Former Republican Rep. David Jolly declared Tuesday that the racist, anti-Semitic language used by Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv in leaked messages that lost him his Harvard acceptance is similar to the rhetoric used by mass shooters.
“See something, say something,” the former lawmaker said on MSNBC. “We see a shooter and then we go back and look at social media posts and this is exactly what we see.”
Mr. Kashuv, a Parkland high school shooting survivor who rose to fame among conservatives for opposing his classmates’ anti-gun efforts, announced this week that his acceptance to Harvard had been rescinded following an investigation into old messages in which he repeatedly used the N-word and anti-Semitic language.
Mr. Kashuv apologized for the two-year-old comments and insisted that he had “matured tremendously” since the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 of his classmates and staff members dead. Harvard’s decision has sparked a wave of conservative backlash against the university for not giving the 18-year-old a second chance.
“I don’t,” Mr. Jolly responded. “I think this is the perfect story for our time. Within our culture, we leaders are given greater permission to racist statements and people with racist feelings — they’re giving them greater equity. I think it’s important for Harvard to say, ‘Not in our community.’ “
Mr. Jolly mentioned a specific post in HuffPost’s report in May in which Mr. Kashuv allegedly wrote, “kill all the f–ing jews,” and about wanting to “make a CSOG map of Douglas and practice,” apparently referring to the shooting game “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”
“And he referred to one of the shoot-‘em-up video games and said they should put a map of that on his high school,” Mr. Jolly said. “And this was two years before Parkland. But my immediate reaction when I really dug into this, is these are the social media postings we see of a shooter and we ask, ‘Where were the signs?’ “
“But congressman, is that too far?” Ms. Ruhle chimed in. “Can you make a leap like that?”
“It is not,” Mr. Jolly responded. “No. No, it is not, Stephanie.”
The former congressman then suggested that people with social media backgrounds like Mr. Kashuv’s shouldn’t be able to buy firearms in the U.S.
“You have to question how do we promote somebody with these social media posts in their background?” he said. “The young man deserves redemption. But he also deserves a closer look to whether someone with this profile should be able to purchase a firearm under the gun laws of the United States. This is a bigger question than Harvard.”
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