ATTENTION: This is what a $180K Yale tuition buys you.

I am so disgusted at the article written by the unfortunate victim of a slash-and-dash attack in New Haven, Connecticut, home to Yale University . To gain proper context, read this article about the attack. Now, read the victim's opinion piece regarding the attack.

I will start from the top, dissect his opinion, then summarize. Here we go:

"...we were mugged and then assaulted by a group of 14- and 15-year-olds who inflicted a slash across my face and then escaped with our wallets and my cell phone."

That is the actual crime, remember this fact. It was perpetrated by criminals, not the entire demographic living below the poverty line and not an entire race of people. The race, by the way, is never mentioned in the article, and by my judgment, isn't necessary. They could have been Caucasian, Asian, African, Hispanic, Carribean, or Pacific Islander, or a combination of many different races. One thing, for sure, is that they were criminals.

"I write this piece...to express my disquieted sense that New Haven and cities all over our nation are failing to address the basic problems of poverty when the consequences of that failure are devastating."

Whoa, wait a minute. When did their slashing you across the face become a social statement, or a reasonable act of protest? Did I miss something? Did they then leave you with pamphlets or credos, maybe a manifesto per chance, calling to your attention their plight below the poverty line in New Haven? Did they also express, explicitly, that this "protest" was also targeted only to you and not other members of their demographic or their neighborhood? By the way, how do we know they were poor? Maybe they were in that depressed area to give you the illusion that this was a statement about class inequalities or social repression. Did they show you welfare paperwork or past tax filings? (Wait, I'm sorry, I take they back. If they are poor, they probably don't need to file taxes.)

How is it that when the someone in the middle/upper class slash someone across the face, they are doing it for purely altruistic reasons, and not a broader social statement?

"As students at Yale, we live in a world onto ourselves, a place with its own police force and eateries and stores and even transportation network."

Alright, I just want to point out that Mr. Freemark is admitting he lives, "in a world onto ourselves." Let's continue.

"But much of New Haven does not meet those criteria."

That is true, but how did he know before this incident what the rest of New Haven was like if he lived, to paraphrase, in a bubble? Also, since he has been living in this bubble for over three years, how is it that, save for the exception of getting knifed in the sinuses, he knows exactly what the community outside of Yale needs to solve its problems?

You can see where this is going.

"Some might argue that our mistake was leaving the safe confines of our University and choosing instead to walk in a community that wouldn’t welcome us."

Surprisingly, no, I will not argue this point. As a citizen, it is your right to travel to public areas, regardless of the neighborhood.

"I refuse to accept the reductive argument that we were hurt last weekend because of the assaulters’ hatred for white people or because violence is somehow more acceptable in certain communities."

WOW, where to begin?! Mr. Freemark, you are over analyzing (and he says Yale doesn't teach critical thinking!) I don't agree with either point of white racism or neighborhood tolerance, because they are restrictive, naive, and ridiculous points. If you think the first thought that came to the average reader of your plight was, "What an awful race of people" or "Oh, those crazy poor with their slash-and-dash silliness," then you must obviously live in a world filled with violence-loving racists. (Of note, he did say he lived in a "world onto himself", so by the transitive property, that would mean Yale has filled her ranks with violence-loving racists.) I digress...

The point is, the average reader thought, "what a shame that those CRIMINALS did this to an innocent student." You were hurt last weekend because you had something they wanted and they didn't care what it took to get it from you. This event, called a "robbery" or "mugging", is as old as time itself. The attackers wanted your possessions. Period. Mr. Freemark, you must be suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Read this paragraph again, lay down, take two Tylenol and call me in the morning.

There is this book, called the Bible, and it has this fascinating story about this one fellow named Joseph. The long and short of it is his brothers didn't like that he owned a beautiful coat, took said coat, and sold him into slavery. I don't think they had a strong social sciences program in Canaan at the time, so I doubt this was a work of protest against patriarchal sheep farms or indigenous thread rights. Its about jealousy. Your attackers were jealous. They wanted your belongings. The real tragedy is that they should of just asked you for them, since being a Yale student, they should have known you believe in wealth redistribution. But, maybe they wanted you to feel more at ideologically at home and conduct a policy of forced wealth redistribution. Now you know what it feels like to be a economical conservative in a fiscally liberal world! What a lesson!

"I came home that night to a safe neighborhood and to an apartment with friends, food and a warm bed. Did they?"

Obviously no, since that wherever criminals lay their head is probably never a safe place due to their presence. Of course, since they had each other and your wallet, I guess they did have friends and food.

"There’s a sense among many of us that we deserve the comforts that abound here solely by virtue of our belonging to Yale and to the upper class community it entails."

Wait, let me re-write this sentence for you:

"There’s a sense among many of us that we deserve the comforts that abound here solely by virtue of our belonging to A CIVILIZED SOCIETY WHICH DOES NOT VALUE NOR PROMOTE IN ITS CORE TENETS SAVAGERY AND VIOLENCE AMONGST PEOPLE WALKING DOWN THE STREET."

There, I think that is what you meant to write.

"In the wealthiest nation on earth, why are some kids reduced to theft and violence?"

I think I will take a page from my wife's book on this one. As a Caucasian teacher who taught for three years in the New Haven Public School system, or the "ghetto", with a predominantly African-American student body, she valiantly and boldly taught the priceless value of making good choices. I know such terms as "right" and "good" hurt your ears, Mr. Freemark, but those are terms used by people outside of your world. (By the way, I am going to confidently argue that my wife has done more for the children of New Haven's poor in one week than you have in over three years at the caring Yale University.)

These "kids" are not robots with poorly written software. They cannot be "reduced" to anything. (As a general fact, they obey the conservation of mass rules just like the rest of us.) I find your implication that they do not possess free will or the ability to reason both remarkably disingenuous, insulting, and dare I say it, racist? For all we know, one of these kids might regret the incident he was involved in and turn his life around. I'm sure people thought Malcolm Little would never amount to anything as a young hoodlum. Just because these teenagers are going down the wrong path now DOES NOT MEAN their lives are useless. They are humans living in poverty, not just "the poor".

Life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness. We have a right to fail in that pursuit, and currently, these youth are.

"We condemn the people who live in impoverished neighborhoods..."

Uh, no, we don't condemn them. Name me one mainstream, individualist thinker (conservative, liberal, or libertarian) who actually condemns people who live in impoverished neighborhoods? Name one and document their condemnation.

"...for living on dangerous, dirty streets even though they can’t afford the services to sweep sidewalks of trash..."

I've got an idea for this problem, Mr. Freemark.  It costs about $8. I usually take about 15 minutes a week to use one to clean my sidewalk. The amazing thing is, I do it without any government intervention. Monthly, I take a trash bag and clean up the garbage thrown on the road side in front of my house. Again, no Great Society-era program needed. Maybe since you've "donated" $8 to them already, they will use the fifteen minutes used towards mugging their next victim and clean their sidewalks instead.

"...nor the books to teach their kids..."

New Haven FREE PUBLIC Library. Hours: Mon 12-8 | Tue 10-8 | Wed 10-8 | Thu 10-8 | Fri 1-5 | Sat 10-5 | Sun Closed. If I'm not mistaken, proof of income or racial segregation are no longer policies of this establishment. (Hence, the words "free" and "public" in the name)

"...nor the fruits and vegetables needed for good nutrition,"

Again, I believe fruits and vegetables can be found here, here, or here. Now, I admit, it has been over two years since I lived in New Haven, so I might be a little behind where produce is available.

"...even though we stay the hell away — denying any obligation on our part to equalize opportunity — and fearing interaction with them because the results are often lamentable."

Lamentable? I would say painful, but you would know better. By the way, after the switchblade divided your epithelial tissues, did you scream, "No justice, no peace?"

"Our society has committed a massive policy failure in not addressing the problems of this nation’s poor;"

Consult your local Encyclopedia Britannica and look up the following terms: "New Deal", "The War on Poverty", and "Aid to Families with Dependent Children."

"...our wildly high crime rate, when compared to those in other developed countries, attests to this,"

Proof, Mr. Freemark, I need substantiated proof of a crime rate which could be generally accepted as "wildly high" when compared to France, Ireland, and Germany.

"...our society brings many of [the poor] to violence."

While you have the encyoclopedia out, look up Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Somehow, in the face of terrible state-sponsored violence and oppression, they represented the poor in their respective corners of the world without any blade-wielding. Plus, unless my tax dollars are busing the poor to dog-fights, gangs rapes, alley brawls or public decapitations, hangings, or lynching, I'm not sure the language that, "our society brings many of them to violence" is really all that accurate.

SO IN CONCLUSION, this is what a $180,000 tuition bill from Yale University buys you. The bill of sale would include white-liberal guilt, harmful relativism, depreciating confidence in your fellow man's ability, collectivist propaganda, and a road map through over 70 years of failed public policy toward the issue of poverty. I cannot tell if it is Mr. Freemark's lack of genuine critical thinking, or the overassertion of his reasoning ability that cannot differentiate between a political statement and barbarian thuggery that I find astounding. This graduate is supposed to be the paradigm of human reasoning, the pinnacle of a Yale education that can handle the extreme complexities of the modern world and balance them with the understanding of human and societal nature. "Lux et veritas" has never been so degraded, and worse, logically reversed than in this example. His tossing aside the real issue in a dark corner of used, broken philosophical regurgitations demonstrates his shameful ignorance toward finding a real opportunity to separate the wheat (the impoverished) from the chaff (criminals).

Michael Cavalieri, MUS'05

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