If Chris Wallace’s goal during Tuesday night’s debate was to deflect from the months of left-wing violence from Black Lives Matter extremists and Antifa and instead blame it on President Donald Trump and his supporters, he did an excellent job.
“You have repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left-wing extremist groups,” Wallace, the debate moderator, said to Trump. “But are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?”
Ignoring for a moment that Trump’s criticism of Joe Biden was absolutely warranted and that Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacists but did not ask Biden to condemn Black Lives Matter arsonists and looters, the question itself was specious. The violence in Kenosha was spurred by left-wing extremist groups, not white supremacists. We know — because we were there.
It Was Left-Wing Groups that Trashed Kenosha
Kenosha was up in flames, reduced to the same lawlessness that swept Minneapolis, Portland, Atlanta, and now this small Midwest town. Monday night in Kenosha, a day after law enforcement shot Jacob Blake, men and women stood with baseball bats and guns in front of their businesses and homes, trying to defend themselves against the extremist violence of the Black Lives Matter left. Since there weren’t enough police to control the situation, officers focused on defending public buildings, such as the courthouse, while leaving citizens to fend for themselves.
A woman, who said she had lived in Kenosha for more than 40 years, broke down in tears, saying her city felt like a “war zone” and she was “terrified.”
A couple of spectators stop to watch this building burn. A police car is on the scene but no sign of a fire truck yet. pic.twitter.com/taciCidK3y
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) August 25, 2020
According to locals and reporting, the violence was caused by out-of-state agitators. On Thursday, local and federal law enforcement officials stopped an out-of-state caravan of vehicles filled with fuel cans and illegal fireworks. “The vehicles contained various items, including helmets, gas masks, protective vests, illegal fireworks, and suspected controlled substances,” according to police, who arrested nine people for disorderly conduct.
The vehicles were reportedly connected to the Seattle-based Riot Kitchen, a group of radical-left protesters. While several mainstream media accounts portrayed the group as friendly helpers, the stories couldn’t explain why they were loading up so many cans of gas and why the Riot Kitchen crew fled from police.
Sam, an Indian immigrant who owns a family-run car dealership downtown, lost “every dime” he had, and the 20 people Sam employed have all lost their jobs “for nothing.” Sam said his family had been “in tears” for days after rioters burned his lot two nights in a row, destroying all the cars, and looting his office before burning that as well.
Sam is an Indian immigrant who owns a family-run car dealership that was destroyed by BLM arsonists. “What did we do to deserve all this?” said Sam. pic.twitter.com/hgDjbIq9pA
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) August 29, 2020
“I’m a taxpayer,” said Sam, distraught that law enforcement did nothing to protect his business, which was left to the mercy of the mob. “This is not the America I came into. … What did we do to deserve all this?” he asked. “I’m a minority too. I’m a brown person. I have nothing to do with this.”
Contrary to what Wallace implied, neither did white supremacists or militia groups. Black Lives Matter rioters were in fact proud to take credit. Sam told The Federalist that more than a week after the Blake shooting, Black Lives Matter rioters came back to his shop in broad daylight to make “music videos” in the wreckage of his business “like they were so proud of it,” taunting him with, “this is what you get.”
Desperate pleas for mercy from the rioters confirmed who was instigating the violence. If business owners were trying to avoid losing everything to white supremacists, they wouldn’t have displayed placards signaling support for BLM and signs reading “minority-owned” in their storefronts — yet that’s exactly what they did.
Kyle Rittenhouse Wasn’t a White Supremacist
Like many other media figures and Democrats, Wallace seemed to be cherry-picking one instance of violence from a demonstrator linked to the political right, at the expense of accurately covering the rampant lawlessness instigated by leftist extremists. Kyle Rittenhouse became the face of so-called right-wing violence in Kenosha.
Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Hispanic boy who worked as a lifeguard in Kenosha, saw the destruction and violence and picked up his AR-15 to patrol the streets. In a video shot around 10 p.m., Rittenhouse explained his purpose, saying, “People are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business, and part of my job is also to help people. If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle, because I need to protect myself, obviously. But I also have my med kit.”
Later that night, things escalated when three shootings left two people dead and another injured. Police apprehended Rittenhouse, the alleged shooter. Videos capturing the shootings suggest Rittenhouse might have been justified in self-defense.
Whether Rittenhouse, an Illinois native, belonged in Kenosha in the first place is debatable, but nothing suggests the boy was motivated by white supremacy or was part of a larger militia group. In fact, the Anti-Defamation League found no evidence he was or is connected to any extremist movements.
Yet Democrats and their friends in the corporate media, such as Wallace, have tried to paint Rittenhouse as a “white supremacist” in order to deflect all blame from the real agitators, left-wing groups such as BLM and Antifa.
The Right Didn’t Start the Kenosha Violence
Rittenhouse’s guilt has not been confirmed in a court of law, yet Wallace defamed him with gross charges of racism on national television with 29 million people watching.
Biden did the same on social media in a wholly inappropriate smear. On Monday, Biden tweeted a video featuring Rittenhouse, with the caption, “There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night.”
Wednesday it was announced Rittenhouse is pursuing a libel case against Biden and his campaign for the advertisement suggesting he is a white supremacist. Rittenhouse’s attorney, Lin Wood, said he plans to “rip Joe into shreds.”
Not only was Wallace’s debate tactic dirty, but it is factually wrong to say the violence and destruction that consumed Kenosha was spawned by “white supremacists,” given that the overwhelming majority of arrests were of left-wing rioters.
Trump pointed out that the majority of violence in places like Kenosha is coming from “the left-wing, not from the right-wing.” Democrats’ “right-wing extremists” narrative has become increasingly difficult to defend, with accounts from on-the-ground reporters shattering their talking points. A recent study found that 95 percent of riots in the United States this year have been tied to Black Lives Matter.
Taking his cues from Wallace, Biden shouted at Trump to denounce Proud Boys, a right-wing group. The only instance of Proud Boys in Kenosha, however, wasn’t during the nights of violence, but during the day. Two demonstrators sporting Proud Boys paraphernalia engaged in a verbal confrontation with three dozen BLM demonstrators, who were present to protest Trump’s visit.
Reporters said the two demonstrators did not appear to be armed and were being followed by the large group of BLM protesters. When the clash appeared volatile, law enforcement encircled the two Proud Boys demonstrators, who “appeared to be frightened,” walked them to nearby squad cars, and removed them from the area. It’s safe to say the duo didn’t “add to the violence,” to use Wallace’s words.
Democrats Keep Pushing Lies on Americans
Despite the endless accounts this summer of violence instigated by left-wing groups — which have left police officers dead, businesses and homes reduced to ashes, and communities in anarchic disarray — Democrats and the media keep pushing their “white supremacist” talking point.
Many voters and residents of these torn cities aren’t buying it. “You’re telling me you’re going to burn down my neighborhood?” Valerie, a 25-year-old black woman and former Democrat from the inner city of Milwaukee, told the Federalist in Kenosha of Black Lives Matter. “No, I don’t want to be a Democrat anymore.”
So MSNBC can keep standing in front of burning cities and calling them “mostly peaceful” protests, and Chris Wallace can keep pretending the right is to blame for the violence. But we were in Kenosha. We talked to people on the ground. Voters know who the peaceful protesters are and who the rioters are.