Featured, Race & Politics

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

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

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Desmond Eftienne

    Hope Prof. Menzio sues the sh-t out of the airline and demonstrates the economic principle and consequences of “low information rationality” to all concerned.

    When I did more flying in the pre-9/11 90s, I used to always clock Becky and her relatives, Biff and Muffy, side-eyeing what a quiet, non-chatting, tall, bald brother like me was reading. Occasionally, I would deliberately bring out a copy of something provocatively titled just to mess with their nosiness (“look…I think Charles Barkley over there is reading ‘The Anarchist’s Cookbook’…call the cops!!”)

    • I don’t think people realize how personal the question “What are you reading?” is.

      • Mortal Man

        I travel a lot for conferences and trainings as an instructional coach and I simply had to stop doing readings/grading papers on planes. Everyone would try to tell me how to do the teacher’s job as if my 8 years in classroom meant jack.

        I only encounter that type of behavior on planes. It’s as if people feel paying three figures for a ticket entitles them to breach your privacy.

        • LMNOP

          I’ve had people ask what I’m reading on buses, I think it’s the same idea, just less money involved.

        • Mochasister

          Ya’ll need to start pretending you don’t speak English. Works like a charm.

      • Desmond Eftienne

        True dat. In my younger, way less civilized days, I would have responded (and often did) with something nasty for invading my space. (“I’m reading your mama’s diary…and she said your daddy’s stroke game ain’t got nutthin’ on mine…”)

        • Junegirl627

          I’m dead… Why’d you kill me?

          • Antoinette McDonald

            “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!ce52etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !ce52e:?:?:???? http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsIndependentGetPayHourly$98…. .??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??::::::!ce52e….,…

        • brothaskeeper

          Pre-reform Savage level: 15

          • Jennifererosas

            “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!ec440etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !ec440e:?:?:???? http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsRockGetPayHourly$98…. .??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??::::::!ec440e….,….

        • Other_guy13

          You are the King of White Tears for the week sir…congratz to you…make us proud!!!

          • Brandiaedwards4

            “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!ce612etwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !ce612e:?:?:???? http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsBoostGetPayHourly$98…. .??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??:??::::::!ce612e….,….

        • Tryce Taylor

          You had me hollering and letting it fade into questionably remedial chuckle….
          I’mma need you to warn us be for you make a kill and have us as the witnesses. Hahahaha!

        • And the #WhiteTears award goes to…

      • Sahel

        Does this question apply to comic books.

        • YES! Because being interrupted while reading the latest issue of TWD, Saga or Storm (just to name a few) will either get you a tense side-eye or a very curt, Captain Obvious-like response from me. “Ooh! What’re you reading??” -“A book.”

      • Cleojonz

        An even baser reaction should be why don’t they get how incredibly rude it is to interrupt me when clearly I would rather read my book than chat with you.

      • TDW

        Especially since I read primarily historical fiction and I don’t feel like trying to explain who I’m reading about to a person whose only relevant reference is Queen Elizabeth.

      • Mochasister

        Leave me alone and let me read!

    • Derktar nerk

      The thing is, this is exactly how this should have gone down. Girl makes a fuss about some guy, they interview him and immediately realize he’s not a threat, everyone moves on with the flight except for that dumbass becky.

      • annieem

        Agree with everything but kicking “Becky” off. The airlines staff acted in an incredibly unprofessional manner.

        • mchester

          Don’t think we don’t see you all up and down this thread defending all things Becky.

          • Kas

            Like seriously!

          • Mochasister

            Of course. She’s an old head Becky.

        • TeeChantel

          Who said they kicked her off? If you read the article in full you would have learned Becky requested to fly on another flight. Reading is fundamental.

          • Gail

            And clearly Becky is not one to have done too much reading in her 30 basic years. She must have been embarrased or plain stupid paranoid to opt to take another flight. I’m sure he used her tray table to spread out his math notes.

            • Junegirl627

              30 basic years…??????

        • Deeds

          They should have kicked her off she caused a disturbance and delay over something extremely stupid.

          • Nilzed

            She wasnt kicked off, she was offered the choice of taking a different flight. Not forced to. Indeed, given the dekay she created, the next flight out may have left before this one.

            • Deeds

              Yea I know she wasn’t actually kicked off, I was replying to annieem about her not agreeing with kicking Becky off. I think she should have got kicked off even though she wasn’t.

      • Nilzed

        There should be a research step before the police get called, like just plain adking him what he is doing, or as described in the article, doing a google search on his name. The way the entire system comes to a screeching halt based on the uninformed suspicion of one person is nuts.

    • Junegirl627

      I bring books along to guard against small talk too. When people try to start that friendly conversation. I say hello and that’s about it. If they start asking a person question I ask why they want to know. Then in the middle of explaining I tell them that i’m trying to read my book so leave me alone. Then I smile turn away and read. It is the most polite way to be rude.

      • Mochasister

        Eat something heavy on the garlic and onions and breathe a couple of times in their direction. That should hold them back. White people and their passive aggressive curiosity/small talk get on my nerves. You would cross the street to avoid walking by me but now that we’re in a tin can thousands of miles in the air you want to talk?

  • Had one Becky start small talk when I was reading. I wasn’t interested in talking. Had nerve to say, ” I thought you were a US Marshall.” Sorry Becky, we sit in first class too.

    Now playing Mos Def…. Mr. N***a

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      ..Ain’t even got an extra lime for the water glass.

    • miss t-lee

      The most relevant song for this story.
      *daps*

  • occupiesthethrone

    Sounds like maybe she was hitting on him/expecting him to fall all over himself to speak to her, and once he paid her dust, he became a mean, scary, swarthy terrorist writing terror scribbles.

    • Asiyah

      My thoughts exactly. She couldn’t handle the rejection.

    • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

      No, he was a member of that terrorist group Al-Gebra.

      • Asiyah

        I freaking hate that group!

        • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

          Yeah, I thought that it was one of those ‘iffy’ countries in north Africa but I was so wrong.

      • Cheech

        Heh.

    • KNeale

      “terror scribbles”!!!! Lmao!!!

    • Mochasister

      And you know this!

  • brothaskeeper

    Dey urr’whurr! On my way to see my sis, I boarded the plane, sat down, and put on the world’s biggest set of headphones, which (almost) everyone knows is a crystal clear indication that communicating is not happening in any way, shape, or form. Then here comes Becky to occupy the seat beside me. My eyes were half closed, and my head was turned away from her, but I could feel her grinning and holding her hand out waiting for me to shake it. I respectfully denied her request, as I desired to sleep for the 4-hour ride, so what did she do? Whispered to the flight attendant that my music was too loud.

    • Junegirl627

      I just found out from guys I know that this a black/brown/swarthy/other man problem. I never knew this.

      I thought Becky’s just clutch purses and pray they don’t r@ped by you guys. I never knew there was a reverse where they act annoyingly over friendly as a way to show they are nice and not afraid of you. Then get offended when you don’t appreciate the gesture.

      • There’s an Asian woman at work, married to a Haitian man, and I think SHE thinks that’s fair game for her to come to the circle and “blend in”…
        We were joking one day about going to a professional dancing establishment” and have a few beers, when she walked up and said “why go, it’s just going to be a bunch of girls with cigarette burns, patting their weaves, (she patted her head while saying it) complaining about their stolen ‘access cards'” (food stamps).
        They made her cry SO hard, that there should be a plaque laid on that very spot in her name, commemorating the scorched earth.

        • Julie Mango TheGladiator Staff

          She learned THAT day that she was NOT part of the crew!

          • I kid you not, it was so crazy how everybody wanted to say ten thousand things at once – and nothing comes out, so you have that 2 seconds of deafening silence…
            Then – boom.

            • Kas

              And yet not one person recorded and posted to WorldStar. SMDH

            • pls

              I can picture this so well in my mind. hilarious!

        • Deeds

          Can you please tell us what some of the retorts were? :)

          • One young girl told her ( the best one yet) “Not only are you not black, your man ain’t even american!”

      • Cula J.

        I’ve had this happen in bars SO. MANY. TIMES.

        The worst is when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone you’re actually interested in, and you can’t because “LOOKIT MEEE!!! LOOKIT MEEE!!!”

      • Wild Cougar

        They assume all brown and black men want them. ALL. Getting attention from a brown or Black man is a consolation to make up for the white ones who pay them no attention. Beckys, especially plain and ugly ones, have a complete meltdown if a brown or Black man ignores them because it means the ONLY thing they feel gives them status, their whyte femaleness, is being downgraded. I’ve seen it a number of times and it’s hilarious.

        • Mochasister

          This a thousand times. I got to this thread late and I made the same comment. So true. It’s like they feel like they are OWED the nonwhite man’s attention.

      • Hammster

        Yeah, it happens….to me…a lot. I’m generally a nice southern boy but sometimes I just want to be left alone.

      • Mochasister

        Beckies also get mad when said men rebuff their romantic/sexual advances towards them.

    • Kas

      That will teach you.

      • brothaskeeper
  • Junegirl627

    YO DARTH BECKY IS A STUPUD BISH!!!!
    When I read this article yesterday I googled what a relativity math equation looked like because its been many moons since college level calculus and I wanted to give Darth Becky the benefit of the doubt….

    I realized that this article is Gospel. Written by someone who truly understand that nothing good will ever happen when confusion, arrogance, basic blond haired white wee-men, and math are trapped in an enclosed space.

    • Andie

      How do you not realize that is math?

      • Sahel

        Now,now Andie.You are a math genius,dont take it to heart

        • Kas

          Even if you are not a math genius, you should be able to differentiate between a math equation and step by step directions for committing a terrorist act. BTW: pretty sure terrorists don’t refer to crib notes while blowing up are taking over a plane.

          • Tambra

            You never know, probably didn’t do proper training with ISIS.

            • Kas

              Apparently. Such foolishness on so many levels.

              • Tambra

                It’s not worth the brain cells to try to figure it out.

          • KNeale

            Right! Like what did she think was happening with him writing with paper and ink. What could he have possibly done? If he was going to blow up/crash the plane I think his note would have been lost. In her head, what was the scenario of what this man was going to do with this note?

          • Janelle Doe

            I am trying to figure out if it was really the math problem or that he wasn’t that interested in talking to her (the latyer being more along the lines of beckyness)

            • Mochasister

              The latter. And also this was a (perceived) nonwhite man refusing to talk to her. Some white men and women think all nonwhites want them. It’s like a slap in the face when lower nonwhites aren’t interested and reject their advances.

          • fxd8424

            “Should” being the operative word here.

      • Junegirl627

        I don’t know…. I wasn’t familiar with this form of math so when I googled and saw it I just laughed and shook my head.

        Lord save us all from dumb blondes!!!

      • Asiyah

        See, what had happened was that she was taught that they’re called ARABIC numbers (even though, in the Arab world, they don’t use those numbers) and since she couldn’t pass math she was like “OH SH*T. IT’S BECAUSE IT’S A TERRORIST THING” and that moment of self-reflection changed EVERYTHING.

        • Kas

          You have jokes today. Funny!

        • Sahel

          But just to be safe,nerds should not scribble subfield mathematics on planes.

      • The more important question is, how do come out thinking that that is this:

        https://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/RT/docs/ConsularNotificationAccess/subpages/arabic_mandatory.gif

      • Other_guy13

        I feel like she is Tomi Lahren older sister…that family aint too bright…ijs

      • LMNOP

        If you are stupid, obviously.

      • Janelle Doe

        Seriously, and not just her also the flight crew and whoever it was that wasted valuable time questioning the professor.

    • As easy as it is to blame the dumb white woman here, this is what happens when you entrust your security with less than mediocre people. I mean they not only interrogated old dude, they saw what he wrote and concluded it may be arabic.

      • NonyaB

        Nah, they concluded otherwise and let him get back on the plane. Bish had decided and told them it was Arabic before they spoke to him.

    • NonyaB

      Hello! My immediate thought was even if bish failed the class, she should still know what math looks like!

    • Cleojonz

      Ummm…looks like math to me. WTF!!!???

    • Gail

      This is obviously math, so basic. But America is like #92 worldwide in math skills ranking so no surprise Becky brain cells weren’t firing. So dumb she couldn’t even recognize it was math. You don’t need to know how to solve it know that.

  • Mary Burrell

    Cackling at ruining office potluck with cucumber casseroles that sounds nauseating and it’s funny.

    • NonyaB

      Cucumber casseroles does sound like an abomination.

    • Mochasister

      That’s as bad as string bean casserole!

  • Mary Burrell

    Today is Sunday and the white racists trolls are going to be in formation on VSB.

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      Exactly.

      Also, Happy Mothers Day to you Sister.

      • Mary Burrell

        I’m not a mother but Happy Sunday to you brother?

        • Sahel

          No a mother,noted.

    • Desmond Eftienne

      Argghh!! Why did you have to use the word “formation.” Now I got an image of Carly Fiorina in Beyonce video-wear I can’t get out of my head!! Lol

      • Mary Burrell

        lol

  • Kat

    Becky and Bif or Mike and Sue or Jimbo and Becky Ann…all names equal the same.

    If they aren’t comfort then the world has to stop.

    • brothaskeeper

      Um….Mike is a good name…IJS….

      • Tambra

        You defending yourself?

        • brothaskeeper

          You could say.

  • brothaskeeper

    The trolls be killin’ my henny buzz. I’m like…

  • Ally_B

    I shudder to think how it may have gone down if he were not a decorated professor. If he were a regular colored curly writing a love note, learning some fanboyish comic language, or doing his math – and still having the nerve to be disinterested in darth becky. He could have been lost to the Empire entirely.

    • NonyaB

      Seriously. What if it was Arabic? A language spoken and written by over 420 million people across 27 countries – overwhelming majority of whom are just trying to live, including some as 1st or multi-generation immigrants in the US. But all are evil, according to that bish.

      • Nilzed

        It was math, so it was arabic, mashed up with some greek just to make it more interesting.

More Like This