Dr. Gayani DeSilva MD
Entertainment & Celebrities
Gayani DeSilva is a Child Adolescent Psychiatrist with 20 years experience. She is the author of A Psychiatrists Guide: Helping Parents Reach Their Depressed Tween, and A Psychiatrists Guide: Stop Teen Addiction Before It Starts.
Kyler Murray, at 21 years old, won the Heisman Trophy a few days ago. He made some homophobic tweets 6 years ago when he was 15 years old. If it were not for the ease of social media and finding information, his 15 year old comments would have been simply that--ignorant comments made by a 15 year old boy. Instead, he must answer for his juvenile behavior several years later.
There is a reason why the Department of Justice seals juvenile records--even violent criminal ones. Children are held with less accountability than adults because they are still developing. Children are immature. Children are ignorant of the ramifications of their actions. A 15year old boy cannot be held to the same standard as a 21 year old man...Especially when it comes to racism or homophobic beliefs.
The struggle to understand, and resolve bigotry is a universal issue. No one is perfectly not racist, or not homophobic. Everyone has some bigotry. To deny that we are conditioned to think in ignorant ways is unreasonable and a product of our inability to face our vulnerabilities.
Kevin Hart made homophobic tweets 7 years ago and has lost his opportunity to host the Oscars. Punishing children, or adults for past mistakes is not helpful. The key is to examine his ideas now. Is he in the process of resolve his bigoted thoughts. Does he reflect and maturely express his ideas as to not be disparaging to others. Can he apologize for past hurts?
Evolution comes with the ability to understand failures and weaknesses, and then change to be more adaptable and progressive. Strength comes from change, not from censure and punishment.
Accepting vulnerability, accepting the past, accepting ignorance and then letting it go in order to move forward with knowledge, compassion and self-control is how we will eradicate racism.
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