19 April 2012

Kyla Pawis-Racist or Ignorant?

"If you are brown and watching this-go back to your own country."

It may be two minutes she’ll regret for the rest of her life. That’s about the time it took a young white teen from Brampton to record a YouTube video in which she comes across as a racist.

The 16-year-old rants to a camera about how everyone in her Brampton high school “is brown,’’ equates “turbans’’ with “terrorists,’’ moans about having to move from Toronto to “Bramladesh,’’ asks white people to get in touch with her and advises brown people to “go back to your own country.’’

And now the teen — who made those comments in a recent YouTube-posted video gone viral this week with copies — faces death threats.

But her father says his daughter is truly sorry she made the video, which is “totally out of character,” and that she has struggled with depression and is now in hospital.

“She has some challenges,’’ said her father. (The Star has decided not to name the student or her family.)

He wanted to make it plain that he’s very sorry about the content and apologizes on behalf of his family “to anyone who’s been hurt by this video.”

“I’m angry at the content of the video — it’s not who she is as a person or how she was brought up,’’ said her father.

His daughter is definitely not a racist and has non-white friends. “The first thing she said, was ‘Dad, I’m not a racist. I don’t know why I did it. It was stupid,’” said the father, who’s not sure when his daughter made the video and posted it to YouTube.

He says he hasn’t been able to get an answer to why she made the video. “It might have been a cry for help. I don’t know ... an attention-seeking thing. I have no idea.’’

His main concern right now “is to help her with the challenges she’s going through.’’

Students at Brampton’s Turner Fenton Secondary School told the Star Tuesday that the teen had been jumped the day before by another student. Teachers had to call police to escort her from the school safely, the students said.

The Grade 11 student has not been at school since, and her Facebook and Twitter accounts, which she identified in her YouTube video, have been dismantled. Friends told the Star she’s dropped out of sight and no one has heard from her.

On Tuesday, her angry peers — most of whom aren’t white — don’t expect her back at school any time soon.

“That was blatantly racist,” said a Grade 10 student during the lunch hour. “She should have recognized that everyone here is from a different background.”

The video seemed to come out of the blue and doesn’t reflect on their school, which has people from all cultures and religions, students said. Everyone gets along, for the most part. Just two weeks ago, the school held a culture festival with presentations and food to celebrate its diversity.

A group of Grade 10 boys playing football said they didn’t take the video personally, but thought it was “ignorant.” One joked that he smells like Axe — not curry.

“I’m only offended about the ‘go back to your country’ part,” said one student, 16. “Most of us were born here.”

The students who spoke to the Star condemned any violence against the teen and hoped she has learned her lesson. Friends of various races expressed shock that she posted it in the first place.

Certainly the video has launched a firestorm of tweets and comments, overwhelmingly critical of the teen.

Const. George Tudos, media relations representative for Peel Police, confirmed the teen has had death threats and police are monitoring the situation. He said the police have had many emails and phone calls from people “who are outraged’’ about the video, which started circulating on Sunday, with posted copies gaining thousands of viewings. The original has been deleted from YouTube.

“It has created quite a stir,’’ he said.

Police have looked at the video and, while its contents are “disappointing,’’ Tudos said at this point they “don’t think there’s anything criminal in nature.’’ He said police don’t believe it qualifies as hate propaganda but the investigation is ongoing.

Further, the postings under the various copies of the YouTube video contain “hurtful’’ comments, he said. “There’s a back and forth ... kind of like a feud.’’

A request from the Star for comment from the teen’s school principal was refused on the grounds of privacy rules. Carla Pereira, acting manager of communications for the Peel District School Board, said she could not confirm that she was a student at the school or, if she was, whether she had been suspended.

But Pereira did acknowledge that Turner Fenton Secondary School made an announcement to all students Monday about “appropriate use of technology’’ and that students can face penalties if they don’t abide by the school code of contact.

In cases like this, involving suspect use of social media, she said school authorities would begin an investigation and contact police.

“We take reports like this very seriously,’’ Pereira said. “We expect all students to demonstrate appropriate online conduct and refrain from improper/unethical use of technology while at and away from school. That is the expectation in our schools’ codes of conduct. Students who do not abide by the code will be subject to appropriate progressive discipline.’’


  1. I'm a brown, and found the video HILARIOUS. Turbinators? That's GOLD.

    In Defense of Kyla Pawis

    1. what is so funny about a girl that says we should go back to india. she should know this is a multicultural country

    2. Brampton is NOT "Multi Cultural". Thats the whole point of the girls video

    3. She complains about Indians ( curry ), calls Brampton Bramladesh ( Bangladesh ) and makes fun of Turbans ( worn everywhere from Turkey to Indonesia )... she's saying Brampton is multi-cultural. She's lumping it all into "brown" which isn't a culture, it's a colour.

  2. umm... both?

    1. she is both. yes you are right if you dont respect her good. BTW there is a funny parody of it by Jusreign called "racist brampton girl parody

  3. tell her to make a video or her saying sorry

    1. she is obviosly ignorant. how will she apolagise

  4. Even though her rant is racist, she has every right to have her own opinion. Telling her to shut up and say sorry won't make her ideology go away. She'll cover it up and continue to believe it even though she needs to be educated and not apollogetic. Secondly, its only worse that many individuals out there want to attack her and send death threats for her rant. Those individuals are just as ignorant as her. It'll only keep racists more quiet instead of having them exposed.

    1. r u dumb. if you care about your race then dont just ignore it DO SOMETHING

    2. do you care about your own people then DONT be in defence of kyla

    3. That person's right. Sending death threats to a racial rant isn't going to make her change her mind about anything. I'm black but when I saw that video, I was quite upset too. But, how is telling her to kill herself related to the things kyla said in her video? It's not like she said all brown people deserves to die or something. I heard she's going through counselling and I'm glad she decide to get help. But if you guys send death threats to her then you're just ignorant as her too.

    4. Erica is right... I am an Indian and I won't actually ask her to die or something....but that girl need to get a chill pill and educate herself... i forgive her

  5. Welcome to Malaysia, we are multi racial multi religious and allows other people to settle here and make their home here, get educated here, get to even become ministers and rule...
    We are a Muslim Country.

  6. Then why is it so hard to build a church in Malaysia?
    Google: “ building a church in Malaysia “

  7. Wow. That was a monumentally stupid move on her part. What the hell is wrong with her? Hating on people for race/religion/ethnicity what have you is so stupid. And to make a Vlog about it and post it on the internet is so beyond moronic.

    Kiddos: Educate yourselves about the world and its people and don't post stupid videos that will bite you in the butt later.

  8. Ok so im just now watching this and im Po!!!!!!wat made me mad is wat was at the end but my lil sister is calming me down wats so sad about it is this video will not leave out my mind and never will especially with these two JS ON ANOTHER VIDEO!!!! Im literally crying bcuz win i watched this they called us ( brown ppl) apes and said go back to africa were you came from its hurtful to see ppl hate on us and wonder why they get beat not sayin i want this girl dead im sayin she shoudlve never made this video bcuz all she did was thought about her needs and herself....thats all i had to say and im 12!!!

  9. And i honestly deeply inside i forgive her this is the same 12 yr.old

  10. it's true. People shouldn't really send her threats because that wouldn't help in any way AT ALL! If she kills herself, one life would be gone because of people who stooped down to her level to hate back. It's like she threw a stone at you, you can decide to throw one back, or walk away. And common sense, being as uncommon as it is, will tell you to walk away. She should just be educated on all cultures and know everyone is equal because God made us in his image. No-one should stoop low like she did and insult her back because two wrongs make no right. She was 16 for goodness' sake. Everyone makes mistakes!You can still make a difference in your community by spreading love and embracing cultures not berating or insulting people of cultures that are not of your own. People shouldn't judge based on stereotypes and people shouldn't judge by religion, race or background. People have to be more considerate about people of other cultures.
    Not all whites are racist
    Not all blacks are gangsters
    Not all browns are terrorist
    Keep this in mid as you go about your daily life. Spread the love and unite the world. #ONEWORLD,ONERACE

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