MSNBC host slams 'right-wing activists' for promoting violent conflict in the streets: 'Is that the society we want?'
For immigrants who fled to the United States to escape the political turmoil they left behind in their native countries, the violence and unrest of 2020 was truly unsettling — including the violence that rocked Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020, when teenage vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse used an AR-15-style weapon to shoot three protesters (two of them fatally). Rittenhouse, now on trial for homicide and attempted homicide and insisting he acted in self-defense, has been exalted as a hero by extremists on the far right. And liberal MSNBC host Chris Hayes, during a biting commentary on November 10, laid out some reasons why this far-right support for Rittenhouse is so disturbing.
Hayes said of Rittenhouse, who was 17 in August 2020 and is now 18, "He heard warnings about the boogeymen of Black Lives Matter and Antifa, and he took this illegally acquired assault weapon…. and he throws himself in the fray in Kenosha. And he kills two people."
With an image of Fox News' Tucker Carlson, a Rittenhouse defender, appearing on the screen, Hayes added, "The boy who killed people is then celebrated, by the same pro-gun law-and-order culture that produced him, as a hero and a martyr. And he's bailed out with the help of right-wing activists."
"Do we want a society in which political conflict is settled on the streets between people with guns? One in which everyone is armed and can therefore view the other people armed as a plausible threat?" says @chrislhayes. "Is that the society we want?"pic.twitter.com/R9yayJLzUu— All In with Chris Hayes (@All In with Chris Hayes) 1636593788
The two protesters Rittenhouse shot and killed were Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. A third protester, Gaige Grosskreutz, was shot by Rittenhouse but survived and has testified for the prosecution at his trial.
Hayes went on to say that Rittenhouse's trial raises "broader" questions.
"There's a legal question before the jury right now of Kyle Rittenhouse's guilt or innocence," Hayes told viewers. "It's being determined; it will be determined. From what I've seen, I think it's pretty likely he'll be acquitted, honestly. But there's also the broader question of what kind of society we want to live in. Ask yourself that…. Do we want a society in which political conflict is settled on the streets between people with guns? One in which everyone is armed and can therefore view the other people armed as a possible threat, which appears to have happened on the streets of Kenosha?"
The liberal MSNBC host continued, "Is that the society we want? Because that's the outcome the pro-gun lobby is hoping to bring about — is bringing about. Go ask the families of those two dead men. And they're doing it through lots of channels."
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