Parkland shooting survivor and pro-gun activist Kyle Kashuv was supposed to be on his way to Harvard University this fall until some private messages in which he made racist remarks emerged in late spring and his admission was revoked.
According to The College Fix, the messages were posted in a Google document — which can be used as an unmonitored chat platform — and contained several uses of the n-word. Kashuv issued a lengthy apology, to no avail.
“We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible. I’m embarrassed by it, but I want to be clear that the comments I made are not indicative of who I am or who I’ve become in the years since,” Kashuv wrote. “I can and will do better moving forward.”
“I also sent an email to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to seek guidance on how to right this wrong and work with them once I was on campus,” he said.
However, the school still refused to allow Kashuv to attend after his case was “discussed at length,” according to Kashuv, and the school refused an in-face meeting with him.
The bad news is that remains the status quo. The good news is that Kashuv is going into the private sector — and he won’t be racking up college debt, at least for now.
On Wednesday, YouTube talk show host Dave Rubin announced several things, including that he was joining Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, which would distribute his show, “The Rubin Report.” As he makes the move, he’s going to be taking Kashuv along with him.
“Harvard foolishly rescinded the acceptance of @KyleKashuv so we hired him as our new Digital Director,” Rubin tweeted.
“Instead of racking up college debt he has a paying gig. Welcome aboard, Kyle!”
3. Harvard foolishly rescinded the acceptance of @KyleKashuv so we hired him as our new Digital Director. Instead of racking up college debt he has a paying gig. Welcome aboard, Kyle!
Oh, and many of you have asked about Emma. She’s still going strong! pic.twitter.com/KCSKQrEptG
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) September 4, 2019
Well, of course, this means if Sen. Elizabeth Warren is elected president, he’s going to be paying for someone else’s college debt. However, it’s pretty spectacular news for Kashuv — and, at least to this writer, he deserves it.
Yes, Kashuv said some pretty reprehensible things when he was 16 years old. He’s not the only one who has. The maturation process in the high school years is — or should be, anyhow — a rapid one in which an individual grows from a child into an adult.
Part of that maturation is realizing that things we once said may have been legitimately awful. We hopefully extirpate those tendencies from our lives and move beyond callow trolling and shocking people for the sake of shocking them.
There’s nothing in Kashuv’s short public life that indicates these remarks, however terrible, are indicative of the person he’s become.
One assumes the reason that the conversations were leaked — and the reason people chose to believe they were a millstone that should forever hang around his neck — was because of his political beliefs, including being one of the most vocal advocates of the Second Amendment among the Parkland survivors and their families.
That being said, if Harvard hoped to make him an object lesson, it did — he’s now indicative of the slow obsolescence of our university system.
The cost to attend Harvard in 2017/2018 was $44,990 for the academic year. Yes, it’s a pretty prestigious piece of paper you’re getting, but it’s still a piece of paper — and unless you’re sporting a name like Saxon Willoughby IV, odds are you’re going to go into a lot of debt to get it.
Kashuv, instead, will be working toward a career in the conservative movement. This is arguably what he was going to college to do, given his public trajectory. He’ll be working hands-on with the same people he arguably would have been working with after graduation. One might even call it an apprenticeship.
As for college, Kashuv can read the same texts everyone else reads. Self-education is arguably more important than anything learned in a classroom. And, in a time when college debt is a major issue, he’ll be out in the workforce earning for himself.
He could even spend that money on a debt-free degree, should he so choose — and in his response to Rubin’s tweet, it looks like college is still in Kashuv’s plans.
As for Harvard’s decision and his personal growth, Kashuv summed up his feelings back when his admission was revoked.
“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,” he wrote.
“But I don’t believe that. I believe that institutions and people can grow. I’ve said that repeatedly. 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.”
We wish Kashuv all the best in this and future endeavors. We also suspect he’s not going to be the only highly motivated teenager to take this path in the future.
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