This Young YouTuber's Redemption should be an Inspiring Lesson For Everyone

This Young YouTuber’s Redemption should be an Inspiring Lesson For Everyone

Most days, I spend hours on my laptop writing at length about the latest political fight in Washington, D.C. generating headlines. Both parties are usually pointing their fingers at the other. Sometimes, as with the #MeToo movement, pop culture invades my political bubble. Then too, there is often an accuser and an accused, with plenty of denials and finger-pointing. It is often enough to make one turn off the television, log off the internet, and begin to lose faith in humanity.

But every once in a while, there comes a Kian Lawley, and a little bit of that cynicism melts away. Lawley is not innocent. He said horrible, racist things. Unlike Washington politicians or Hollywood producers, though, he is taking it like a man.

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat

In a video clip posted on YouTube (not by Lawley), he is recorded saying:

“That’s why we’re all black people drinking Kool-Aid and eating Kentucky fried mother f***ing chicken. What’s up f***ing n*****?”

Kian Lawley is 22 now. There is no date stamp on the video, but he appears to be several years younger, perhaps 17 or 18? Not making excuses, but there are other teen boys there, and stupidity often ensues. Lawley was a YouTube star before this video broke. He, like Logan Paul and Pewdiepie, was a hit with teens. The video appears to be something someone in the room shot, perhaps with a phone, and not for broadcast. Lawley was transitioning from YouTuber to an actor, with a role in the forthcoming Fox film ‘The Hate U Give.’ When the video broke, Fox released the following statement:

“Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in ‘The Hate U Give. The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed.”

RELATED: Conservative Teen YouTube Star Sees The Light, Renounces GOP Over Racism (VIDEO)

The film, based on a book by Angela Thomas, deals with teenagers and race. The book tells the story of a poor, black girl who attends a wealthy (and white) prep school. After witnessing police shoot an unarmed friend from her childhood, she must try to reconcile the world she inhabits (but does not truly feel a part of) with the world she sought to escape. After Fox released their statement, Lawley took to Twitter to make a statement of his own.

RELATED: Fox News pundit gets brutal reality check after hypocritical preaching about Weinstein scandal

Kian Lawley does not need for his career to end over this 22-second video clip. Predators like Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski should never work in Hollywood again. Lawley should. Kian Lawley did not deny what he said. And not just because there was video. Remember, Ravens’ running back Ray Rice was described by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as “ambiguous” when describing the videotaped elevator incident with his fiancee.

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This young man has a voice. He has an audience. His connection is with those still most malleable. He was willing to stand tall and in essence say, ‘I said it. I own it. Criticism, harsh criticism, is deserved.’ He accepts the loss of the movie role.  More importantly, he appears to have a legitimate understanding of why Fox had to make the decision. The most critical part of his statement came at the end when he discussed how much he had grown since someone recorded that video. And how we can all grow. We can join the chorus seeking to slap this young man down, or we can allow him a second chance and a platform. Everyone deserves a second chance, and Kian Lawley promises to put his to use for a positive change. Let’s see what he does next.

And in any case, imagine what a better world we’d live in now, if all of us would just strive to be a better self every day, than we were the day before…

Featured image by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Awesomeness.

Dave Weaver is a freelance political journalist and author. Born in Pennsylvania, which was home most of his life, Dave has called Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, and Maine home over the last decade. All the wandering has allowed Dave to experience America (and Americans) from a variety of perspectives. For a political junkie, the insights gained from this exposure are invaluable.

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Dave Weaver is a freelance political journalist and author. Born in Pennsylvania, which was home most of his life, Dave has called Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, and Maine home over the last decade. All the wandering has allowed Dave to experience America (and Americans) from a variety of perspectives. For a political junkie, the insights gained from this exposure are invaluable.

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