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bizarre Far right groups celebrate Kyle Rittenhouse's not guilty verdict with sick mock-up image

The image shows Rittenhouse's face superimposed on Conor McGregor's body


The image shared online by far right groups featuring Kyle Rittenhouse

The image shared online by far right groups featuring Kyle Rittenhouse

The image shared online by far right groups featuring Kyle Rittenhouse

Far right groups have been sharing a sick image of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was acquitted of charges of murdering two men in Wisconsin, superimposed on Conor McGregor’s body. 

The bizarre image has been circulating online to celebrate Rittenhouse’s not guilty verdict in a case that has shocked America.

They have manipulated the image of McGregor for their own purposes even though the Irishman has nothing to do with it.

A 12-member jury found that Mr Rittenhouse (18) had acted in self-defence when he shot and killed two people, 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, of Kenosha, and 26-year-old Anthony Huber, of Silver Lake, Wisconsin during an anti-racist rally in Kenosha in 2020.

A third protester, Gaige Grosskreutz (27), from West Allis, was wounded.

Rittenhouse had travelled from Illinois to Kenosha with an illegally purchased firearm to act as a vigilante during a period of protests in August 2020.

They were sparked after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, was left partly paralysed when a white police officer shot him seven times in the back outside an apartment complex.

President Joe Biden warned against "violence" in the wake of Rittenhouse’s acquittal, acknowledging that the verdict had left him and "many Americans feeling angry and concerned”.

Shannon Watts, founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action, was also among those denouncing the not guilty verdict.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the verdict "disgusting."

"It sends a horrible message to this country," De Blasio said. "To call this a miscarriage of justice is an understatement."

The NAACP, the African-American civil rights group, said the verdict is a "travesty and fails to deliver justice on behalf of those who lost their lives."

However, some Republican politicians welcomed the not guilty finding.

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"Justice has been served," said Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.

"I hope everyone can accept the verdict, remain peaceful, and let the community of Kenosha heal and rebuild."

Fox News host Tucker Carlson, among many other conservatives, has defended Rittenhouse's actions.

"How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would," he said in August 2020.

Other members of far-right forums known for racist and white supremacist rhetoric swiftly celebrated Rittenhouse's acquittal, with many even suggesting that the teenager should run for president in the future.

According to US news site, Insider, the top 18 posts on one fringe forum on Friday afternoon were all positive reactions to Rittenhouse's acquittal, with the top threads amassing more than 2,500 likes each.

One top post on the forum featured a two-and-a-half-minute homemade song in support of Rittenhouse called ‘Ballad of the Kenosha Kid’.

The lyrics contain a transphobic slur and lines about how Rittenhouse carried "an AR on his sleeve”.

Other users suggested Rittenhouse should sue "the media" for its coverage of the incident and his trial while one person wrote that his name "will live on in glory."

Commenters on the forum said that Rittenhouse didn't deserve to go to court in the first place and applauded him for getting through the trial and "everything he has been through."

Others on the same fringe forum, as well as the social media platform Gab, which is popular on the right, have called on Rittenhouse to run for president, writing comments like "#KyleForPresident" and "Rittenhouse 2028."

Many users on a popular Telegram channel with over 425,000 followers created by the prominent conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins, who is linked to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, also praised the jury's decision and encouraged shooting "rioters."

Insider also found numerous posts on a fringe forum calling Rittenhouse "Saint Kyle of Kenosha" with a picture of Rittenhouse's face plastered over an image of a saint.

Another image circulated online shows his head superimposed on McGregor’s body from a picture of the Dublin fighter doing his famous strut in the Octogon.

Joan Donovan, the research director of Harvard's Shorenstein Center, said in a tweet that she believes the verdict will lead to "a serious increase in street violence," vigilantism, and political violence”.

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