Harvard University touched off a firestorm on both sides of the American political spectrum Monday when it was announced that the acceptance of Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting, would be rescinded as a result of inflammatory remarks made by the teen nearly two years ago.
Kashuv, who graduated Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this year with a 3.9 GPA and a nearly perfect score of 1550 on his SATs, was recently revealed to have employed racial and religious slurs in private group messages with friends at age 16, prompting Harvard’s revocation of his acceptance — and a national discourse on freedom of speech and political bias in academia.
MSNBC contributor and former Florida congressman David Jolly took that debate a step further Tuesday, however, suggesting Kashuv’s comments were akin to those made by infamous school shooters.
In fact, Jolly argued on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle that perhaps it was not “redemption” that Kashuv deserved — but a “closer look” from authorities.
“When I saw it Steph, I had the same reaction of a lot of people that perhaps a young man deserves redemption,” Jolly said. “But if you look at this, this story is greater than Harvard.”
“My immediate reaction when I really dug into this, these are the social media postings we see of a shooter and we ask, ‘Where were the signs?’ See something, Say something,” @DavidJollyFL said. pic.twitter.com/xx4shxjhW5
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) June 18, 2019
Citing the Huffington Post’s rundown of Kashuv’s messages, the former GOP representative emphatically said the statements in question were exactly the type society looks for in the wake of a tragedy when they ask “where were the signs?”
“Now this was two years before Parkland [shooting], but my immediate reaction when I really dug into this is these are the social media postings we see of a shooter,” Jolly said. “We see a shooter and then we go back and look at social media posts, and this is exactly what we see.”
Unwilling to “assess” Kashuv as he is “not a mental health professional,” Jolly instead attempted to make policy suggestions.
He was cut off by Ruhle, however, who questioned whether Jolly thought it may be a “leap” to suggest the teen’s private messages make him a likely mass murderer worthy of having his Second Amendment rights removed.
“It is not. No, it is not,” Jolly contended. “If an incident were to occur and again, I’m not saying it will with this young man, these are the exact posts we find of people.
“Particularly of those who advocate for stronger gun rights,” he added.
The attempt to profile Kashuv as a mass murdering psychopath for a handful of offensive, two-year-old remarks did not go over well on social media, however.
Particularly on Twitter, Jolly’s remarks prompted immediate backlash, which ranged from outraged rebuke to downright mockery.
The Washington Examiner’s Siraj Hashmi, however, came at the statements from an entirely different angle — reminding the public that Jolly had struck and killed a pedestrian with his car at 16 years of age.
Former Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., said on MSNBC that Kyle Kashuv, the Parkland student who made racist and sexist comments online when he was 16 years old, showed signs “of a school shooter.”
When Jolly was 16, he hit and killed a biker with his car, and wasn’t charged. https://t.co/4KJDBEUxhA
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) June 18, 2019
“Former Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., said on MSNBC that Kyle Kashuv, the Parkland student who made racist and sexist comments online when he was 16 years old, showed signs ‘of a school shooter’,” Hashmi wrote in a tweet.
“When Jolly was 16, he hit and killed a biker with his car, and wasn’t charged.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.