Darth Becky With The Good Hair And The Not-So-Good Understanding Of Math Is The Real Terrorist

CBS Philly screenshot
CBS Philly screenshot

Last week, when explaining the history, etymology, and context behind "Becky," I referred to Iggy Azelea as Darth Becky. Which A) she is (duh) and B) was one of those jokes that wasn't really a joke. Because she's not the only one. There really are swarms of Darth-ass Beckys out there — stealing swag, taking up sidewalk space, sabotaging conversations with strategic tears, ruining office potlucks with cucumber casseroles, and tattle telling to human resources because you put a period after the "Good morning" you replied to her "Good morning!" email instead of an exclamation point and she was hurt and threatened by that — and they really do need to be stopped. And they need to be acknowledged as what they are. Terrorists.


Perhaps this characterization seems harsh, but there's no other way to describe their knack of using their Whitewomanness — and the sympathy and consideration they're often given for merely possessing it — as a means to infiltrate, disrupt, and manipulate. For instance, let's consider what happened to University of Pennsylvania economics professor Guido Menzio for having the misfortune of sitting next to the Darthest of Beckys on a plane.

After this particularly Darth Becky — described in the Washington Post as a "blond-haired, 30-something woman sporting flip-flops and a red tote bag" — noticed him scribbling something on a notepad, her antenna went up.

She decided to try out some small talk.

Is Syracuse home? She asked.

No, he replied curtly.

He similarly deflected further questions. He appeared laser-focused — perhaps too laser-focused — on the task at hand, those strange scribblings.

Rebuffed, the woman began reading her book. Or pretending to read, anyway. Shortly after boarding had finished, she flagged down a flight attendant and handed that crew-member a note of her own.

One thing led to another, and the plane was eventually prevented from taking off, and he was questioned for being a terrorist. All because A) this Darth Becky was perturbed that this man had the audacity not to recognize that she, a nice White woman, was attempting to make small talk with him and B) this Darth Becky thought his scribbles were some secondhand terrorist Cliffnotes and didn't realize it was a fucking math problem.

Had the crew or security members perhaps quickly googled this good-natured, bespectacled passenger before waylaying everyone for several hours, they might have learned that he — Guido Menzio — is a young but decorated Ivy League economist. And that he’s best known for his relatively technical work on search theory, which helped earn him a tenured associate professorship at the University of Pennsylvania as well as stints at Princeton and Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

In summary, if you see a Darth Becky today, tell the authorities. Because Darth Beckys are terrorists.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



Well, I mean, Algebra is Arabic in origin and the guy that invented it was Muslim. So, there it is, a terrorist equation! (rolls eyes).


"At New York's Kennedy airport today, an individual later discovered to be a public school teacher was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a protractor, a T-square, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General John Ashcroft said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. "Al-gebra is a fearsome cult,", Ashcroft said. "They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like "x" and "y" and refer to themselves as "unknowns", but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country." - Roberto Capodieci

Edit: I hate talking to people on the plane. Not always, but most of the time. My butt hits the seat, I put my headphones on, put on my neck pillow, and I'm sleep before we take off. I know, I'm rude, but I suck at small talk. *shrugs*