Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be Yalies. They’re the worst. And, as it turns out, evil. Isis Davis-Marks, a staff columnist for the Yale Daily News wrote a piece titled, “Evil is banal.” Indeed. Ms. Davis-Marks then proceeded to unintentionally illustrate that fact.
Her first sentence is a tip-off, “Everyone knows a white boy with shiny brown hair and a saccharine smile that conceals his great ambitions.” The word “saccharine” is used multiple times throughout her piece. There is no such thing a sweet smile from a white boy.
She fleshes out her argument:
When I’m watching the white boy — who is now a white man by this point — on CNN, I’ll remember a racist remark that he said, an unintentional utterance that he made when he had one drink too many at a frat party during sophomore year. 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. I’ll kick myself for forgetting to screenshot the evidence.
And, when I’m watching him smile that smile, I’ll think that I could have stopped it.
She wonders at the solution to stop this evil and comes to this conclusion:
To be honest, I’m not sure what the solution is. 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 or contribute to gentrification in cities. 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.
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. [Emphasis added.]
It’s worthwhile to note her standards here.
- Judge someone based on his skin color.
- Judge the whole group based on the individual.
- Note any “offense” – this seems broad as offenses change.
- Ruin the reputation of said “evil” white boy in real-time if possible “boldly and publicly”.
- Hold onto evidence of “evil” for the white boy’s later success.
- Ruin the “white boy” at some later date with screenshots.
In other words, good people like Isis gather information against their peers and use it to ruin them, based on their race and gender, later.
Isis demonstrates the banality of evil. She shows how facile it is to make blatant racist statements. She illustrates the absurdity of her own argument.
Would anyone trust someone so misandrist, sexist, and racist to judge anyone or anything? And who gets to define what’s offensive?
There’s a reason we have the legal system we have, with a presumption of innocence and a jury of our peers. This Yale senior wants to be judge and jury against a group she despises – white men.
One could argue that being a Yale senior is privileged and that to utterly destroy someone and to have innate credibility due to the color of one’s skin and gender is also privileged. But that’s not how this very privileged young woman sees it. She sees the white boy/man as the “other”. She is what she claims to hate.
Heaven help us from the banal evil of people like Isis.
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Author: Melissa Mackenzie