What lies ahead for Kyle Rittenhouse?
While justice was done in the Kenosha courtroom where he faced trial, I fear the worst for Kyle Rittenhouse. George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin for the same reason — the inherent right of self-defense — has been living in hiding, a man pursued by those who believe he deserves vengeance for the death of a Black person at the hand of a "White Hispanic."
But there is another peril ahead for young Kyle, now just barely 18 years old.
He is a teenager, not an age when people exhibit good judgment, and, unlike, for example, Nick Sandmann, who appears to come from a stable home, Kyle has had a more rugged growing up.
Now he's "famous" (just as he may have wanted to become) and many shiny objects will be thrust in front of him. My guess is that between his age and his personality, he may grab at some of them, and this won't be in his best interest. He will appear tonight in an interview with Tucker Carlson, and a longer documentary on his case is in production.
This kid is traumatized and appears to be suffering from PTSD. He needs to attend to his mental health first and foremost (in addition to his physical safety, obviously). But I fear he will get swept up in his newfound fame, and Tucker won't be the last of it. The more he does this, the more he veers off course from attending to his traumatized psyche, and the more that happens, the more at risk he will be for more problems like drugs, alcohol, and running with a bad crowd.
He may be able to successfully bring libel lawsuits against the many media who called him a murderer and White supremacist and, like Nick Sandmann, win substantial settlements or judgments. Sudden wealth in the hands of a youngster unprepared for it can be at best a mixed blessing and at worst an invitation to disaster. All kinds of predators are attracted to such people, and they offer seductions of the literal and figurative type. The sad histories of many big-ticket lottery winners, usually older than Kyle, are instructive and, usually, they are not coping with the psychological obstacles facing Kyle.
If I had to venture a guess on his future, I'd say things look risky given how much pressure there will be and the threats that will continue to be leveled against him, coupled with how lots of people (good and bad) are going to want a piece of him. I fear he will slide way off course and have serious problems.
Kyle's being objectified by the left and the right. The left has turned him into a demon, and some on the right are raising him up on a pedestal. But he's just a person and a young one at that. Disaster always looms when someone turns another into a cartoon and imbues him with all sorts of exaggerated traits.
Kyle is aware of how people are either vilifying him or idealizing him, but even so, coping with that requires a lot of wisdom and maturity, two traits he likely lacks.
There are a lot of traps ahead, waiting to draw him in.
May God bless and protect this young man, whose motivations were good but who has opened Pandora's box.
Photo credit: Twitter via Yahoo News.
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