Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting, issued a formal apology on Thursday night for making “callous” racially charged comments while he was in high school.
“We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible,” Kashuv said in a written statement posted on Twitter. Kashuv added, “I’m embarrassed by it, but I want to be clear that the comments I made are not indicative of who I am or who I’ve become in the years since.”
Kashuv doesn’t explicitly say what “offensive comments” he was referencing, but he appears to be referencing a Google Doc and series text messages that were posted on Twitter about a week ago by one of Kashuv’s classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
One screen shot appears to show Kashuv using the N-word several times in a Google Doc shared with other students.
“N*GGER N*GGER N*GGER like im really good at typing n*gger ok like practice uhhhhhh makes perfect song??!!” Kashuv allegedly wrote in a portion of the Google Doc.
In another tweet on the same thread, a screen shot of text messages sent by Kashuv appears to show Kashuv referring to black athletes as “n*ggerjocks.”
Kashuv is an 18-year-old high school senior who is set to attend Harvard in the fall.
Conservatives on Twitter had a mixed response to Kashuv’s apology. CJ Pearson, a popular 16 year-old conservative commentator, condemned Kashuv in a series of tweets on Thursday and Friday. Pearson pointed out that “being 16 isn’t an excuse to refer to black athletes as ‘n*igger jocks.'”
Noah Ring, another prominent teen conservative activist, tweeted that he “would’ve never even dreamt about using the derogatory language that Kyle used.”
The Reagan Battalion, a self-identified conservative news organization, tweeted out its defense of Kashuv, saying that, “he deserves a second chance.”
Kashuv made a name for himself in the conservative movement as one of the most pro-gun rights survivors of the February 2018 deadly Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. While many other survivors, such as David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, have pushed for several very far-left gun control policies, Kashuv’s support for the Second Amendment made him a star among conservatives.
After gaining mainstream fame through his several appearances on Fox News, Kashuv was hired by Charlie Kirk’s pro-Trump organization Turning Point USA as its Direct of High School Outreach.
Perhaps just coincidentally, Kashuv announced on Twitter that he was leaving Turning Point just 6 hours before the screenshots of his racially offensive language were posted on Twitter.