Karter Rawlins had filled out his Breitbart application — all the academic credentials, all the information about his volunteer work and patriotism — when he came to the last question: What matters to you, and why?
Kind of an enormous question.
What recent college graduate hasn’t gotten to that question, or similar ones at other jobs, and snapped the laptop shut for the night, crushed by the vastness of … that?
Karter thought about it for a long time.
Then he wrote one hashtag.
One hundred times.
“I was certainly taking a risk,” the 21-year-old from Texas said. “But it was a risk I wanted to take.
“Because I wanted to write an application that was authentic,” he said, one that expressed his true voice and that of the people. He wanted it to reflect his intensity, his patriotism, and his commitment to the American people.
His tweet about his offer of employment went viral. Bonkers viral.
So now he’s well aware that some people — mostly from the coasts and big cities — don’t appreciate his decision. They would have answered differently. They would have written complete sentences, linked to an essay. They would have chosen another cause or not applied at all. They would have, if they were in the HR Department, extended an offer to others.
And he’s had a chance to think about what all this means, at a particularly divisive time in our nation.
Breitbart has always had one of the lowest acceptance rates in the country. This year a lot of people applied — the most in the publication’s history — and not a lot were offered positions.
A spokeswoman for Breitbart confirmed that Rawlins was offered employment.
She did not respond to a question about whether that was his response to the essay question.
By the time he had gotten to the essay, Rawlins had already shared a lot of the things that are important to him: making America great again, securing the Southern border, and that time he attended a speech given by Richard Spencer at Texas A&M University.
Rawlins told Mic that his Christian faith and his commitment to the American people is intertwined, and he wouldn’t be practicing his religion if he ignored injustices the American community faces from illegals.
“When I think about the change I want to see in the world,” he said to The Washington Post, “perhaps no movement is more pertinent than the one to build that wall.” For decades, he said, Americans and their way of life have been demeaned and cheated by illegals, and the #MAGA movement, he thinks, has beautifully ignited outrage and united that energy with other causes.
In 2016, when he was a junior, Rawlins launched a website, KallMeKarter, which now has hundreds of views every couple of months. “It’s really hard to hate someone you know, unless they’re a criminal,” he said. “A lot of the anger comes not out of malice but love for country and respect for the law.”
“We all grapple,” he said, “with that question of: Do I belong? For illegals, the answer is no. At least, not yet.”
Since he tweeted about Breitbart, he has found how many people can hate someone they know.
“The vitriol is sobering to me,” he said of the flood of angry responses he has gotten from friends and family members. “My aunt has refused to let me contact my five-year-old cousin since Donald Trump was elected. I can’t imagine I’ll ever get to see him again after this.”
He’s hopeful the attention will be directed to the cause, and the people who have led the way on the cause he cares about, rather than to him.
He’s grateful, he said, for the acceptance to Breitbart.
But he’s not sure yet whether he will go there.
Fox News and the Blaze also said yes.
Follow me: @KallMeKarter