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Kyle Kashuv (born May 20, 2001) is an American conservative activist.[2] He survived the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and subsequently advocated for gun rights, notably in opposition to his fellow survivors' March for Our Lives movement.[3][4] Kashuv's admission to Harvard University was prominently rescinded in 2019 because of his past use of racial slurs and inflammatory language, for which he apologized.[5]

Kyle Kashuv
Kyle Kashuv by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Born (2001-05-20) May 20, 2001 (age 18)[1]
ResidenceParkland, Florida, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
EducationMarjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Years active2018–present

Shooting aftermath and activismEdit

Kashuv is a survivor of the February 14, 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. He has said that he hid in a class closet during the event, and that he was not in the building the gunman attacked. At the time of the shooting, Kashuv was 16 years old, attending his junior year.[5][6][7] Kashuv later petitioned President Donald Trump to award Peter Wang, a student who had helped several others escape before he was killed, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[8]

In April 2018, Kashuv said he was questioned and intimidated by a Broward County officer and a school security officer after he posted a photo of himself posing at a shooting range with an AR-15 rifle, on his Twitter account. Kashuv explained that he wanted to learn the "physical mechanics" of guns and how to defend himself, as well as to "show people it’s people that are the issue, not guns."[9][10] Marjory Stoneman Douglas High history teacher Greg Pittman criticized that Kashuv had "poor taste" and was seeking attention; in return, Kashuv labelled Pittman as "ignorant."[10] Kashuv then alleged that other students told him that Pittman had called Kashuv the "next Hitler" while discussing a gun-wielding Kashuv's picture.[11]

Kashuv is a supporter of the Republican Party. He supported Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election,[12] endorsing Trump's ideas about immigration, the Trump wall, and Trump's "America First" approach.[7] Kashuv was initially guided by conservative commentators Ben Shapiro and Guy Benson.[13] Kashuv has also worked for Ron DeSantis' campaign for the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election.[13][14] By March 2018, Kashuv was in the process of producing a mobile phone application, ReachOut, which aims to let students who have emotional struggles to ask for help.[4][15] In April 2018, Kashuv criticized CNN for being biased because one of their contributors, Joan Walsh, had a liked a tweet by Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter died in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[16] In July 2018, Kashuv gave a speech at the 2018 National Western Conservative Summit.[17] Kashuv also gave a speech in April 2019 at the yearly meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA).[18]

The Miami Herald in July 2018 wrote that the conservative Second Amendment supporter Kashuv had "gained a national following as a counterweight to the March For Our Lives" movement.[13] Associated Press in February 2019 described Kashuv as "the most prominent conservative voice among the students" who had survived the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[14] As of June 2019, Kashuv has amassed over 300,000 followers on Twitter.[19]

Turning Point USAEdit

Kashuv became director of high school outreach of the conservative[13] group Turning Point USA and gave speeches about gun rights, including at Princeton University.[20] Kashuv invited Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk to address Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, but the school did not permit the activity.[21] Kashuv helped to plan the organization's 2018 High School Leadership Summit for over 800 students, and was lauded by Fox News in July 2018 as "a role model for young conservatives across the country."[22] That month, Kirk described Kashuv as a "a national spokesperson for one of the most controversial and divisive issues of our time," and as "probably the most hated pro-gun advocate at the time besides Dana Loesch," a spokesperson of the NRA.[13][17]

He resigned from Turning Point in May 2019,[23] hours after former classmates threatened to make public screenshots of racist remarks Kashuv had made.[24][25] Kashuv denied that his resignation was related to his controversial remarks.[5]

Washington, D.C. meetingsEdit

 
Kashuv with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump in the Oval Office in 2018

Following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Michael Gruen, a 19-year old "influencer marketer," noticed Kashuv's posts on Twitter and approached him offering to help him get his message out. With the help of conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, meetings on Capitol Hill were set up for Kashuv in March 2018. The trip was mostly planned on short notice, with Kashuv reacting: "I never really wanted to get into politics."[6][7] During his visit, Kashuv met with President Trump and his wife Melania Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, two Democratic senators (Chris Murphy and Chuck Schumer), three Republican senators (Orrin Hatch, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz), Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, and CNN's Jim Acosta.[4][7]

In April 2018, Kashuv met with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and discussed their support for the Second Amendment.[26][27]

Gun rights viewsEdit

Kashuv supports the Second Amendment.[28] Before the mass shooting, Kashuv supported zero gun restrictions, but after the mass shooting, Kashuv changed his position to favor much "stricter background checks and mental evaluations" for gun purchases, but still disagrees with banning any type of gun.[12][29] He also does not support restrictions on high capacity magazines. Regarding the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Kashuv did not blame gun laws, instead blaming the failures of law enforcement for failing to either stop the gunman during the shooting, or even identify the gunman as a threat before the shooting happened. Kashuv endorses the idea that "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun";[30] he has advocated for schools to eliminate gun-free zones, and for policies allowing teachers and school staff to be armed.[17] Kashuv supports the Senate's bipartisan STOP School Violence Act, which provides federal funds to develop an "anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence," improve "school security infrastructure," and train students, school staff and law enforcement to prevent violence.[31]

Kashuv said he agrees with fellow student activists David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez that gun deaths and school shootings need to be stopped, "and that shouldn’t be delegitimized, ever". Kashuv's stated solutions to improve the situation differ from Hogg and Kasky's, but he has called for a debate with them to find "common middle ground." Kashuv has also said he felt frustrated that he was not invited to speak at the March for Our Lives event,[6][13][30][32] suggesting it was because of his political views. Kashuv has described himself as speaking "calmly and logically" in contrast to "inflammatory language" used by other student activists.[33] Kashuv believed that the "initial movement, in its purest form" coming out of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting "was amazing." He said that "It got corrupted because now it's represented as anti-gun and anti-NRA."[34] He described March for Our Lives as being "anti-Republican" and said that the NRA does not have as much "evil power" over politicians as their critics believe.[3] Kashuv himself was criticized by the students in Never Again MSD for his views on gun rights.[10]

Criticism by Kurt EichenwaldEdit

In late March 2018, Kashuv was criticized online by Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald.[35] In response, Kashuv called for a boycott of MSNBC, since Eichenwald had stated that he was an MSNBC contributor on his Twitter biography,[36] although Eichenwald had actually not been an MSNBC contributor since a month prior.[16] One of MSNBC's sponsors, Proactiv, removed its advertisements from the network in response.[37]

Eichenwald apologized to Kashuv, claiming that his criticism of Kashuv was a case of mistaken identity because he had taken Kashuv to be another teenager who had frequently insulted him before. Kashuv accepted Eichenwald's apology.[36][16]

In April 2018, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro published emails Eichenwald sent to him which included a statement that Kashuv was "in desperate need of psychiatric help." In those emails, Eichenwald stated that he was a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, but Vanity Fair issued a statement saying that Eichenwald was not a contributor at the time.[36][16]

Personal lifeEdit

Kashuv's parents emigrated to the United States from Israel in the 1990s before he was born. He grew up in Parkland, Florida.[7] Kashuv considers himself to be politically conservative.[31] He and his parents are Jewish.[5][38] According to Kashuv, his high school GPA (grade point average) is 5.4 and his SAT score is 1550.[5] In 2019, he said he pays weekly visits to the synagogue.[5]

In April 2018, a student at Lincoln Southeast High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, who admired Kashuv's for expressing views about gun rights contrary to so many of his classmates, asked Kashuv to her prom. Kashuv turned her down until she received more than 5,000 re-tweets of her posting with the help of Ben Shapiro. Kashuv did not have a tuxedo or airplane fare to get to Nebraska, so she set up a GoFundMe account, which raised the necessary money in two hours. Kashuv accompanied her to her prom, and met with Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts.[39][40][41]

Racial slurs and inflammatory commentsEdit

Several of Kashuv's classmates complained on social media and to the press regarding Kashuv's use of inflammatory and racist comments, including racial slurs such as "nigger" against African-Americans.[5][23] Kashuv was accused by his classmates of "hypocrisy" when he criticized Bill Nye for using vulgarities in a skit regarding climate change on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Nye had declared: "The planet’s on fucking fire!"), stating that Nye "looked like a joke."[25][42]

Screenshots of a Google Doc for a class study guide showed Kashuv writing "NIGGER" multiple times, discussing "JEWISH SLAVES," and declaring that he would "fucking make a CSOG [sic] map of Douglas and practice" (in a supposed reference to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive shooter game and Stoneman Douglas High School). Text messages reportedly showed Kashuv rating a female student "7/10" and stating that she "goes for niggerjocks."[23][42][43]

On May 22, 2019, Kashuv released a statement about the screenshots and the comments within, admitting to writing the comments when he was 16 years old before the mass shooting occurred.[44] Kashuv called his comments "offensive," "idiotic," "callous and inflammatory." He also said that the mass shooting changed him as a person, which Harvard "decided" not to accept.[45][46] In an interview with The New York Times, Kashuv said that the comments on the Google Doc were made late at night, and that he had "said a bunch of anti-Semitic stuff."[5] On June 17, 2019, Kashuv stated that the comments were made "months before the shooting,"[47] and also said that Harvard University had rescinded its offer of admission as a result of the remarks.[48] Kashuv published a letter by Harvard, which stated that they had considered "the qualities of maturity and moral character" in their decision.[49] Kashuv has accused unidentified political opponents of having urged Harvard not to accept him.[50]

Kashuv has said he would have to reapply to other colleges because it was too late to accept other offers. He had originally intended to take a gap year before matriculating into Harvard.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kyle Kashuv [@KyleKashuv] (May 20, 2018). "[..] Can't wait to celebrate my birthday with Jake later this evening! [..]" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (June 17, 2019). "Racist Comments Cost Conservative Parkland Student a Place at Harvard". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "FL Shooting Survivor: David Hogg's Comments 'Egregious and Inflammatory'". Insider. Fox News. March 24, 2018. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Parke, Caleb (March 9, 2018). "Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv on meeting Trump, his app to prevent another school shooting". Fox News. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mazzei, Patricia (June 17, 2019). "Racist Comments Cost Conservative Parkland Student a Place at Harvard". The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Daugherty, Alex (March 13, 2018). "A conservative Parkland student helps set the agenda in Washington". Miami Herald. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e Zak, David (March 2, 2018). "A conservative Parkland student's whirlwind trip to D.C. ended in the Oval Office". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  8. ^ Fink, Jenni (November 23, 2018). "Parkland student appeals to Trump to award Medal of Freedom to student who died saving others". Newsweek. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  9. ^ "Parkland student claims he was interrogated by deputies for shooting AR-15 at gun range with his dad". ABC News. Associated Press. April 25, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Travis, Scott; Replgole, Josh; Kennedy, Kelli (April 25, 2018). "Parkland student Kyle Kashuv claims he was interrogated by deputy, school security after shooting AR-15 at gun range". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  11. ^ Travis, Scott (April 27, 2019). "Broward to review claims that Stoneman Douglas teacher compared student Kyle Kashuv to Hitler". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Speaking out: Students who survived shooting talk activism". Associated Press. February 22, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Daugherty, Alex (June 30, 2018). "Parkland's 'most hated pro-gun advocate' thrills conservatives". The Miami Herald. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Kyle Kashuv, student". Associated Press. February 12, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "First Lady Melania Trump Meets with Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS Student Kyle Kashuv". The White House on YouTube. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d Borchers, Callum (April 4, 2018). "So, what are the rules of engagement with the Parkland teens?". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c Garcia, Melissa (June 10, 2018). "School Shooting Survivor Rallies At National Western Conservative Summit". CBS4. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "Image ID: RC1EBDD74F6". Reuters. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  19. ^ Pateras, Grace; Chute, Nate (June 18, 2019). "After Harvard rescinded admission, Kyle Kashuv 'exploring all options' for future". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  20. ^ Ball, Benjamin; Shevin, Zachary (December 5, 2018). "U.'s Turning Point USA chapter wants to provoke debate, expand dialogue on campus". The Daily Princetonian. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  21. ^ Travis, Scott (April 13, 2018). "Controversial gun rights advocate won't be allowed to speak at Stoneman Douglas". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  22. ^ "Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv emerges as conservative role model, Second Amendment champion". Fox News. July 28, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  23. ^ a b c Murdock, Sebastian (May 23, 2019). "Parkland Teen Kyle Kashuv, Former Turning Point USA Member, Apologizes For Racist Slurs". HuffPost. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  24. ^ Sommer, Will (May 23, 2019). "Pro-Gun Parkland Teen Kyle Kashuv Apologizes for 'Inflammatory' Racial Comments". Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  25. ^ a b "Conservative rising star Kyle Kashuv busted using the N-word a whole bunch". The Daily Dot. May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Lee, Tracy (April 6, 2018). "Parkland student tweets photo with Clarence Thomas, says SCOTUS judge told him Second Amendment "won't be touched"". Newsweek. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  27. ^ Bowden, John (April 5, 2018). "Parkland student: Clarence Thomas told me the Second Amendment 'won't be touched'". The Hill. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  28. ^ "The Latest: Santorum says better for students to learn CPR". Associated Press. March 28, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  29. ^ Farrington, Brendan; Replogle, Josh; Lush, Tamara. "Florida survivors, lawmakers on collision course over guns". Associated Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  30. ^ a b Brennan, Margaret (March 25, 2018). "Transcript: Parkland student Kyle Kashuv on "Face the Nation," March 25, 2018". CBS Face the Nation. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Gray, Sarah (March 15, 2018). "The House Passed a School Safety Bill While Students Walked Out of Class. Here's What's in It. And What's Not". Time Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  32. ^ Tillett, Emily (March 25, 2018). "Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Kyle Kashuv calls for "common middle ground" on guns". CBS News. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  33. ^ Scott, Eugene (March 23, 2019). "The young voices that feel excluded from the March for Our Lives". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  34. ^ Horton, Alex (March 25, 2019). "A fake photo of Emma González went viral on the far right, where Parkland teens are villains". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  35. ^ Kalmbacher, Colin. "Advertiser Drops MSNBC Over Kurt Eichenwald's Attacks on Parkland Teen Kyle Kashuv". lawandcrime.com. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  36. ^ a b c Concha, Joe (April 3, 2018). "Vanity Fair distances itself from Kurt Eichenwald after journalist launches attack on Parkland student". The Hill. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  37. ^ Tornoe, Rob (April 2, 2018). "It's official: Laura Ingraham will return to her Fox News show". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  38. ^ Dolsten, Josefin (June 18, 2019). "Harvard dropped a Jewish pro-gun Parkland student over past racist comments. Was it justifed? [sic]". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  39. ^ O’Connor, Michael (April 17, 2018). "Twitter invitation lands Lincoln teen a prom date with Parkland student". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  40. ^ Gutierrez, Lisa (April 18, 2018). "Parkland pro gun rights student goes to prom with Nebraska senior who finds him brave". Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  41. ^ Flood, Brian (July 27, 2018). "Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv emerges as conservative role model, Second Amendment champion". Fox News. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  42. ^ a b Marantz, Andrew (May 27, 2019). "The Parkland Provocateur Kyle Kashuv Prepares to Graduate". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  43. ^ Other sources reporting his exact remarks:
  44. ^ Binkley, Colin (June 18, 2019). "Harvard Pulls Parkland Grad's Admission Over Racist Comments". Associated Press. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  45. ^ Darrah, Nicole (June 17, 2019). "Harvard rescinds offer to Kyle Kashuv, pro-Second Amendment Parkland survivor, due to past remarks, he says". Fox News. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  46. ^ ""Parkland activist Kyle Kashuv says Harvard revoked his offer of admission over old comments"". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  47. ^ "Harvard revokes Parkland shooting survivor's acceptance over racial slurs". Reuters. June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  48. ^ Sterling, Joe (June 17, 2019). "Parkland shooting survivor says Harvard rescinded his admission over racial slurs he made two years ago". CNN. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  49. ^ Allen, Karma (June 17, 2019). "Harvard reportedly rescinds Parkland shooting survivor's admission over alleged racist comments". American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  50. ^ Waggoner, Martha (June 18, 2019). "Harvard case offers reminder of perils of online misbehavior". Associated Press. Retrieved June 20, 2019.

External linksEdit