When it comes to kids posting racist or hate videos on YouTube, something which is occuring far too frequently in this highly connected world, adults usually have two kinds of reactions. On one hand, they may be of the view that, well, kids will be kids, and that the offending child should be grounded for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, many others wil go as far as making death threats to the kid, a reaction much worse than the original offense.
So what was the video about ? Kyla Pawis from Bramton, Ontario made a YouTube video in a moment of anger where she complains that her high school “is brown’’. She then goes on to talk about associating “turbans’’ with “terrorists’’ and regrets moving from Toronto to “Bramladesh’’. She asks white people to follow her on Twitter and advises brown people to “go back to your own country.’’
Now she faces hostile phonecalls, death threats and a rage of YouTube videos. According to The Star, her father says his daughter is truly sorry she made the video, which is “totally out of character,” and that she has struggled with depression and is now in hospital. He apologized to “to anyone who’s been hurt by this video.” The news article says that her father is angry with the content of the video and that it does not reflect how she was brought up. The article goes on to say that the first thing she said to her father was “Dad, I’m not a racist. I don’t know why I did it. It was stupid”. Kyla's Facebook and Twitter accounts have been deactivated. Students at her school Turner Fenton Secondary School say that she has stopped attending school and do not expect her back. (Source: The Star: link)
My own view ? The kid made a stupid mistake. Everybody is entitled to a few of those. Let's forgive her and move on. One lesson we can all learn is that we may feel disconnected from each other, but we are all highly connected by social media and technology. We need to be aware of the bigger world, how different people think and feel and consequently be mindful of our own actions.