A month after his acquittal for murder, Kyle Rittenhouse received a standing ovation Monday night at a Conservative conference in Phoenix as panellists discussed what happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2020 when the teen shot and killed three men.
The event, called AmericaFest, was hosted by Turning Point USA, a young conservative group. As a Rittenhaus take the stageThousands of cheering fans sang his name along with his own theme song adapted from his name. The hosts asked if any women in the crowd wanted to go on a date with Rittenhouse, which led to loud cheers.
A viewer held a “kiss me” sign, said one viewer.
Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, praised Rittenhouse and told him: “You are a hero to millions, it is an honor to have you.”
On stage, Rittenhouse, 18, pondered how his trial has matured him and discussed his decision to testify in his own defense.
“I think my trial was an example of how they tried to get after our second amending right, a right to defend ourselves, by trying to take arms,” he said.
In Kenosha last August, during a protest against the racial justice of Black Lives Matters, Rittenhouse killed Joseph Rosenbaum (36) and Anthony Huber (26) and wounded Gaige Großkreutz, 27, when he shot them with an assault rifle while he was with other armed men through the Streets grazed by men who act as self-appointed militia.
The protest followed the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, in the back by a white police officer who left Blake partially paralyzed.
In Phoenix, security guards kicked a journalist out on Monday for asking Rittenhouse questions “too aggressively”.
the independent The journalist Elad Eliahu asked: “Excuse me, Mr. Rittenhouse, can you tell me why you support“ Black Lives Matter ”. Rittenhouse said he did.
According to Eliahu, “security officers wrapped me up and removed me from the conference.”
A Turning Point spokesperson said Eliahu had “rushed Kyle a little too aggressively” and “he will definitely not return to AmericaFest”.
Rittenhouse’s acquittal in November came after a trial that swept America. Although the men Rittenhouse shot were also white, the trial was viewed by many as a litmus test for the country’s racial segregation.
To such observers, the events in the courtroom appeared to exemplify conflicting attitudes by law enforcement officials, when white men claiming to be vigilante-style informal security guards armed with assault rifles and black members of the public or BLM protesters.
Rittenhouse has emerged as a mascot among the Republicans. Eddie Glaude, chairman of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, wrote in the Washington Post that many right-wingers see Rittenhouse as “a poster child for the general feeling of some in this country that white America is under siege.”
He added, “Rittenhouse has defended himself, that argument works, and white America must do the same.”