Yesterday, Yale President Peter Salovey reminded students of the rotting horse at their feet by continuing to beat it. Salovey’s University-wide email announced the “the formation of a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming”. We expect the Committee’s major achievement to be having the most Orwellian-sounding name of Yale’s committees.
The discourse surrounding race on this campus is emotionally charged, to say the least. The issue itself concerns the treatment of students of color: in public and online forums, students have offered their experiences of feeling unwelcome at their own university. The stories range from having college gates shut in their face, to being denied entrance to frats, to having the police called on them. In one case, a campus policeman drew a firearm on an innocent student whom he mistook for a theft suspect.
If anything were to define this year at Yale, it would be protest culture. Students have been shouting, stomping, obstructing, and signing for many reasons this semester, beginning with the infamous Christakis email. The path in front of Sterling Memorial Library has been converted into an art gallery and Peter Salovey was roused from his restful sleep to receive a list of demands from students who could simply not wait until morning. The common denominators of these protest seem to be the same: they are organized by the campus left, demand nebulous change to the “racial climate” and “sexual culture” of Yale’s campus, and fade out almost as quickly as they begin.
The expression “drinking the Kool-Aid” comes from the 1978 People’s Temple mass suicide, where Jim Jones, a cult leader, convinced some nine hundred cult members to commit a “revolutionary” suicide by drinking some Kool-Aid-type drink laced with cyanide. Yale student, this university’s administration is making you drink such a concoction.