My Thoughts on Carson King


Photo from: LA Times and @CarsonKing2 Twitter page

Isabel Haas, Opinion Editor

As the story about Carson King and his Venmo account have circulated the media for the past few weeks, people have formed opinions about the unveiling of his racist tweets from when he was in high school, and people are upset. However, the anger isn’t directed at Carson, but at the person who reported on it. 

Last month, before the Iowa State University versus University of Iowa football game, Carson King held up a sign asking for beer money that appeared by chance on ESPN’s “College GameDay. Shortly after this, Carson’s Venmo account received a lot of attention, and after he started received substantial funds from people across the country, he stated that after purchasing himself a case of Bush Light, he would donate the remaining money to the University of Iowa’s Stead Children’s Hospital. This, of course, received even more attention, and large companies began donating to the hospital, in Carson’s name. Even Bush Light joined in, promising to donate a year supply of beer to Carson, and matching whatever he raised through his Venmo account.  

Shortly after Carson King’s story went viral, Aaron Calvin, a reporter for the Des Moines Register dug deep into his social media, specifically, his twitter profile.  

The tweets that the reporter discovered, and made public, were crafted by Carson King when he was 16, and displayed racist comments towards black people. After this information was brought to light, Carson apologized for his past indiscretions, and publicly promised that he no longer holds these values and beliefs. After this, people criticized the reporter for informing the public about the tweets Carson had made from when he was a minor. 

As someone who defines as a college journalist, I do not think that the reporter should have been criticized for doing his job. As all journalists do, it is important to conduct research on the person they are to interview, which is just what Aaron Calvin did. It is the job of a reporter to discover information, share it with the public, and allow people to form their own opinions.  

Although the tweets that Carson shared were from when he was a sophomore in high school, which he claims to no longer identify with, he still made them. I believe that people make mistakes and that the decisions of children shouldn’t be held to the same standard to that of adults, however, I do believe that every action has a consequence. Carson King did a great deed by donating the money he received from his Venmo account, to a children’s hospital, and it is something that will positively impact the lives of many children. However, I am sure that the tweets he made and the remarks he shared, also impacted the lives of many people, but in a different way. 

I hope Carson’s story is to serve as an example to his generation and those that come after him. Social media has a powerful impact on the lives of many people and can produce both negative and positive outcomes. What people choose to share, or not share, has the ability to follow them for the rest of their lives.