#9 The Writing on the Wall — Reply All — Gimlet Media
"I think my first year I was very angry because of it and then after that, you know, you got to do something about it because you can’t just sit around and get angry, that’s how you know, get headaches and die.
Thu Jun 4 21:28:33 2015 - permalink -
MELISSA: “Bash that bitch’s head in.” I try to brush everything off, which is a problem sometimes. But at the moment, at the time, I couldn’t brush it off. I was crying, I was like, “you see! look at the world!” and to see 70 or 80 people like something that said I deserve to die. It was disheartening.
he only rule he gave faculty was that they had to sign their names to their Yaks, which sent a small, but powerful message – “we are here. And we see you.”
ALEX: As a way to counteract racism, this seems totally ridiculous. The faculty were violating one of the cardinal rules of the internet — Kindness never works. But to see these older professors making cheesy dad jokes and offering good-natured and unironic congratulations to people, and getting way more upvotes than the racist stuff, it had a surprisingly strong effect on their students."
. But when I gave her a call back on campus, she had one positive thing to say about the app. Before Yik Yak showed up, Colgate was a place where Melissa saw people express racist ideas all the time. But no one admitted that they were racist. Or that their friends were.
MELISSA: I think that before, people just felt crazy and by people I mean people like me. I feel this way, I feel uncomfortable, people say these things but I don’t have any proof that this exists. It seems like people can just brush it off:“that’s not a big deal, someone put their fingers in your hair. That’s not a big deal.” But with Yik Yak, since Yik Yak was so explicitly racist and so violent, it forced a conversation on this campus that a lot of people were trying to avoid having.