Satire pretty close to reality by Leanne Motylenski
In one corner, weighing whatever 250 million dollars (plus the student income contribution) weighs, we have the Yale administration taking heat for the Yale corporation (and probably on the verge of shitting their pants.)
In the other corner, weighed down by a shit ton of student loans, we have the resilient / frustrated / powerful Yale POC students and allies asking for some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Students come out swinging. Money raining down and monopoly boards up to reflect the driving force of the decision. Duct tapes on mouths because we know this isn’t really a “discussion” but another town hall style meeting to try to calm students and to give an illusion of discussion / compromise.
Salovey weakly returns with a half ass justification of the decision, that he probably doesn’t even fully agree with. Says he doesn’t like slippery slope arguments, then continues to use slippery slope argument.
Students say they can’t respect an administration that doesn’t respect them.
Salovey admits that in an epic edition of misheard lyrics, he thought Aretha sang D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Salovey says we should be appreciative / content that so much of our education is paid for. Affirms it is all about the Benjamins. Doesn’t comment on the number of summer homes former President Rick Levin owns.
Pete brings up Ben Franklin’s good works and why it was Charlie’s choice, like that kite experiment.
Students point out that though Benjamin Franklin talked the talk on his deathbed, he most definitely did not walk the walk.
Salovey reasserts he’s flawed logic that keeping the names forces us all to address history of slavery.
Students point out that greatest “donation” to Yale is the unpaid labor of slaves. And on that note, ask admin, in an Oprah Winfrey style of fashion, to check under their seats bc they’re currently sitting on the ancestral homelands of the Quinnipiac people. Reiterate that addressing history doesn’t mean traumatizing POC students and making experiences at Yale more painful.
Students pull up Wikipedia and tell Peter that SLAVERY DID INDEED EXIST. Ask who admin is trying to teach when keeping the name and why they just won’t do what we asked last semester and require an ethnic studies class.
Students restate the NextYale demands. Bc their further implication would’ve let us avoid this present shitshow. Point out that black students and POC students live being black and POC. Don’t have to read about being black and POC or have to be “taught to address it.”
At this point, Jonathan Holloway has said nothing. He holds a copy of his book on Jim Crow Wisdom in his hand. Flips through it to seek counsel. He seems unsure what book students are referencing.
Students ask where is the justice for Jer**** and other harassed students after last semester as they were dragged through the media and told that they are coddled.
Salovey says Marta coddles him every night and he enjoys it. But understands that isn’t everyone’s experience. Doesn’t bring up that he helped Christakis come to Yale Psych Department.
Students bring up history of the chapel we currently sit in as a Civil War memorial.
Peter says he didn’t know but enjoys the fun fact. Doesn’t follow logic and how it relates to the false justification of keeping Calhoun.
Students walk out, raining the rest of the money and singing We Don’t Mind.
Kim and Peter thank us as we walk out like we just politely left a fancy dinner party, where race / politics / abortion / religion were most certainly not brought up.
Students pick up money as they walk out cause they know that if we don’t, Yale will make the all black cleaning staff do it.
photo courtesy of Alex Zhang