The parallels between me and Kyle Rittenhouse are impossible not to draw.
Kyle was 17-years-old when he became a household name after that terrible tragedy in Kenosha.
I was 16-years-old when I was catapulted into the national conversation by video of an encounter with a Native American activist on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Kyle was almost immediately labelled a ‘white supremacist’ and a ‘domestic terrorist’.
To many, my red MAGA hat clearly meant that I was a racist.
(Left) Nicholas Sandmann is pictured facing a Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial in January 2019. (Right) Kyle Rittenhouse is seen in Kenosha on the night he killed two men and injured a third in August 2020
‘From my own experience, the death threats, feeling of no future ahead, and that millions of people hate you, is enough to alter you in many concrete ways and permanently’
In only hours a CNN host tweeted an image of me, writing: ‘Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?’.
Kyle wasn’t given his day in court by his critics.
And neither was I.
The attacks on Kyle came from the national news media, just as they came for me.
They came quickly, without hesitation, because Kyle was an easy target that they could paint in the way they wanted to.
This is the problem with liberal media outlets in the United States. They want to get the story first, get the most views, make the most money, and advance the agenda from liberal patrons.
These outlets cover themselves when they are wrong with small footnotes at the ends of long articles, clarifying that new information has come out and that they have updated their coverage.
News shouldn’t be a scoreboard that constantly changes.
News is about coverage that includes a statement of facts that does not need to be corrected. But, the liberal media doesn’t do this.
The liberal media rushes to be the first to report.
So every single label on Kyle as a ‘terrorist’, ‘white supremacist’, and ‘school shooter’ in the streets of Kenosha, will only ever be withdrawn after the damage has been done.
‘In our hyperpolarized society, the first impression of Kyle has been set in stone, probably for the rest of his life.’
In our hyperpolarized society, the first impression of Kyle has been set in stone, probably for the rest of his life.
On November 10th, Lebron James tweeted out ‘What tears????? I didn’t see one. Man knock it off! That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court’.
Lebron’s tweet reflects the insensitivity and resentment of the liberal media and elites that has surrounded this entire ordeal, from its beginning to now.
In the video referenced by James, Kyle breaks down as he tries to describe the moments before he made the decision to fire his weapon at the people he felt were threatening his life.
It is oblivious to the trauma associated with this event and how it severely affects Kyle.
Taking a life, for any reason, sticks with someone forever and yet the liberal elites would rather turn it into a joke for likes.
Rittenhouse broke down on the stand as he testified about the moments before he shot and killed one of two people in Kenosha on the night of August 25, 2020
Not only does Kyle have to deal with that, but it is compounded with the overwhelming stress and trauma of the character assassination taking place against him.
From my own experience, the death threats, feeling of no future ahead, and that millions of people hate you, is enough to alter you in many concrete ways and permanently.
Make no mistake: even the strongest of people cannot resist the mental impact when the media war machine targets you.
With Kyle’s name dragged through the mud, and the clear effect it is having on him, many have started to ask the question whether Kyle should sue for defamation.
While I am by no means an attorney, I have gained some experience on the ins and outs of defamation and can offer an educated guess on what the outcome would be if Kyle were to sue.
It is important to note that defamation cases are some of the hardest cases to win.
The plaintiff must first prove that what was published about them was false. This is usually defeated by the protection of the First Amendment as defendants claim that they were expressing their opinion.
The First Amendment is a right that Americans hold dear and our right to free speech should be protected.
A plaintiff must then prove that as a result of the publishings of the defendant that they were negatively impacted in their community.
As for the previous terms Kyle has been labelled (white supremacist, terrorist, school shooter), I have my doubts as to whether these legal claims would be successful in court.
If ‘Person A’ was to say that Kyle was a white supremacist (or any of these other terms), ‘A’ would be able to claim that being a white supremacist or a racist was their opinion and Rittenhouse’s conduct.
The case law on defamation argues that these terms are opinions because a term like ‘racist’ or ‘white supremacist’ does not specifically imply a fact that can be proven false.
But one claim where Kyle may have a chance (albeit still a challenging case to win) is on the issue of him allegedly crossing state lines with a weapon.
That claim was proven to be false.
If terms like ‘racist’ and ‘school shooter’ were used in conjunction with false facts it can create a defamatory gist that he crossed state lines with weapons and his actions were done in a racist or white supremacist manner.
Should Kyle sue? It first depends on what happens in the trial, as those elements would come into play were he found guilty. However, if Kyle is innocent it would create an easier road to winning.
Again, the chances are still low and nothing is guaranteed in a defamation trial. Kyle should also be prepared for a long trial which will be present in his mind for years.
I personally am still involved in six media lawsuits as January approaches marking three years since the confrontation took place at the March for Life.
‘One of the saddening parts of this media onslaught is that it has taken young people like Kyle and myself to expose how corrupt the media really is’
So, if Kyle is prepared to take on another burden in his early life, with the acceptance that it might result in nothing, I answer, give it a shot and hold the media accountable.
One of the saddening parts of this media onslaught is that it has taken young people like Kyle and myself to expose how corrupt the media really is.
From my own experience, I know that this cannot be easy for Kyle. While I have waited to comment on the facts of Kyle’s case until the trial ends. I cannot hold back on the media’s public execution of him before the trial has concluded.
At this time I would like to use my platform to let Kyle know that I am here for you and if you ever would like to reach out to me, I am about the only person our age to have an idea of how the media is treating you. The way the media has treated you is terrible, and you don’t have to face it alone.