From the article, ‘Davis-Marks: Evil Is Banal,’ by Isis Davis-Marks (with my retort in parenthesis)…

Everyone knows a white boy

[Would it be racist if I wrote the same thing about a “black boy”?]

with shiny brown hair and a saccharine smile that conceals his great ambitions

[Why would a student conceal great ambitions? What’s wrong with great ambitions? Isis, why don’t *you* have great ambitions?].

He could be in Grand Strategy or the Yale Political Union. Maybe he’s the editor-in-chief of the News. He takes his classes. He networks. And, when it comes time for graduation, he wins all the awards.

[So, he puts in the work, because white privilege is a myth, and becomes successful. Why is this not a good thing?]

One day, I’ll turn on the television — or, who knows, maybe televisions will be obsolete by this point — and I’ll see him sitting down for his Senate confirmation hearing. Yes, he’ll be a bit older, with tiny wrinkles sprouting at the corners of his eyes and a couple of gray hairs jutting out of the top of his widow’s peak. But that smile, that characteristic saccharine smile, will remain the same.

[So, in your vision of the future, he’s happy and successful, and you’re not. Seems negative and defeatists, but you do you.]

When I’m watching the white boy

[Race is super important to you, we get it]

— who is now a white man

[Yeah, with a few phony exceptions, people do not change race as they age… unless they are trying to get non-white privilege. Why is this important?]

by this point — on CNN, I’ll remember a racist remark that he said

[Wait, you have an eidetic memory, and you use it to recall what you consider to be a racist remark 30 years later?]

an unintentional utterance that he made when he had one drink too many at a frat party during sophomore year.

[If this already happened, why didn’t you have the lady balls to confront him? If it hasn’t yet happened, but you’re just sure it will, that’s called prejudgment.]

I’ll recall a message that he accidentally left open on a computer when he forgot to log out of iMessage, where he likened a woman’s body to a particularly large animal.

[It looks like the big, strong I’m-woman-hear-me-roar is a little sensitive about “fat chick” comments. From one fatty to another, let it go.]

I’ll kick myself for forgetting to screenshot the evidence.

[If it’s in the future, then you can still do it. That’s how time works.]

And, when I’m watching him smile that smile, I’ll think that I could have stopped it.

[Why would you want to stop it? Ohhhh, I get it. The unnamed male of low melanin count got uppity and succeeded, you didn’t, and, “That’s not fair!”]

No, not everyone at Yale is

[Right, you don’t seem to have a problem with white girls. You don’t seem to have a problem with people of color of any gender, just those eeeevil white boys, right? Not at all bigoted.]

Not everyone is out to get you, and not every request to get a meal has an ulterior motive. But I’ve felt particularly introspective as graduation approaches.

[Is that maybe because you have the sinking feeling that the value of your race card and your sex card will plummet after graduation, or because you realize a degree in Queer Feminist Dance Theory wasn’t a good investment?]

The Kavanaugh trial was months ago, but still has an indelible effect on me.

[It sucks when due process and the presumption of innocence applies to people you hate, amirite?]

Upon seeing the recent movie, Vice, the thought of my classmates’ future actions came to my mind again. I won’t get into the specifics of the movie here, but it discusses how certain foreign policy decisions made by the Bush administration endangered the lives of Iraqi citizens and made insurgency movements worse.

[Stop. I… just stop. Movies say what the writer, director, and editor WANT it to say.]

Dick Cheney attended Yale for a time too, even if he didn’t actually graduate. It put the power of this institution into perspective, and led me to reckon with the fact that many of us will become extremely influential.

[Based on your negativity and obsession with remarks from random people you hate, I’m guessing you will not be one of them.]

Some of our peers will sit in war rooms with red buttons, capable of making life-or-death decisions in a split second. All of these things made me ask myself: What will the classmates who made those unintentional utterances, those subtle racist remarks, those assaults

[You did not mention an assault. You mentioned an insult. They are different. If you don’t know that, ask about getting a refund for your education.]

toward women, be doing on the eve of our 15th reunion?

Will they be high officials? CEOs of large companies? Presidents, even?

[If they are like you, probably not. Instead they’ll be working at a school, at best, or maybe running a pay-what-you-want book store or making Top 20 lists for left-leaning websites.]

Probably. What is to be done about this situation? I’m not sure that the administration cares much about changing it. Surely, Yale needs rich — and notable — alumni to donate in order to keep the school afloat, but what do I know?

[Gee, why don’t you become a rich and notable alumnus, and affect change? What’s stopping you? White supremacy? The patriarchy? Jimmy Hoffa? Who?]

I’m not in charge of the endowment. I don’t write the glossy pamphlets touting the seemingly countless resources that Yale has to offer.

This problem begins far before our classmates graduate, and we need to call them out on their transgressions — boldly and publicly.

[Fantastic! If you are going to call out white boys for their “transgressions”, please identify who needs to call out black girls for their transgressions? Just asking for a Title IX friend because, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”]

Anna Blech’s ’19 column on Daniel Tenreiro-Braschi ’19 was a good example of this. We should make instances of sexual assault and harassment public knowledge. Whisper networks, which are known as private chains of information which pass along knowledge of sexual assault, are useful, but insufficient in spreading information about

[What, oh what can we do? Tell us! Tell us!]

I think that we need to continue to call our classmates out, but it’s still not enough. After all, it wasn’t enough to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

[Darn that burden of proof! Darn that presumption of innocence. Darn it all to heck! We would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids and their mangy dog!]

To be honest, I’m not sure what the solution is

[You just told us we need to call them out on their transgressions, boldly and publicly, then you told us you think we need to call our classmates out. Now you’re not even sure?]

This expands beyond vocalizing problems about sexual assault: The core of this problem has to do with our values. The problem isn’t just the Yale administration; it’s Yale students. We allow things to skate by. We forget. We say, “No, he couldn’t have done that,” or, “But he’s so nice.” No questions are asked when our friends accept job offers from companies that manufacture weapons

[You might consider asking if that company is still hiring, you don’t seem to have any job prospects]

or contribute to gentrification in cities

[When middle class white people move into cities and the property values rise along with the economy and the living conditions because they actively make improvements to that neighborhood, that is a transgression called gentrification. When white middle class people move out of cities because property values drop along with the economy and the living conditions, that is a transgression known as white flight.].

We merely smile at them and wave as we walk across our residential college courtyards and do nothing. Thirty years later, we kick ourselves when it’s too late.

[Too late to get a career? Too late to keep a city poor-but-authentic?]

But I can’t do that anymore — I can’t let things slip by. I’m watching you, white boy. And this time, I’m taking the screenshot.

[On one hand, good! You might actually have evidence, as opposed to a ball of jealous boo-boo feelings and an obviously partisan claim that someone did something bad, sometime (but you can’t remember), somewhere (but you can’t remember), but believe all accusers because orange-man-bad. On the other hand, if you really are committed to finding, recording, and archiving screenshots of insulting remarks and other such “transgressions” made by all of your classmates; and if you are committed to scouring the news for 30 years to ensure that none of said classmates succeed without your approval; then, maybe you should be committed to some sort of psychological or psychiatric treatment.]


To Isis Davis-Marks ( isis.davis-marks@yale.edu ), let me just say: You’re still in school, it’s not too late to learn to code.

What do I know? I’m Justa Gaibroh.