Kyle Kashuv is the Parkland, Florida student who bucked the trend and took the side of the Second Amendment while his fellow students were being hailed as moral exemplars for attacking the NRA and touring the country as vocal and self-righteous anti-gun activists. While David Hogg and the rest became go-to guests on CNN and MSNBC’s talking head shows, Kashuv launched a career as a junior conservative pundit, hanging out on Fox News. Harvard College, which never found a young celebrity it didn’t want to recruit as long as he or she could spell C-A-T, accepted him for its 2023 Class.
Then some text messages using racial epithets and expressing anti-minority sentiments that he exchanged with other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students months before the massacre “surfaced online.” That means some of his classmates who don’t like his non-conforming politics decided to sabotage his academic aspirations.
Harvard contacted Kyle and demanded that he explain himself. Kyle resorted to the old “that’s not who I am” trope so well-worn by celebrities and sports figures who have faced public relations crises created by social media posts they made when they were nobodies with a handful of followers. Kashuv’s problem is that in those cases, an adult was saying that he or she was “not the same person” as the foolish child from the misty past, while in his case, he is disavowing who he was just two years ago.
“We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible,” Kashuv explained. “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 have become in the years since.” Also, “My intent was never to hurt anyone,” he wrote. “I also feel I am no longer the same person, especially in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting and all that has transpired since.”
Not good enough, apparently. Harvard revoked its acceptance, writing,
“After careful consideration the committee voted to rescind your admission to Harvard College. 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.”
I suspect Kyle would have been miserable at Harvard, which has become so oppressively progressive and intolerant of dissenting views that he would have been a target and a pariah. That isn’t germane, however, to your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz , which is…
Was it fair for Harvard to withdraw Kyle’s acceptance?