We are living in a time where our past can't be hidden, especially in regards to something we posted online. Even the most prudent people who delete their old information, tweets, or social posts are not completely safe. There are always ways that someone can unearth them, destroying your life.
We have seen this time and time again, especially with new Saturday Night Live hires. The most recent victim is comedian Shane Gilles who was fired from Saturday Night Live after a history of racist jokes were uncovered, most of which were said with the past year. In his case, it was not about old comments being unearthed.
It is hard to feel bad for someone who simply lost a chance at an entertainment job because of their old tweets, but what makes today's story so interesting is that the man who is most recently targeted for his bad tweets is a man who donated over $1 million dollars to charity. When will it stop?
The battle over political correctness has its newest skirmish after an Iowa paper dug up old tweets from a man after he donated $1 million dollars to charity. Carson King is a man who went to a college football game with a sign asking for beer money along with his Venmo name. He ended up getting sent over $1 million dollars which he then decided to give to charity. That act of kindness brought him into the national spotlight. Unfortunately, the Des Moines Register decided to run a profile on him and uncovered two racist tweets from 2012 when he was 16 years old. I'm sure the Des Moines Register thought they were doing the "right thing," but what purpose does uncovering those tweets serve?
The tweets were not good or defensible in any way. They had to do with disparaging black people.
The Des Moines Register, always interested in asking the most pertinent questions to a story, decided to ask him about his offensive tweets from six years ago opposed to anything regarding his one million dollar donation. Carson King was remorseful about the tweets, saying, "That's not something that I'm proud of at all." King even went on local tv - again, not to talk about his one million dollar donation, but instead to have him address his six-year-old tweets. He apologized on TV, saying, "I am embarrassed and stunned to reflect on what I thought was funny when I was 16 years old."
Busch Light, the company who helped push the donations to an even higher level after hearing about the money King was donating, has decided to sever ties with him. They will still pledge the money they had promised to pledge though.
Luckily there are people with some sense who have blasted the Des Moines Register for using the tweets in their piece. Carol Hunter, the Register's Executive Editor, has responded to the criticisms regarding their choice to use the tweets in the article. "Should that material be included in the profile at all? The jokes were highly inappropriate and were public posts. Shouldn't that be acknowledged to all the people who had donated money to King's cause or were planning to do so?"
In a plot twist, internet users looked into the author of the article's tweets and found offensive tweets where the author used the N-word. King has been a class act through it all, saying, ""The Des Moines Register has been nothing but kind in all of their coverage, and I appreciate the reporter pointing out the post to me. I want everyone to understand that this was my decision to publicly address the posts and apologize. I believe that is the right thing to do."