Harvard Revokes Parkland Shooting Survivor’s Acceptance Over Racial Slurs. Twitter Erupts In Thoughts And Prayers

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Written by Dana Sanchez
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Kyle Kashuv, survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, speaks at the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Friday, April 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

A recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate who became a gun rights activist following the shooting deaths of 17 people last year in Parkland, Fla., tweeted on Monday that Harvard College revoked his admission offer after becoming aware of racist and offensive remarks he made when he was 16.

Kyle Kashuv, 18, posted letters on Twitter that he received from Harvard asking him to explain his comments and went public on Harvard’s decision, New York Times reported. William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid, said the school took seriously “behavior that brings into question your honesty, maturity or moral character.”

Kashuv’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Israel in the 1990s before he was born. He grew up in Parkland and considers himself to be politically conservative, Time reported. Kashuv supported then-Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Marco Rubio’s bill, the Stop School Violence act, which included no gun control measures. Kashuv said he planned to discuss it on Fox in 2018.

Kashuv posted his letter of apology to Harvard, saying he made the comments two years ago in private “among equally immature students.”
The comments were made in a Google Doc and in text messages.

He said he intended to take a gap year before beginning his studies to continue his work promoting school safety. He said he had written to the Harvard College office of diversity education and support to apologize and begin a dialogue. He said, “I am determined to take whatever steps on necessary to rectify this past wrong and to reassure Harvard of my commitment to values of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. He said his words “were used only in a means for the shock value. I brought no racial animus. The context was a group of adolescents trying to use the worst words and say the most insane things imaginable.”

Kashuv gained national attention as a conservative student in favor of gun rights. He served as the high school outreach director for Turning Point USA. A national student Republican group, TPUSA has an institutional problem with white supremacy and bigotry, HuffPost reported, and “a demonstrable pattern of extremism and white supremacist ideology” in its top ranks.” The group has ties to the Trump family. After graduation, Kashuv moved to Washington, D.C. to lobby for school safety legislation, NY Times reported.

When Harvard told him “bye,” Kashuv changed his tune and started accusing the college of being racist via tweets.

“Harvard deciding that someone can’t grow, especially after a life-altering event like the shooting, is deeply concerning,” Kashuv tweeted. “If any institution should understand growth, it’s Harvard, which is looked to as the pinnacle of higher education despite its checkered past.

“Throughout its history, Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and anti-Semites. If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn’t possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution.”

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Kashuv whined about how he had given up “huge” scholarships to go to Harvard, and that the deadline for accepting other college offers has ended.

This isn’t the first time Harvard College has rescinded admissions offers. In mid-April, at least 10 prospective members of the Class of 2021 had their offers revoked after posting sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups in a private Facebook group chat, according to the Harvard Crimson daily newspaper.

“In the end, this isn’t about me, it’s about whether we live in a society in which forgiveness is possible or mistakes brand you as irredeemable, as Harvard has decided for me,” Kashuv tweeted.

Twitter users had a lot to say about Kashuv including this: “Thoughts and prayers, little buddy.”