Yale Made Me Racist

Graduating from Yale as a conservative reminded me of those scenes in films where someone speeds away from an explosion and barely avoids certain death. But no matter how bad it seemed in New Haven a few years ago, it just keeps getting worse.

“I’m watching you, white boy.”

That’s one of the final lines in a recent racially charged op-ed by Isis Davis-Marks published in the Yale Daily News. Davis-Marks calls for students to try to ruin the reputations of white male Yalies by collecting political opposition research at college parties and spreading unsubstantiated gossip and allegations as widely as possible.

Putting aside the blatant racism, this is also just terrible advice for combating what Davis-Marks must perceive as a culture of white racism, male sexual misconduct, and general malevolence.

But the racism and lack of common sense didn’t stop Yale Daily News editor-in-chief Britton O’Daly from following it.

Davis-Marks noted that the newspaper had already taken a positive step by publishing a sarcastic column by Anna Blech excoriating a recently re-admitted student who had sued Yale for gender discrimination after administrators suspended him for alleged sexual misconduct. Davis-Marks called the column a good example of “boldly and publicly” calling out white male Yalies.

By this, Davis-Marks means she wants to read more character assassinations in the pages of the Yale Daily News—a wish O’Daly seems more than happy to grant.

In her column, Anna Blech doesn’t add any new information and she doesn’t disclose any first-hand knowledge of the alleged events. Like most character assassins, she finds the most unflattering facts about a person, mixes them with a graphic restatement of unsubstantiated second-hand claims, and then hopes that the reader will ignore the word “allegedly” liberally sprinkled throughout and simply swallow the package whole.

Oh, and Anna Blech uses her target’s full name 23 times in the article. Because Anna Blech knows that Anna Blech’s character assassination will work better if Anna Blech can get her article to the top of the Google results for the name of the man Anna Blech targeted.

And Isis Davis-Marks likely approves of this tactic because she thinks it will make Isis Davis-Marks’ future opposition research against white male Yalies easier.

But by the time Isis Davis-Marks’ “white boy with shiny brown hair and a saccharine smile” (yes, that is a real line from her article) turns into a “white man” and sits down for his “Senate confirmation hearing,” the accumulated opposition research will be worthless.

For each credible rumor of impropriety—be it of racism, sexual misconduct, or just plain malevolence—there already will be many rumors that are widely exaggerated or simply false. And the more that these accusations are taken at face value with little if any scrutiny, the more malicious parties will be emboldened to spread false rumors to serve their own purposes.

Many innocent people will be dragged through the mud.

If a target pleads his innocence and fights against the bogus accusations like Justice Brett Kavanaugh, he will be targeted further. Every aspect of his life will be ripped apart as angry mobs of ostensibly prudent politicians and journalists scour his high-school yearbooks looking for more character assassination fodder (because, you know, politicians and journalists don’t think they have anything better to do with their time). Even if he survives, he will be vilified by half the population.

Eventually, however, the public will grow bored of the contrived spectacle, be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of accusations and counter-accusations, and grow sick of the increasing ugliness. Some people will revolt while others will simply tune out and turn off.

Yet many real victims will suffer.

Given the sheer volume of frivolous and unsubstantiated accusations and the Left’s insistence that we believe all of them, true victims of racism, sexual misconduct, and malevolence will find their claims increasingly drowned out by the noise. Some will even face backlash and incredulity from a public increasingly desensitized to accusations.

When that day comes, the new Salem witch trials will be over. The only victors will be those who were savvy enough to use the mass hysteria to settle personal scores and eliminate their enemies.

I don’t know if Isis Davis-Marks or Anna Blech would consider themselves victors in that case. I don’t know them. And even if I knew them in college, it would still be more than two years since I talked to either of them. People change a lot as time passes. I would rather not assume the worst of them and would prefer to think that they are simply misguided.

But something makes me suspect they wouldn’t extend the same charity to some other white boy or man 30 years from now.

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About Karl Notturno

Karl Notturno is a Mount Vernon Fellow of the Center for American Greatness in addition to being an entrepreneur, musician, and writer. He recently graduated from Yale University with degrees in philosophy and history. He can be found on Twitter @karlnotturno.