A trending topic that has popped up on my timeline this week is Harvard rescinding its acceptance of Kyle Kashuv, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor, after racists texts, Skype conversations, and Google documents were released by a former friend and classmate. Kashuv’s defense of repeatedly using the N-word and anti-Semitic language is that it was two years ago. He claims he has matured, that the 2018 shooting changed his life, and that he was trying to be shocking.
How Long Ago is “A Long Time Ago”
I have never heard of Kashuv before. Of the surviving students, he wasn’t one that I remember. I don’t care about him, or the fact he no longer is welcomed at Harvard. This is a privileged person’s problem at best. In fact, when I first saw this trending, I avoided it.
Words that have been used to intimidate and enforce violence must be taken seriously.Tweet
Here we have yet another racist person apologizing and hoping we can believe, or understand, that they have changed. I’m exhausted by it and monitor my intake of these types of stories. Too much leaves me angry and down. Some days I just need the timeline to be fun and entertaining.
I do, however, believe that this should initiate a dialogue about what we consider “a long time ago.” What should be forgotten or moved past? People do incredibly mean, racist, sexist, toxic and problematic things all the time. When the receipts are pulled, and consequences have to be faced, everyone becomes the most-sincere and mature person in the world. The truth is, there is no time frame for maturation. There is no time frame to rid oneself of deep-seated views that may have been adopted inherently or by choice.
The jump to being a better person seems so easy when someone is called to the mat to face their consequences. While some might call it cancel culture, is it really? Dealing with the consequences of your negative actions never comes at the right time. Vile words and sentiments that have historical white supremacist context cannot be ignored. Words that have been used to intimidate and enforce violence must be taken seriously, whether by an institution, place of employment, or in our personal relationships. Yes, people have a right to grow, but sometimes, you just gotta grow someplace else.