Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word use

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Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word use

Postby cmsellers » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:50 am

Harvard has revoked its offer of admission to Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv, after evidence surfaced of him using the n-word repeatedly in a private conversation two years prior. They reached out for him for comment, he apologized and explained he was trying to be edgy but the shooting changed him. Harvard decided to rescind its offer of admission anyways.

Personally, I feel like even without such a life-altering event, two years is a long time for a teenager. When I was sixteen, I was a socialist, then when I realized socialism was bullshit, I explored anarchism and ecofascism.

Moreover, his actual comment is edgelordy, stupid, and proof that, at sixteen, he didn't understand the history and implications of the n-word, but not evidence that he was actually racist.

I'm appalled at the fact that Harvard would rescind its admissions offer over this, after he's already accepted and turned down other schools. I'm disturbed by the way that Twitter's reaction seems to be mostly "so bad, too sad."

And yet, I can't help but notice my reaction "the response is disproportionate to the offense," is the same justification the judge who sentenced unrepentant rapist Brock Turner and many of Brett Kavanaugh's supporters used, and like the two of them, this is a super-privileged white kid facing consequences that won't actually ruin his life.

As I see it, there are two differences that explain my reaction. First, of course, is that unlike Turner or Kavanaugh, I feel like Kashuv repented instead of DARVO'ing. But, given that he calls Harvard out for saying people can't change, I'm not sure other people would see it that way. And, moreover, if Turner of Kavanuagh had repented it wouldn't have justified Turner getting a slap on the wrist or Kavanaugh getting the SCOTUS seat he illegitimately holds.

So I think the thing that makes this different for me is primarily the fact that I don't think an edgelordy teenager repeating the n-word several times in private conversation is behavior worthy of ruining someone's life. Now, I'm not saying that problematic speech should never be a reason for private organizations to censure someone, and it's clear to me that there is no value whatsoever in what Kashuv said. However, the n-word is harmful, and has power, because of the way it was directed at black people as a tool of subjugation. Reiterated in a basically nonsensical post in private conversation, it's still problematic, but it feels like normal dumb teenager shit.

But, of course, "dumb teenager shit" and the similar "boys will be boys" is the excuse a lot of people use to excuse sexual harassment and even assault. What do you guys think? Is white privilege blinding me here, or was Harvard's response disproportionate?
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby DoglovingJim » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:56 am

I think the whole thing was silly, who cares what the kid said. Only thing that should matter is his grades, it is a school isn't it?

On the flip side Havard is a private institution so they can do whatever they want ultimately, heck they could not allow someone to join because he is black or smells funny for all I care and that'd just be bad luck. As you are a libertarian don't you believe they should have that right?

But still, gives me an excuse to post this gem at least.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby Absentia » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:58 am

DoglovingJim wrote:Only thing that should matter is his grades, it is a school isn't it?


This is Harvard; grades aren't enough to get in. They get far more qualified applicants than they can admit, and they have to use other factors to narrow it down.

In Mr. Kashuv's case, I expect that the reason he got in is because he has been an outspoken political voice since the shooting (despite not being old enough to vote, because why not). Harvard loves to promote itself as the place to be for future leaders. And then that same outspokenness led people who disagree with him to dig up and promote this old text of his.


I don't feel too badly for Kashuv, because like sellers says, he's going to be fine. I imagine that being blackballed by liberal academia and the SJW crowd will be a feather in his hat on the right wing speaking circuit. This is arguably the best thing that could have possibly happened for his career, and if he doesn't already have a GoFundMe to pay his tuition at whatever other school he chooses to attend, he isn't smart enough to make it at Harvard anyway.

But I am troubled that we needed to have this shitshow over comments made in private, by a 16 year old, with no evidence of real malice, and for which he has issued a full and unequivocal apology. The difference between Kashuv and Brock Turner or Brett Kavanaugh is that those guys actually hurt somebody. Being a 16 year old edgelord is not in the same moral zip code as ruining a woman's life.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby Crimson847 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:27 am

I'm kinda torn on this. On the one hand, I said horrid shit too as a teenager so I have some sympathy here.

On the other, I keep coming back to the fact that this is Harvard we're talking about, and people get kept out of there for lesser mistakes (or even simple bad luck) all the time. There are kids who didn't get to go to Harvard because they "made one mistake" on a big exam or by, say, dropping an extracurricular they didn't like after 3 years rather than going for the full four. I have a hard time accepting the idea that a kid who says shit like "FUCK THE JEWS" should get a mulligan for that mistake, but the kid who's rejected because he bombed his AP Calculus final and dropped his GPA just below perfect is shit out of luck.

Thing is, Harvard does this all the time, not just to outspoken conservatives. As others have noted, they get more applicants with stunningly perfect academic records than they know what to do with. Consequently, Harvard doesn't have to accept your weak-ass 4.1 GPA or your pathetic single extracurricular activity or your performative racial slurs when there's a thousand people with higher GPAs, more activities, and less baggage in line behind you, so there is very, very little tolerance for mistakes of ANY sort.


However, one thing I am very clear on, my rock in this tempest-tost ocean of uncertainty, is the exquisite irony of Harvard's position here, given that two years ago when these statements were uttered Harvard still had a "Calhoun College". I think there might be a broad market for this "forgiveness" stuff if we can figure out a way to apply it equally, rather than only in certain circumstances according to political self-interest like the Ben Shapiros and Adam Serwers of the world.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby Aquila89 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:34 pm

cmsellers wrote:Personally, I feel like even without such a life-altering event, two years is a long time for a teenager. When I was sixteen, I was a socialist, then when I realized socialism was bullshit, I explored anarchism and ecofascism.

Moreover, his actual comment is edgelordy, stupid, and proof that, at sixteen, he didn't understand the history and implications of the n-word, but not evidence that he was actually racist.


Considering that he also made anti-Semitic comments (like "fuck the Jews” and “kill the fucking Jews”) even though he's Jewish himself, it seems pretty likely to me that he was just trying to be edgy and didn't mean any of it.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby tinyrick » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:37 pm

I heard that Trump supporters are now boycotting Harvard over this. This should have the same effect that the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, NV felt when vegans decided to not eat there. Or the same effect it had on Kat Dennings when I refused to have sex with her.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby cmsellers » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:19 pm

I don't know. Would Ted Cruz have been so successful if he hadn't gone to Harvard?

Also, Crimson, according to the linked Wikipedia article, Calhoun House was at Yale.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby NathanLoiselle » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:05 pm

Firstly, what's wrong with saying the N-word? I say the N-word all the time and I never get in trouble for saying the N-word.

Secondly, moist.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby Crimson847 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:11 pm

cmsellers wrote:I don't know. Would Ted Cruz have been so successful if he hadn't gone to Harvard?

Also, Crimson, according to the linked Wikipedia article, Calhoun House was at Yale.


meh. harvard, yale, what's the difference
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby iMURDAu » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:35 pm

Okay old man speaking here.

Words have meanings. Forever means you put that thought on a google doc and share it with others and it doesn't get deleted, it can come back. My generation said all kinds of horrible things to each other. We also didn't have cameras everywhere that could have captured anything typed on a computer. We also didn't save things that could get us in trouble, what the hell would you keep that on a google doc for?

I'm not sorry that people are finding out about consequences. Especially if you want to be prominent in society and have opinions on everything. If you put it online even in a private area no law will deem you cannot be held liable for it no matter whatsies.

I don't think Harvard is anywhere close to being out of line. They shouldn't be forced to admit him after finding this stuff out. His life isn't over. It isn't ruined. Oh no he didn't get into Harvard, poor baby. Who cares? Did any of us? Fuck him, he's young enough that the world is his plaything. He's got eons to get over this minor setback.

Maybe this kid can pay the WWE to rewrite his life like they did with The Ultimate Warrior.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby cmsellers » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:41 am

The problem as I see it is that he did get into Harvard, they just rescinded admission after he'd already turned down his other offers. Since he's a rich kid who was taking a gap year anyways, he'll be fine, but I'm bothered with the principle of doing this.

It's apparently normal practice for Harvard to do this, but as I see it, the Rubicon isn't crossed when you matriculate, it's crossed when you turn down all your other offers. And at this point, I think the standard should be "would a student be expelled for this?" and not "would a student not have been admitted in the first place." This pretty clearly doesn't meet that bar, but that's not the standard Harvard is trying to meet, and that's what bothers me.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby iMURDAu » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:49 am

I don't think it should meet the criteria for expulsion. That means they'd be risking letting someone they know has had issues they're not okay with join the student body and then possibly having to deal with fallout if Great Shame is brought upon the institution by the press due to the actions of the new student.

Also idk about their processes or rules or laws involved but it's probably a lot easier to rescind an admission than expel a student already attending classes. Like how a lot of workplaces have probationary periods for new hires.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby gisambards » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:42 am

I would find it concerning if this happened to a normal, non-famous person, but I'm not sure that it would. These comments would never have come to Harvard's attention if he wasn't famous, and that fame (which will only be increased by this - I'd not heard of him before today) means he's probably going to be okay. If anything, as others have pointed out, his career as a right-wing political pundit will probably get a boost from this in the long term - Kashuv is rapidly developing the ultimate alt-right origin story.
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby NathanLoiselle » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:44 pm

I'll never understand why people get so upset over the word 'nerdy'. That is the N-word we're talking about, right?
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Re: Harvard revokes Parkland survivor adm. over old n-word u

Postby iMURDAu » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:21 pm

No, I believe the term is "nanocephalic" or another similar slur for people with small heads.
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