Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Spare Me The Right's Tears For Kyle Kashuv - He Deserved Being Bounced From Harvard

Image result for brane space, cry babies
"WAAAAAHHHA! Dem Libwuls gotta stop pickin' on Kyle! BWAAAHHAAA!"

Back on March 26 last year I posted about the fearless Parkland students who marched and demonstrated to return gun sanity to this country. I also tore into the NRA-backed punk, Kyle Kashuv,  who gained notoriety by going against his classmates.  In the words of fellow blogger Ilana Novick on

"Kashuv’s political views are often at odds with his fellow Parkland survivors. After the horrific Parkland shooting, many of the surviving students, including David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, became activists. They organized the March for Our Lives in support of gun control and often spoke out against the policies of the Trump administration. Kashuv was an outlier among his classmates, a conservative defender of the Second Amendment."

 As I wrote at the time, in my above-cited post:

"Then there is the other clueless NRA tool making the talk show rounds on behalf of the gunrunners and 2nd amendment phonies. That would be Kyle Kashuv who.actually tweeted the following ding on his fellow Parkland  students:

No one's feelings are hurt by a group of people who Don't have a basic understanding of US case law and are fighting to get existing laws passed.

Which is total balderdash.

In fact it's Kashuv who lacks a basic understanding of U.S. case law pertaining to the 2nd amendment given he is blissfully unaware there is NO  "existing law" that currently bans military grade weapons like the AR-15 which is one of the provisions his classmates want passed.

Nor is he aware of the D..C. vs. Heller  Supreme Court decision  e.g.

Kashuv is now in the news after Harvard decided to revoke his admission. He asked for a face-to-face meeting but was told the matter was closed. Predictably, conservative Twitter erupted Monday, arguing that this was another case of liberal -elite Harvard bashing conservatives. Actually it was not, so these Reich whiners are off base.  It was a case of Kashuv trashing his own  Harvard aspirations by posting racist slime drivel - and Harvard finding out about it.  But I will get to that.

The backstory is that when he was 16, some months before the shootings, Kashuv wrote racist comments in text messages and on a collaborative Google doc.  In many ways it reminded me of the gaggle of 10 dimwits who also had their Harvard admissions rescinded in June of 2017.  This  after their depraved texts under a self-branded  Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens”  were posted on a Facebook message board.  The story was first reported by the Crimson.     Suffice it to say that even one of the "least" offensive posts -  by one person in the original clique -  is simply too abominable for words, or repetition here.

Back to Kashuv: He was studying for the A.P. American History exam with some classmates online. Around midnight, they got restive and suddenly thought posting aberrant brain farts would be cool. At least a change from the drudgery of study. So they began posting assorted racist garbage and tried to see who could outdo the other in terms of outrage.  Much like the ten losers noted above on the deformed "memes for bourgeois teens" group.

Kashuv’s comments, to any normal, sentient person who read them, were degenerate, blatantly racist and anti-Semitic. He wrote the N-word twelve times and then even explained that he was good at typing that word. “[P]ractice uhhhhhh makes perfect.”

All sorts of excuses have been made for him in the wake including by NY Times scribe David Brooks,  who wrote:

"Moral formation is not like learning math. It’s not cumulative; it’s inverse. In a sin-drenched world it’s precisely through the sins and the ensuing repentance that moral formation happens. That’s why we try not to judge people by what they did in their worst moment, but rather by how they respond to their worst moment. That’s why we are forgiving of 16-year-olds, because they haven’t disgraced themselves enough to have earned maturity."

A nice patter but it doesn't hold water.    Left off Brooks' defensive radar is that each sentient human - certainly by the age of 16, and according to Catholics by the age of 7 - at least possesses the capacity for reason and a rudimentary conscience.  The role of conscience  as Ethics professor Cheryl Mendelson has noted ('The Good Life', p. 71) is critical to having a moral compass:

"In the premoral mind.... in place of the individual's capacity to think and act according to conscience - there is mere egoism: the demand or wish, to be allowed to do and have what one wants."

Even a 7 year old arguably has the capacity to know it's wrong when he grabs a candy bar off a store shelf and stashes it into a pocket.   He may not know the details and nuances of his moral choice, but instinctively he knows it was antithetical to societal accepted norms. And indeed, the furtive act amounted to taking something that wasn't his, he just wanted it at that time. Ego over conscience.

In the same respect, when the 14 year -old Donald Trump Jr. in Queens tested home -made switch blades on alley cats, he had to know at some level it was wrong to slice up those animals and leave them to die in agony. (The discovery of Trump's penchant for testing custom-made switch blades on cats was what led his dad Fred to ship him off to a military school in New York.)

Likewise,  Kashuv already had a moral compass and conscience by the time he wrote those racist epithets. His conscience may not have been fully aggregated or formed - but it was there - and he damned well knew right from wrong.   Hence, all the caterwauling now by the conservo crowd is a bit rich, especially in appealing yet again to the tired trope of  'political correctness'. Which has now become a general catch all and escape clause for dodging any moral responsibility .  An ethically grounded citizen appears and critiques Trump for his caging of migrant infants? "Political correctness!" is the knee- jerk response by these dingbats.

Finally, Harvard would have looked inconsistent in its admission rescission standards had it given Kashuv's vicious mischief  a pass while not doing so for the ten previous "bourgeois memes"   miscreants.  Kashuv, if he really had a brain - say to have earned that reported 5.345 grade point average at Parkland (preposterous grade inflation!) - ought to have known the competition to gain the advantage of a place at Harvard was enormous,  Tens of thousands of worthy candidates apply each year and receive rejection slips.

  In the words of two recent NY Times commenters:

"Harvard has the widest talent pool to draw from. Why would it accept a bright student who makes racist comments when they can accept the next equally bright student who doesn't?"


"For every maybe racist kid who gets into Harvard there are thousands of non-racist kids who are dying to go. Harvard simply set an example for teenagers everywhere to clean up their acts and to be aware of how their social media is presenting them to the world. Without reforms like this, social media will take us and our kids all down the swirling toilet of crass behavior, bullying, words that should matter but don't seem to. Kids and adults alike should take this as a lesson in life."

Amidst this milieu and so many other more worthy students trying to gain admittance, Kashuv's best response now is to suck up his rescission and learn from his errors.  Also, cease thumping his chest about his "act of contrition".  Fine, he rendered himself contrite for his reckless and disgusting words, but now there is the piper to be paid.   Learn and move on!  Besides, not gaining entry into an elite school (or the prime one desired) it not the end of a talented person's options or aspirations.  Millions do not graduate from Harvard (or Yale, or Princeton) and still have very successful careers, lives.  Kashuv could as well if he ditched the self-pity and moved on.

Meanwhile, his conservative whiners, enablers, and apologists need to also grow up and rethink their stance.  No, Harvard isn't saying Kashuv "can't grow" or hasn't learned. They are merely saying that vicious words, as well as actions, have consequences - and for Harvard these are taken seriously. Unlike in the rest of  Trump's America.

And yeah, Kashuv did "experience a vicious shooting spree" but let's bear in mind his vile words on Google.doc were dispatched before that event, not after. So he doesn't get to claim it as an excuse, nor should he. 

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