be administered by the police, that last bit has been tagged onto John’s characterisation to whitewash Rittenhouse who went there with a machine gun from another town to look for some action. He’s not in the police, at least not yet. I see this as a story of coming of age in America. You’re not thought to be a man in fascist circles until you at least cripple someone you can later boast was some kind of undesirable in your society. Now two men are dead. Your moral focus is wrongly on the point at which he was ALLOWED in law to finally pull the trigger on his warm gun. You think that once that issue is given the all clear you’re then one righteous individual backed up by another 72 million righteous individuals, who are not now individuals but a lethal mob, being all the other 2nd amendment suckers to the gun manufacturers’ propaganda about freedom. The moral thing to do would be not to take the gun out to play and to have stayed at home. Christ tells us that before you break into a strong man’s house you must first bind the strong man; and we have the strong man in the form of the police. He also says that the law will not pass away, and the law is: thou shalt not kill.

    1. Roland, there’s a fair bit of projection going on here. First of all, I’m not American, I’m Australian so l can look at this from a more neutral and objective perspective. Politically, l support socialism and l view both the Dems and Republicans as right wing and both not worth voting for because why encourage them to continue with the same nonsense that passes as democracy in America!

      I believe, as l think most people in any other country would, that it’s off the charts insane that it’s within the law in some states of the US that you can walk down a public street armed with a semi automatic rifle (not a machine gun as you stated). Because of the high level of gun ownership in America, especially amongst criminals, every time a cop engages with a member of the public for any reason, they probably will assume the person is armed so the chance of a police shooting is infinitely higher compared to other countries which makes for trigger happy cops. You think there might be a connection between high levels of gun ownership and high levels of gun violence? Solution is gun law reform and a rejection of gun culture generally is it not? It works well in other countries and what other country has the right to own a gun written into the constitution? There should be a law that the constitution has to be rewritten every 100 years so archaic clauses no longer relevant to modern life can be eliminated. As l understand it, the 2ndA is designed to allow an armed citizenry to defend against government tyranny yet l see plenty of evidence that the US government is indeed tyrannical but l can’t recall any pushback against that by armed citizens so what’s the point of the 2ndA?

      If you want the US legal system to degenerate even further to the level of Stalinist show trials where people are tried and convicted for wrong think and false charges because they’re not aligned with the officially approved liberal narrative then Rittenhouse can be found guilty. But if you want trials of the accused to be judged on US law as it’s written then Rittenhouse is not guilty and that same law will be applied to all citizens irrespective of any other consideration so in the Rittenhouse case, the verdict was the correct one.

      I think it has been found that Rittenhouse was indeed a local of Kenosha, working there and living a mile from the state line and he was there not for any political reason but just to defend property from being attacked by rioters who almost certainly were trouble makers and not genuine BLM protesters. If the guy leans Republican then so what because it’s not yet a crime to not support the Democrat agenda. I too would defend my property against violent rioters if l could but in my country l’d have to use a cricket bat so at least no one would be shot because hardly anyone owns a gun here! Who is really surprised that a ridiculous number of people get shot in America when anyone can own a gun? Serious gun law reform might be a good place to start in order to turn things around in America but there doesn’t seem to be much momentum for that. Nothing good comes from a heavily armed citizenry and that is beyond dispute because the rest of the world is proof of that.

  19. So sad Paul. So sad. You seem more worried about drumming up followers to sling your new book to, than to actually doing some legitimate journalism.
    CounterPunch, what have you done? You’ve turned yourself into a fanatical version of Star or the Enquirer. Pity.

  20. I think the most disturbing part of the trial is that any person could have watched all of the testimonies, all of the video and cell phone evidence, and listened to the entire case but yet instead of forming their own first hand opinion of what actually happened they rely on some mouthpiece of the establishment to from it for them. Wether it’s Rachel Maddow or Tucker Carlson, both are curating a narrative that fits their audience’s preferences. I get that it takes a little bit more time and mental energy to figure it out on your own but it’s really not that hard. After watching the trial I can positively say that this article is filled with PROPAGANDA which is the same nonsense that is continually spewed by the likes of Rachel Maddow and it is pathetic and sad that this trash got published on Scheerpost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: