Yale and race


So they’ve made an arrest in the horrible Yale murder of a 24-year-old student named Annie M. Le—and the guy is a khaki-wearing white guy. I throw in the khakis because:

A. Upon being arrested, 24-year-old Raymond Clark III was, indeed, wearing khakis.

B. One doesn’t see all that many pairs of beige Gap khakis in the hood.

Once again, mainstream America looks ugly, and assumptions are turned upside their heads. In the four days since Le’s body was found inside a laboratory wall, we’ve repeatedly heard commentators/parents/students/alum comment on the risks of attending school near an urban setting. By “urban,” you can be sure nobody was referring to traffic lights, potholes and an endless stream of Starbucks storefronts. No, the hidden message wasn’t so hidden at all—Beware of the blacks! They’re coming!

Well, once again, they didn’t come. It was a white guy—short and nerdy looking and nattily dressed—who apparently committed the horrible act. The problem is, these sort of conclusions rarely change social takes. Remember Susan Smith, drowning her kids, then blaming the whole thing on a black kidnapper? Remember Charles Stuart, the Bostonian who murdered his wife but tried getting away by claiming a black man who done it? Remember the Oklahoma City bombing? Had to be a minority. Had to be. Oops.

I was discussing this with an African-American friend the other day—she made the point that the murderer at Yale damn well better not be a black man, because every time it is, racial trust drops another 10 pegs.