Yale Daily News Editorialist Urges Students to Spy on Schoolmates in Order to Ruin Careers in Later Years
Yalies, if you see this Jonathan Edwards senior looking at you and fingering her smart phone, be careful what you do or say. She’s making a list, and checking it twice, and if you are ever nominated for an important political job requiring Senate confirmation, decades down the road, she may be gunning for you.
Everyone knows a white boy with shiny brown hair and a saccharine smile that conceals his great ambitions. He could be in Grand Strategy or the Yale Political Union. Maybe heâ€™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.
One day, Iâ€™ll turn on the television â€” or, who knows, maybe televisions will be obsolete by this point â€” and Iâ€™ll see him sitting down for his Senate confirmation hearing. Yes, heâ€™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 widowâ€™s peak. But that smile, that characteristic saccharine smile, will remain the same.
When Iâ€™m watching the white boy â€” who is now a white man by this point â€” on CNN, Iâ€™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. Iâ€™ll recall a message that he accidentally left open on a computer when he forgot to log out of iMessage, where he likened a womanâ€™s body to a particularly large animal. Iâ€™ll kick myself for forgetting to screenshot the evidence.
And, when Iâ€™m watching him smile that smile, Iâ€™ll think that I could have stopped it. …
This problem begins far before our classmates graduate, and we need to call them out on their transgressions â€” boldly and publicly. … 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 indiscretions.
I think that we need to continue to call our classmates out, but itâ€™s still not enough. After all, it wasnâ€™t enough to stop Kavanaughâ€™s confirmation.
To be honest, Iâ€™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 isnâ€™t just the Yale administration; itâ€™s Yale students. We allow things to skate by. We forget. We say, â€œNo, he couldnâ€™t have done that,â€ or, â€œBut heâ€™s so nice.â€ 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 itâ€™s too late.
But I canâ€™t do that anymore â€” I canâ€™t let things slip by. Iâ€™m watching you, white boy. And this time, Iâ€™m taking the screenshot.