Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv on Monday appeared on Fox News to apologize for racist comments he made while in an online chat when he was 16 years old following screenshots of the racial slurs, including the use of the N-word, that led to Harvard University rescinding Kashuv's acceptance to the school.
Fox News national correspondent Ed Henry asked the teenager, "What were you thinking?" regarding the past language.
"Well, at that time, it was really a friend group on who can say the most shocking thing, the most extreme thing for the sake of shock value," Kashuv said. “I’m extremely sorry for it and I wish I could take it back but I can’t.”
The apology came after Kashuv revealed in a Twitter thread that Harvard had rescinded his acceptance to the Ivy League school.
In a series of tweets Monday, Kashuv called his remarks, which were made months before the February 2018 mass shooting at the school, "offensive," "inflammatory" and "idiotic," while adding that the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had changed him.
“All I can do now is seek to right the wrong. And I know forgiveness isn’t given, it’s earned. I know that the person who wrote those things is not who I am today," Kashuv said in his Fox News appearance.
Henry pressed the teenager.
“How do we know that?” Henry asked. “You certainly sound heartfelt, but you want to get something — you want to get into Harvard or get into another school. And how do we know that you’re not just saying ‘Oh, I didn’t mean it?’ ”
Kashuv then mentioned that Harvard was founded by slave owners in the 1600s, to which Henry pushed back.
“You’re mentioning that they had slave owners in the 1600s. You using the N-word was, what, a year, a year-and-a-half ago?” Henry said.
“Two years ago," Kashuv replied.
“Two years ago,” Henry said. “A little more recent. I go back to my first question: How do we know that you've really changed? What specifically — you went through an awful tragedy in Florida — and have been hailed by some, and you should be, for your poise going through a tragedy that I can't even imagine. But what specifically has changed in you the past two years where you would no longer write the N-word or say the N-word?"
“It’s because I matured tremendously," Kashuv replied. "I no longer am in the friend group where we act immaturely, like idiotic children. It’s the fact that I have condemned racism in every opportunity that I can in this public life that I didn’t really ask for."
“I never wanted and never quite frankly wanted to be in the position,” the 18-year-old said. “I’m not an entertainer, I’m not an actor. I’m a kid who went through a tragedy who saw the suffering that his community went through and doesn’t want to see it for any other community.”
According to the Washington Times and HuffPost, classmates had accused Kashuv of repeatedly using the N-word.
In a written statement to The Hill, Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane said, "We do not comment publicly on the admissions status of individual applicants."