For the modern conservative movement in America, it’s accountability for thee, and none for me. Cruelty for you, but civility for me. And, every day, you must concede to white supremacy, or be canceled by the increasingly radicalized and weaponized GOP. This oppressive, maddening double standard—and their vision for the future of our diverse country—is exquisitely captured in the farcical trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who drove across state lines and used an AR-15 to kill two people at a BLM protest in Wisconsin. Rittenhouse is claiming self-defense, because it’s totally normal for sane, rational people to drive to a different state and defend someone else’s community by openly carrying an AR-15 and pointing it at strangers during a crowded, volatile protest. What could go wrong? The family and loved ones of the two dead victims can answer that question. If Rittenhouse were Black or brown, we might only see chalk lines and his body on a gurney covered in a white shroud. That is, he might well have been shot and killed by the police—or else pilloried and hounded by mainstream media who have consistently referred to men of color as “thugs” and “criminals.” Aspiring right-wing political figure and Hillbilly Elegy enthusiast J.D. Vance introduced a new terminology in a tweet this week, notoriously suggesting Black men are “wolves” who “set fire to their communities,” and defended Rittenhouse as a boy without a father whose “human nature” told him to “go and defend what no one else is defending.” Not content with his racist dog whistle, Vance also exercised some good ol’ fashioned antisemitism to suggest Rittenhouse, and other culture warriors like him, are fighting “global monopolists,” otherwise known as “The Jews” to white supremacists and modern Republicans. Through the lens of the prism of white supremacy, white killers like Rittenhouse can never be the criminals, the antagonists, or the bad guys. They are heroes, romanticized and lionized for trying to save and defend white, Western civilization under attack by the insidious forces of “Wokeness,” which is weaponized by the right as a smear to defame all people of color and their allies who are trying to demand equality, racial justice, and fairness. And lionizing a teen killer—who may duck justice any day now—is just the tip of an increasingly terrifying iceberg. In 1915, the seeds of this delusional narrative of history were captured in D.W. Griffith’s blockbuster movie The Birth of a Nation, in which the heroes violently suppress newly freed Black people allegedly using their emancipation to replace white power and try to rape white women. This movie, the cinematic equivalent of Avengers: Endgame of its day, revived the KKK, a terrorist organization that was composed of suburban dads, law enforcement, clergy, and elected officials who exorcised their tremendous economic anxiety while wearing hoods. (Famously, President Woodrow Wilson loved the movie and screened it at the White House.) If Rittenhouse is not a hero, then he’s to become a victim, or a martyr like Ashli Babbit, a violent insurrectionist who died while trying to storm the U.S. Capitol. President Trump has tried his best to redefine her as an “innocent, wonderful, incredible woman,” and she has been defended by GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, who claims she was “executed” by the Capitol police. Gosar also pals around with white nationalists when he isn’t busy tweeting anime clips imagining violence against AOC. In fact, the thousands of MAGA supporters who took over the U.S. Capitol to try to, literally, cancel a free and fair election are seen by the right wing as heroes who tried to defend this country from the insidious “deep state”, a conspiratorial catch-all for all forces that are opposed to right-wing authoritarianism. This now apparently includes Rep. Liz Cheney, once the third-highest-ranking Republican who voted with Trump 93 percent of the time but is now an “outcast” simply because she thinks almost being killed with her colleagues by a violent mob is a bit much. Currently, Rittenhouse has become a cause célèbre for Second Amendment rights, pushing back against BLM and “wokeness”— . . . read the full article here.