Wow. Lots to unpack here. I’m going to tackle a few pieces of that thread individually and then we’ll come to some sort of conclusion. But if we were writing this blog like your typical 1-3-1 high school paper, my nuanced, debatable thesis would be this: Kyle Kashuv is an extremely dumb smart kid. If you disagree, great! Spin those wheels baby. I’ll happily entertain your point of view as long as you give mine a shot. Let’s dive in…
Tweet #2: Kyle states, “I was made aware of egregious and callous comments classmates and I made privately years ago – when I was 16 years old, months before the shooting – in an attempt to be as extreme and shocking as possible.”
Made aware? Buddy, you wrote that shit. Made aware that other people were aware, you mean? Don’t reference your idiocy like someone planted it on you. Secondly, the “that was years ago, I’ve changed” defense only works when it was actually YEARS ago, i. e. Donte DiVincenzo facing the music of his 14-year-old self’s tweets some seven years later. Presuming Kyle Kashuv is 18 now, we’re talking about stuff he wrote just two years ago, in 2017, when everybody knew that sending racist/sexist texts was a bad idea. What did he write?
Alright, it’s not exactly galvanizing hate speech with a directed, cogent message; it reads more like the outburst of a hyperactive child. But let’s keep in mind that Kyle is a brilliant kid, racist google docs notwithstanding. He was admitted to Harvard and was invited to the White House to discuss gun rights with the President. Politics aside, most teenagers don’t come within a country mile of that. Clearly, he’s ambitious and smart. Which makes it all the more bizarre that he wrote this shit. Have you ever written something that stupid? Is this just a reflection of the next generation’s lack of awareness about the internet? I was friends with some dumber kids in high school and they weren’t writing or saying n-bombs with such flippancy. And yes, I did and said dumb shit at 16. But it was more your garden variety jumping off bridges into unchecked waters or buying beer with a fake ID. Then again, I sold coke at 23. So who knows.
Tweet #6: Kyle appeals to the office of Diversity and Inclusion, saying that the shooting changed who he was. But the reality is that it shouldn’t take a school shooting to teach you not to write the n-word a hundred times to other people. Admittedly, it’s a strange response from the office: “We look forward to connecting with you upon your matriculation in 2020.” Maybe they’re fucking with him? More likely they just didn’t read his message. Probably that. Both are funny.
Tweet #11: Kyle cites Harvard’s history of hiring faculty members that included “slave owners, segregationists, bigots and antisemites.” That statement is true, I’m sure, given that Harvard has employed faculty as far back as 1636. You know, a cool 225 years before the start of the Civil War? And yes, they’ve changed their hiring practices over the years. Without digging too deep, I would guess they haven’t hired any slave owners to chair the department of romance languages in at least a year or 50. For Kyle to reach so far back in time to find a historical parallel speaks to his lack of understanding about his mistake.
And finally, I firmly believe that people can and should be forgiven for mistakes they made as teenagers. But when you’re talking about a private university that holds itself to an incredibly high admission standard, there are plenty of non-racist-google-doc’ing students from which they can fill their incoming class. Put in modern terms, they don’t need that smoke.
PS- not once did I mention that I went to Harvard. Not once.