In March, Kyle Kashuv got the news he’d been waiting for: He’d been admitted to Harvard. The Parkland-shooting survivor, who had become a conservative rising star, had spent his senior year as a school-safety and gun-rights activist, traveling the country as the high-school outreach director for the right-wing group Turning Point USA. He planned to take a gap year before enrolling in the fall of 2020. But today Kashuv tweeted that Harvard had rescinded its offer, in an apparent response to racist messages he had written years earlier.
The first sign of trouble came in mid-May, when Kashuv announced that he would be leaving Turning Point USA. Hours later, screenshots began to surface on Twitter. In text messages and Google Docs from when he was 16, Kashuv allegedly used the word nigger repeatedly, made crass remarks about women, and used other racist and anti-Semitic language. A week after the messages first became public, he posted an apology on Twitter in regard to “callous” remarks he had made earlier in his high-school career. (An attempt to reach Kashuv for comment on Twitter did not elicit a response.)
The fallout from Kashuv’s remarks ultimately led Harvard to write to Kashuv on June 3, “After careful consideration the Committee voted to rescind your admission.” In a thread posted to Twitter on Monday morning, Kashuv explained the back-and-forth that transpired between him and the college in the weeks leading up to the rescission. Two days after Kashuv posted a public apology, on May 22, stating, “We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible,” the college’s admissions dean, William R. Fitzsimmons, sent him a letter, according to a screenshot posted as part of Kashuv’s Twitter thread.