Reacting to Harvard’s decision to pull Parkland shooting survivor and right-wing pundit Kyle Kashuv’s admission over past racial slurs, former Republican Rep. David Jolly asserted Tuesday that the racist messages Kashuv sent to classmates were the hallmarks of a mass shooter.
During an MSNBC panel discussion on Kashuv, host Stephanie Ruhle asked Jolly—currently an MSNBC analyst—if he thought the Ivy League university’s decision was political, noting that prominent conservatives have “cried foul” because Kashuv was one of the few Parkland survivors who vocally defended gun rights.
“I don’t,” Jolly replied. “I think this is the perfect story for our time. Within our culture, leaders are given greater permission to racist statements and people with racist feelings. They are given greater equity. It is important for Harvard to say, ‘Not in our community.’”
Referencing messages Kashuv sent in which he repeatedly used the n-word, Jolly spotlighted one post in which the teenager seemingly referenced shooting up his high school to speculate that Kashuv could have been a potential shooter himself.
“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,” Jolly exclaimed. "And this was two years before Parkland. And 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?’”
The former Florida congressman added: “See something, say something. We see a shooter and then we go back and look at social media posts and this is exactly what we see. I understand the sensitivity of this man because of Parkland. I’m not a mental health professional to assess him on those grounds."
Ruhle, meanwhile, pushed back, asking Jolly if that speculation was “too far.”
“It is not,” Jolly responded. “No, it is not, Stephanie.”
He went on to ponder what would happen if an “incident were to occur,” noting that Kashuv has gained audiences with the president and other high-profile conservatives over his push for stronger gun rights.
“You have to question how do we promote somebody with these social media posts in their background?” Jolly asked. “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.”