Kyle Rittenhouse Flees Stage After Face Off With Booing Protesters


Kyle Rittenhouse, who became a darling of the right after shooting three protesters in 2020, hightailed it off a stage at the University of Memphis on Wednesday night as a crowd of demonstrators booed him.

Video from the event showed several protesters in black T-shirts in attendance. One of them stood up and questioned Rittenhouse about Charlie Kirk, the far-right conservative activist whose youth organization, Turning Point U.S.A., sponsored Rittenhouse’s appearance.

When the protester alleged that Kirk has “said a lot of racist things,” Rittenhouse immediately grew defensive.

“Like what? What racist things has Charlie Kirk said?” he fired back from the podium. “We’re gonna have a bit of a dialogue of what racist things Charlie Kirk said.”

The protester was unfazed.

“He says that we shouldn’t celebrate Juneteenth, we shouldn’t celebrate Martin Luther King Day—we should be working those days. He called Ketanji Brown Jackson an affirmative action hire, he said all this nonsense about George Floyd, and he said he’d be scared if a Black pilot was on a plane. Does that not seem racist?”

“I don’t know anything about that,” Rittenhouse said, prompting jeers from the room.

“After all the things I just told you, would you consider that hate speech?” the protester asked.

“I’m not gonna comment on that,” Rittenhouse answered, as the room once again erupted in boos. Rittenhouse waited on stage for a beat, but stormed off after he was approached by one of the event’s organizers. He did not look back or make any other comments as he left the stage.

The boos turned to cheers as he walked off.

Before the event, about 200 people turned out to protest Rittenhouse’s appearance, far outnumbering the amount of people who attended in support of him. They brought signs bearing slogans like “Put Rittenhouse behind bars not a podium” and “No killers on my campus.”

Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges in 2021 after a Wisconsin jury determined he had killed the two protesters in self-defense, a controversial decision that many saw as an evasion of justice. After his acquittal, he became even more of a celebrity within the GOP, which auctioned off gun-range time with him last spring.

Rittenhouse posted from the safety of a hotel room after his abrupt Memphis exit Wednesday night, claiming he wasn’t booed off stage but simply “had a hard cut-off time” and decided to end the event there.

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