Kelvin Peña is a social media star who's often called the "deer whisperer", or "Cinderella", or "St. Francis" because of the way animals love him. And for why he loves them. The 19 year old Puerto Rican native has been now been attacked for racist comments. He made those comments when he was 12. That's right, they went back to his tweets as an immature 12 year old and now are trying to label him a Nazi loving white supremacist.
Here's the offending tweets that surfaced in his TL that has everyone upset.
Terrible things to say? Absolutely.
Do many people say terrible things before they mature and rid themselves of the curse of adolescence. YES THEY DO. Even the nicest people.
Brother Nature has been doing some of the greatest humanitarian work for people and animals over the years. Check out the national praise for him in articles like this one praising his work after Hurricane Maria.
His response to the firestorm of accusations about his character is both thoughtful and I believe true to his heart.
"I woke up this morning to seeing my old tweets resurface on my timeline and my heart dropped. I started using twitter when I was 12 years old, I was very impressionable and was seeking attention. I am sorry to all the people that I offended and have let down. I apologize for 12 year old Kevin and take total responsibility for my words," Peña wrote. "I was a child and am now a man asking you to accept the apology of a young boy."
I'm so proud of his response. People say terrible things. But you have to look at their life and thoughts as a whole. His life has been one of service and awareness since those childhood tweets. He hasn't said or done anything that would show he believes or supports those thoughts since then. Even if he did, he disavows them now.
If we don't allow people to mature and evolve in their thinking, then what is their incentive to improve themselves?
Can we not forgive a child and recognize an adult doing good in the world? If we can't, then I pity us all. Because everything you've ever thought or done will haunt you forever. That's a society that is just as bad (or worse) than the people they claim to be better than.
This is another example of why I have deleted much of my TL. See this blog I wrote months ago about the career destruction of Disney director (Guardians of the Galaxy) James Gunn.