Most vocal survivors of the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida used their voice and newfound platform to bring awareness to gun violence, particularly in schools.
People like Emma González and David Hogg continue to push their congressional representatives to pass stricter and more accountable gun laws in an effort to curtail gun violence. But not everyone who survived the incredibly tragic shooting that took the lives of 17 students and faculty pushed for more regulation.
Kyle Kashuv was one of those who didn’t. In fact, the now-graduated senior used his platform to push for looser gun laws and even spoke in front of the National Rifle Association in April. And while his pro-gun stance has caught him some slack, it hasn’t compared to the self-inflicted beating his public persona is currently taking.
Last month, the Huffington Post shared racist text message Kashuv wrote two years ago, one of which reads: “like im really good at typing n****r ok like practice uhhhhhh makes perfect son??!!”
At the time, Kashuv excused his behavior, pulling out the typical young and dumb defense. “We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible,” he said.
That incident, however, is now hurting him far more than the Twitter drubbing he took at the time. According to Kashuv himself, his admission to Harvard has been rescinded due to text messages.
On Monday (June 17), Kashuv took to Twitter to relay his dismay over being dropped from the prestigious university. He attempted to compare Havard’s long ago past, which he believes makes it alright for him to make racist and offensive comments.
11/ Throughout its history, Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and antisemites. If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn't possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution.— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) June 17, 2019
But I don't believe that.
“Throughout its history, Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and antisemites,” he tweeted. “If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn’t possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. But I don’t believe that. I believe that institutions and people can grow.”
Kashuv even tweeted out a picture of the letter he received informing him that his admission was withdrawn. It reads in part: “We are sorry about the circumstances that have led us to withdraw your admission, and we wish you success in your future academic endeavors and beyond.”
7/ Harvard decided to rescind my admission with the following letter. pic.twitter.com/P3bLkF3hHn— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) June 17, 2019
Aside from the racist texts, Kashuv also previously held a leadership position with Turning Point USA, a college Republican group that has what the HuffPost described as a “white supremacy” problem.
According to Media Matters, former TPUSA National Field Director Crystal Clanton sent her own racist text messages, including one that read: “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like f**k them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story.”
Another instance included a former TPUSA field director recalling speakers at one of the organization’s annual student summits who “spoke badly about black women having all these babies out of wedlock. It was really offensive.”
Harvard when Kyle Kashuv was apologizing about repeatedly using the N word and begging for them to reconsider rescinding his application pic.twitter.com/h6G4jHeCD9— John Hernandez (@HvyMtlHernandez) June 18, 2019
Harvard isn’t a reform school. It’s a highly competitive institute for higher education. It has no responsibility to #KyleKashuv to give him space to move past his hateful rhetoric. In fact, it has a responsibility to the students who earned their place there to set a higher bar.— Wes Moore (@iamwesmoore) June 18, 2019
I have about as much empathy for Kyle Kashuv as the conservative movement has for the average person on SNAP.— Osita Nwanevu (@OsitaNwanevu) June 18, 2019
Sure, it is rough that Kyle Kashuv doesn't get to go to Harvard, but this is an important lesson. When boys grow to be men without ever having to face consequences of they actions, they end up in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tearily recounting how much they love beer— Kris Kanthak (@kramtrak) June 18, 2019
The #KyleKashuv backlash reminds us that consequences are for non-white men: The 16-year-old girl who can't have an abortion or the 16-year-old black kid the cops shot because he moved funny. They aren't going to Harvard either. https://t.co/Z5lVXNmSya— Stephen Robinson (@SER1897) June 18, 2019
“Thoughts and prayers.”— Totally Not A Real Person 🌹 (@howardchief) June 18, 2019
Looking at your pinned tweet, I now think you deserve this. You can't want mercy when you don't want others to have it— Vicit Bellator (@Onewarn) June 18, 2019
Photo: Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images