today, i was walking home in the rain at 8:40 and i saw a middle-aged african-american homeless man standing outside the gate to jonathan edwards college, where i live (the gates are big rod-iron things that you need a key card to open). he stomped out his cigarette when he saw me, and after i went in and the two girls coming out came out, he slipped in the gate as well. i turned around and watched him go into one of the propped-open entry-ways with a black garbage bag, but the other two girls just kept on walking. a senior guy i know, who happens to be a prominent figure in the undergraduate organizing committee (super-liberal and somewhat controversial group on campus) walked by and i asked him if he thought it was weird that a homeless guy had just walked into entryway f.. he shrugged and asked me if i was sure he was homeless. with the recent wave of armed muggings by "15-18 year-old black males," racial profiling has become a big issue on campus. i ended up deciding to call the campus police, because i knew i would feel terrible if someone ended up getting robbed and i could have done something to stop it. twenty minutes later a cop knocked on my door and asked me to identify the man, who they had found with a hammer in his jacket and arrested. turns out he had a three-page rap sheet of burglaries, and when they apprehended him he seemed ready to use the hammer as an assault weapon. i had to go out and identify the guy, who was standing on the sidewalk in handcuffs cursing and yelling.
i can't decide which is more unnerving: the fact that he could have easily walked into my propped-open entryway and my unlocked room on the first floor right next to the gate, or the fact that i was the only one of FOUR people who thought to call the police when they saw a homeless guy walking into our residential college. i'm starting to realize that the wide majority of kids at yale have never actually witnessed or been the victim of a crime, and have somehow convinced themselves that all people, including vagrant felons, are essentially good and would never commit a crime against a fellow human being. (after all, the only people that malicious are republicans.) also unnerving is the fact that i still feel guilty that the man was arrested, even though he was about to commit a crime. he must have felt pretty shitty standing out in the 45 degree rain with handcuffs and no umbrellas.
so it's nothing new, but this is MY first crime in new haven.