No Redemption For Conservative Kyle Kashuv
I make it a practice not to pick on young people. Even kids who’ve been “celebrified.”
Teenagers tend to be impulsive and foolish. They do and say stupid, mean things. I cut them the kind of slack I never give an adult.
So when the survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shootings emerged in February of 2018 as strident spokesteens in favor of gun control, I wrote nothing. Likewise, when one of them became a champion of the 2nd Amendment, I remained mute.
They’re kids. Seventeen of their classmates were murdered. They earned the right to come down on either side of this contentious issue without people like me trying to argue with them.
But this week the lone gun-rights kid - conservative Kyle Kashuv, 18 - had his admittance to Harvard University rescinded after some unknown social justice warrior unearthed racist remarks he made in text messages and a shared Google doc when he was 16.
I won’t defend the vile stuff Kashuv wrote. It was racist and anti-semitic, hateful and ugly. He was old enough to know better.
If it were Harvard’s practice to dig deeply into the background of every single applicant in an attempt to weed out anyone who’d broken bad in their teens and stumbled across this in the process, well, that would be one thing.
But in this case, it appears that some vengeful person leaked the document to incinerate Kashuv’s dream of attending the country’s most prestigious university.
Who would do such a thing?
For his part, Kashuv responded to an initial inquiry from the admissions office with an intelligent, remorseful letter. He admitted writing the rubbish, said it was a bunch of dopey kids studying together online for an AP test, each trying to outdo the others with outrageously offensive messages.
Kashuv told Harvard that he wasn’t the same boy he’d been before the mass shooting.
I believe that. None of those kids will ever be the same.
Kashuv expressed regret for his actions and even contacted the university’s office of diversity to see how he could make amends for his past transgressions.
No dice, said Harvard. You’re out.
Kashuv asked for a chance to come to campus and make his case. Administrators refused to meet with him.
Look, Harvard is an exclusive private university that can admit and reject whomever they please.
I don’t want to defend racist messages. They’re repulsive. A smart kid should have known better - should have had better character - than to send them.
But what worries me is this burn-the-ships approach to political adversaries.
Someone snatched away Kashuv’s chance at an Ivy League education out of spite. Because he stood for gun rights when it’s assumed that every survivor of a mass shooting must favor gun control.
Kyle Kashuv is a smart guy - with a weighted G.P.A. of 5.345 - who once did a bad thing. Harvard doesn’t want him and many lefties on social media are gloating over his rejection.
Seems there’s no redemption for an 18-year-old who screwed up when he was 16. Yet here in Virginia, Ralph Northam, who paraded around in blackface when he was a grown man of 25, is still governor.
These cases have nothing to do with each other. And yet everything to do with each other.