Kajan Johnson News
Kajan Johnson responds to Tyler Manowaroa's release from UFC
I feel in my heart that it is important to shed some light on this week’ earlier events, regarding Tyler Manawaroa’s “racist instagram photo.”
The picture was brought to my attention, via twitter by a close friend of mine. Upon seeing this picture, which is simply racist and ignorant at best, I was immediately filled with disgust and upset. Clearly, it hit a nerve very close to home and was very upsetting for me to see. Letting my feelings of upset and outrage get the best of me in that particular moment, I immediately took to twitter, calling Tyler out and referring to him as a racist.
For all the Tyler fans that happen to be upset with me for publicly bringing light to this photo, it’s important for you all to know, that this is a serious matter to me. Growing up, I was the only "black" kid in an all white and first nations community. And as such, I was constantly picked on, left out and discriminated against, simply, because of the color of my skin. As many of my loyal fans know I am an advocate for anti racism and campaigning for the war on racism against all people, especially first nations people and the injustice that is being served to them; all of which includes the struggles that members of my family must endure on a daily basis. This is something I value and hold dear to my heart. So, as you can imagine, when I saw the post, my immediate and initial reaction was to call him out. However, it wasn’t until later, that it was brought to my attention that the post was made well over a year ago, when Tyler still happened to be in high school. Being young isn’t an excuse for this type of ignorance, but now that my mind and heart are no longer clouded by the negative emotions this picture evoked in me, I can honestly agree with the fact that, he was only 17. We all have made mistakes and done things that we may or may not have regretted at that age. I understand now, that the post wasn’t intended to hurt people. However, unfortunately, remarks such as these can and will hurt people, regardless of the intent. It’s important when working in a non-conformist industry, especially a career in the public eye, that we are cautious as to what we share via social media. Negative things, will eventually come to light through one way or another.
It is my hope, that we all can take away a lesson from this unfortunate event and truly think about how these jokes and comments can affect and hurt other people. Posting something on sensitive topics such as this will inevitably, always be controversial and raise eyebrows. There has been way too much suffering amongst many races in this world over the course of time. We are all aware of the fact, that it is a serious matter and it does affect people in a very negative way; to joke about it, regardless of intent, will not sit well with many people.
All in all, I would like to apologize to Tyler for how I handled this particular situation. As upsetting as it was at the time, I realize there are some things I should have done differently. I never anticipated that his contract would be revoked nor was that my wish for him. Through all of this, I have learned that the next time I am upset, I will take the time to clear the ill feelings before acting on them. As I mentioned earlier, any negative, controversial subject we post via social media, whether it is in the past or present, may come with a consequence. I cannot turn back the hands of time, nor can he. But we can all move forward taking away the lessons learned. Tyler is young and has plenty of time to turn things around with his career. A part of living is learning by making mistakes and growing. That is something we all will and have done along our journey in life. I wish Tyler, nothing but the best in his future.