Written by Shamira James
My favorite part of logging onto Twitter recently has been seeing videos of Brother Nature. His happy voice and warm hearted energy are truly a beacon of light on any platform of social media. If you don’t know who he is, you’re missing out, no he’s not a singer or one of those prepubescent boys who spends their time grinding on floors, Kelvin Peña’s internet fame came from feeding animals. Dubbed the “Deer Whisperer” people fell in love with him after Snapchat videos went viral of him talking to deer and other furry creatures alike.
This past Sunday, old tweets from the 20 year old internet sensation resurfaced and it sent the internet into yet another [insert celebrity who is currently in a scandal in which they are wrong is cancelled] fits. The tweets were racially insensitive and showed a side of Peña that came out of nowhere. The guy that started a non-profit that not only helps underprivileged youths but also seeks to inspire and spreads positivity is all of sudden a racist and we should drop him like a hot ceramic plate fresh out of the dishwasher just because people on Twitter feel a certain way?
Here’s what I think a lot of people who perpetuate “cancel culture” on social media need,a reality check, so here it is. Peña tweeted those things when he was 12 years old. I would bet my bottom dollar that if you look at anyone’s social media when they were younger you’ll find tasteless things and I would bet even more that the person they were all those years ago is not who they are and they would feel immense remorse for what they said. I’m not chalking this up to a “kids say the darndest things” situation, but lets keep it a whole 100 here people – the kid was 12 when he says those things and no one realizes the impact of their words then.
Here’s another hard pill to swallow for those who think they have the last say on someone’s career – UNTIL WE CANCEL PEOPLE/BRANDS/THINGS WHO ACTUALLY DESERVE TO BE CANCELLED THEN IT’S NEVER GOING TO WORK. Had people actually felt strongly about people doing wrong and having to suffer consequences for their actions people like Kanye West, Tekashi 6ix9ine and even Chris Brown wouldn’t have a quarter of the success they have now.
Brother Nature immediately set his Twitter account to private when he was outed and immediately delivered an apology for his tweets. Perhaps being a fan holds some of my bias but I’ve seen a lot of internet apologies and his felt so sincere. And apology be damned, if you watch any of his videos you can tell he’s genuinely a good person that only wants good for everyone. I can’t – and honestly refuse to – cancel such a positive person. He embodies being positive in a world where it is more than easy to be consumed by negativity and that’s what all kid, adults and elders need to see.