‘Some are born great’ --
‘Some achieve greatness,’ --
‘And some have greatness thrust upon them.’
Shakespeare – Twelfth Night, Act III, Sc. IV
Thank you, Kyle.
No matter what fascists, stupid, confused people or those good people merely misled by our sick media, say, we thank you, are glad for, inspired by and admire you. And because of what you went through, you are entitled to have it laid upon you rather thick.
If you are wondering why we are thanking you, it’s this -
Because you reminded us that we have to support and be good to one another despite every effort to replace our morals with racism, anger, aggression and oppression – and yet, we don’t have to die or refrain from living our lives because others want that hate to reign.
Because when the jury sent out a beacon to the world with the message that there are good still good people among us who value truth and justice, it gave us hope.
Because when Binger’s “heroes” were busy destroying a town, you lived out what another hero long ago said to the worst possible man - “You do your worst -- and we will do our best” and went and washed graffiti off a schoolhouse.
Because, when even a stranger asked for your help to protect his property, you went and helped, despite knowing about the vicious mob that might hurt you or even kill you -- even now if they get a chance.
Because you understood that day that Binger’s “heroes” would kill you and you brought a gun, but selflessly gave away your personal armor.
Because, you were not threatening, though threats were all around you, despite the fact that you had a gun, and because you said “friendly, friendly, friendly,” because you were just that.
Because you brought a medical bag in order to help people in the midst of angry, vicious and even mentally ill people who would do you harm because you were doing good.
Because you showed restraint and mercy to those surrounding you who did not attack you and even some who did -- but then backed off.
Because you were viciously attacked and survived, then set upon by those who should protect you, and deserve every bit of good will you get.
Because when you were attacked by fascists (or whatever they want to call themselves), you defended yourself rather than rolled yourself up in a ball and acquiesced to dying being severely injured, possibly permanently - for the sake of the media and false narrative that only skin color matters and everyone with the wrong skin color must get out of the way or suffer the consequences.
Because we haven’t had the opportunity to feel this good about a public event since the day we learned that a small bit of justice was carried out for those who died in 9/11.
Because when the prosecutors lied and lied and lied about you, said you thought you were a cowboy, said you walked with a swagger, said you intended to kill – everything but the truth -- that you fought for your life, you persevered.
Because when those same prosecutors, who may have done some good in their life, lied about there being nothing to fear from that first insane assaulter charging at you - because he was short, as if a short man couldn’t harm you, or pretended that you weren’t ambushed – that you were the pursuer, you persevered.
Because these prosecutors, whose job it is to help protect victims, decided the arsonists and rapists and destroyers of our society were the victims and called those who would have killed you “heroes,” and you persevered.
Because these prosecutors, who seem to me the kind of people who would have prosecuted Jews in the Warsaw ghetto for killing in self-defense, should have refused the job the way decent humans do when asked to do something indecent, without risk to their own lives and well-being, rather than do everything they could – even rob you of constitutional rights to try and put you in jail for life, perhaps because they thought their job required it – perhaps worse.
Because when Binger, whatever good he has done in his life, is now known to us as a small, vicious and dangerous man, by watching him try to tear you apart on the stand, taunt you, mock you and trip you up with falsehoods and tricks, you persevered.
Because you’ve been made a part of a narrative created by modern-day racists and fascists that you have had no say in, because most of our media is lost to us.
Because there are many good people in this country, and perhaps a large part of the world, who hypnotized by the propaganda and what passes these days for journalists, believe that you are the bad person, and you will likely have to deal with that for the rest of your life.
Because we know you must suffer because the people in your life have to bear this with you, even if they do so lovingly and without complaint.
Because you helped expose once again what a divisive and small man the supposed “leader to the free world” is, who, without watching the trial, said he was “angry and concerned” at the verdict.
Because you, through your ordeal, reminded us how precious is justice, how important a fair trial is, how important strong judges are and jurors willing to face up their duties.
For all those and other reasons, thank you.
I know you didn’t want this, wish it never happened. So do most of us, though I expect people have different reasons why. But we also wish that the movement that seeks to wipe away Martin Luther King, Jr’s “dream,” that has asked us to be racist in the name of anti-racism, that embraces fascism in the name of anti-fascism and that thinks a right of self-defense is based on skin color, never happened. We wish many things, and this is what we got. There are no alternatives to change the past, only the future. I feel a little better about this world knowing people like you, this judge and jury, are in it.
I’d like to leave you with a poem that you may or may not have read before. Because you will still be lied about, have your reputation trampled upon, perhaps even physically attacked. And it would be deserved, but not wise, for you to get a big head over all of it. I send this poem to people and write about it again and again it because it inspires me like none other. It’s called If and it was written in 1910 by a famous British writer, Rudyard Kipling. It’s about the kinds of thing many parents probably don’t teach their kids anymore, as it is not about being a victim, canceling people or hate. I don’t pretend to meet the fine notions contained in it, but aspire to them, at least, no matter how many times I may fail. But, right now, though I don’t really know you, I suspect you already embody some of its finest notions, and I wish I could write so well as a tribute to you myself. Above all, stay humble, Kyle. There are monsters out there waiting to do it for you whether you deserve it or not.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!