Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges. Law enforcement and National Guard brace for violence and rioting. Neither the case nor it’s verdict are the subject of this post. The topics of those things are certainly points of open discussion. But what I would like to address is what social activists, who are interested in bettering our world, might have done better to have avoided the horrible events leading up to this trial and what we could do now to prevent further escalation.
The pagan community is deeply entrenched in social activist. Many pagans are involved in the Black Lives Matter protests. Not only do we have a vested interest in the larger community, racism and hate currently threaten our own smaller community. The world notices when traditional pagan and heathen symbols are flown by right wing hate groups. So openly standing against that hate is certainly important. But how do we stand against that hate?
Would Kyle Rittenhouse been armed if he had not feared violence? Many say he was looking for trouble. If not for the reports of violence, would he had come looking? Some call him a property defender. If property were not in jeopardy, would he have thought there was something to defend. Right or wrong, justified or not, without the current climate of protest there would be no call to property defenders to take action. Right or wrong, justified or not, irritating a pack of coyote is not a healthy or sane course of action. Violence brings violence. Like attracts like.
One of our greatest leaders, Starhawk was instrumental in leading the pagan community towards peaceful social stewardship. Now is a time to follow her lead and deescalate. If we do not, then right or wrong, justified or not, there will be more Kyle Rittenhouses. Unless we want more violence, the type of protest we need now is peaceful.
If you want an end to the violence, you do not even have to agree or dissagree with the verdict. You do not have to mourn the death of the two who lost their lives. Lighting a candle to peacefully morn the death of peace is in order. I call for candle light vigils to morn and protest just that.
Read more at Newsweek and comment below.