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Yale employee smashes allegedly racist stained-glass window, Yale won’t press charges

Yale employee smashes allegedly racist stained-glass window, Yale won’t press charges

So does everyone now get to smash things that offend them?

A cafeteria worker at Yale’s Calhoun College named Corey Menafee “resigned” from his job last month after using a broom handle to smash a window. The stained glass image in the window depicted slaves working in a cotton field.

Menafee, who is black said the image angered him and that “we shouldn’t have to see that.”

The New Haven Independent reported:

An African-American dishwasher lost his job after losing his cool and breaking a stained-glass panel in Yale’s Calhoun residential college dining hall that depicted slaves carrying bales of cotton.

The dishwasher, Corey Menafee, said he used a broomstick to knock the panel to the floor. He said he was tired of looking at the “racist, very degrading” image.

Yale University Police arrested Menafee, who now faces a felony charge. The university, meanwhile, has cut ties with him….

His actions provide the latest chapter in a contentious debate over the racially charged symbolism of the college, named for slavery advocate and former U.S. Vice-President John C. Calhoun. The debate gathered steam last summer with a petition demanding a name change, and has since grown to encompass the slavery-themed paintings, artifacts, and stained-glass tiles displayed in the college. In April, Yale President Peter Salovey announced that Yale will keep the Calhoun name despite a year-long campaign by students and faculty calling for it to be changed.

Menafee, who is 38 years old, said he wasn’t motivated by allegiance to student activists when, while helping clean the hall on Monday, June 13, he decided on a sudden impulse to knock the panel down.

“When I walked into this job, I wasn’t aware of none of that,” Menafee said. “And then you know, being there, you start hearing different things.”

“I took a broomstick, and it was kind of high, and I climbed up and reached up and broke it,” he said. “It’s 2016, I shouldn’t have to come to work and see things like that.”

“I just said, ‘That thing’s coming down today. I’m tired of it,’” he added. “I put myself in a position to do it, and did it.”

Needless to say, to the social justice warriors in higher education, the perpetrator is being treated as a hero.

So of course, Yale is shaking in fear of yet more social justice warfare.

Yale released this official statement seeking compassionate treatment of the employee, and asking the prosecutors not to press charges:

Statement by Yale University regarding broken window at Calhoun College

An incident occurred at Calhoun College, a residential college on the campus of Yale University, in which a stained glass window was broken by an employee of Yale, resulting in glass falling onto the street near a passerby, endangering her safety.

The University worked with his union to resolve this as compassionately as possible. The employee apologized for his actions and subsequently resigned from the University. Separately, Yale has requested that the State’s Attorney not pursue charges and Yale is not seeking restitution.

As part of President Salovey’s initiative in April to review Yale’s history with regard to slavery, the Committee on Art in Public Spaces was charged to assess all of the art on campus, including the windows in Calhoun. After the window was broken in June, the Committee recommended that it and some other windows be removed from Calhoun, conserved for future study and a possible contextual exhibition, and replaced temporarily with tinted glass. An artist specializing in stained glass will be commissioned to design new windows, with input from the Yale community, including students, on what should replace them.

The bottom line is that by not pursuing prosecution and taking down all the other windows, Yale is rewarding politically-correct criminality. Do other employees get to smash stuff that offends them?

Here’s a video report from WTNH in Connecticut:

Yale has been struggling with the name of Calhoun College for months but even if protesters get their way, the university is still called Yale and guess what…

Elihu Yale, for whom the university is named, was involved in the slave trade.

Digital Histories at Yale revealed the unfortunate truth in 2014:

Elihu Yale was a Slave Trader

Next week, the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and the Yale Center for British Art are co-hosting a major international conference on slavery and British culture in the eighteenth century. The art exhibit associated with the conference is remarkable for many reasons, not least because it features a portrait of Elihu Yale being waited upon by a collared slave (euphemized as a “page” in the original listing).

The painting is related to one held by the University Art Gallery, showing the same scene from a different perspective. And it is similar to another portrait of Yale with yet another collared slave (this time euphemized as a “servant”). This latter portrait, even more ominous and imperial than the first, is not a part of the exhibit. And that is a shame, because these paintings, and the larger conference of which they are a part, offer an opportunity to revisit the controversial and entangled history of slavery and universities.

Does this mean the university should be renamed as well? Or smashed?

Featured image is a screencap.


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casualobserver | July 13, 2016 at 9:22 am

Most progressives I know would answer the question – “Yes, he should be exonerated.” A fundamental tenet of the ideology is the controlled shift of power from who progressives identify as “without” or “lower” in the power hierarchy. And race is a primary field from which they define and sow this power ranking idea.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to casualobserver. | July 13, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    I am not sure I understand your point. Do you think a dishwasher at Yale was high in power?

    There is an undisputed correlation between race and power. Do you think there isn’t any causation?

    It would be an absolute lie to claim that an individual could not rise above the disadvantages of race. It is equally a lie to deny that being born poor and black predisposes one to failure, prison and misery.

      casualobserver in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | July 13, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Basic point is that progressives make decisions entirely relying on a comparison of power. So a person a black person destroying property as a reaction to history 150 years back is given a pass. The white power structure of a university is assigned added blame. It’s my experience with progressives that every social encounter is an opportunity to “balance” power. And it is why there is an explosion of new classes or tribes defined as aggrieved and needed social power balance.

“Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”

Smash the rest of Yale and close it. The country will be better off.

He should not be exonerated. What he did is called destruction of property and vandalism.

Slavery happened.
It is a fact.
It is part of history.
There are paintings, books, movies, all depicting historical facts and events. Depicting said facts and events serve a purpose, and if some people are too stupid to understand that purpose, then it’s their problem. They should not get a free pass to go around destroying property.

    herm2416 in reply to Exiliado. | July 13, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Those who DON’T STUDY history, are doomed to repeat it. Slightly updated for the times.

    I think the new windows should depict pacifiers, crayons, coloring books, and unicorns.

I’ll probably get a lot of down votes for this thought, but were it not for slavery and the suffering his ancestors must have endured, he would have been born in Africa. Rather than looking at the image through the eyes of a slave owner, shouldn’t he be proud of the resilience of his ancestors just to have gotten through those years?

Maybe my view is all wrong, but being born in Texas and not in Germany of Scotland means a lot to me. While not enslaved, life could not have been easy for my ancestors and had any one of them given up I would not be here. I can’t imagine being born in a country other than the United States. That is such a wonderful gift given to me by people willing to uproot and come here.

I don’t often express serious thoughts, so if I’m out of line feel free to let me know.

    n.n in reply to Old0311. | July 13, 2016 at 10:06 am

    His ancestors were enslaved in Africa by other blacks. Most of the black slaves were generational slaves long before the arrival of Muslims and later whites.

    david7134 in reply to Old0311. | July 13, 2016 at 11:46 am

    If his ancestor was a slave, then the ancestor would have been killed in Africa if not sold as a slave. Most slaves were sold as defeated enemies of tribal war or useless family members that were found to be necessary to cull out. For that matter, who is to say that the owner of the slaves shown was not black? The owner could have been the ancestor of the dishwasher. After all, blacks could live freely in the South, but were excluded from many areas in the North due to the black laws and of those free blacks, 30% owned slaves.

      Char Char Binks in reply to david7134. | July 13, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      They didn’t necessarily kill unsold slaves in Africa; sometimes they just put them to work there. They had plantations in Africa, and plenty of work to do.

Its therapeutic.

Also, 2 of 3 Psychos advise that if smashing windows is a “stable” orientation, then, yes, it should be normalize/promoted. Although, they are highly Pro-Choice or selective, so it would be advisable to consult with liberal judges to learn their politically correct mood of the day.

Humphrey's Executor | July 13, 2016 at 10:04 am

Here’s a question for every African American descended from slaves: Do you regret the fact that your ancestors were brought to America as slaves?

    It happened. The need now is to assimilate and integrate their descendants, rather than destroy another civilization and culture as a sacrificial scapegoat.

      herm2416 in reply to n.n. | July 13, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Then the platform of victimhood would be in splinters. It is much easier to be a victim, it takes no effort; it is much more difficult to stand up and make a fruitful life for one’s self and family.

“[The] incident occurred at Calhoun College”

Algonquin J. Calhoun?

“So does everyone now get to smash things that offend them?”

Doesn’t that depend on whether I intended to smash the thing? And that depends on what your definition of smash is and the definition of intent is.

Morning Sunshine | July 13, 2016 at 10:57 am

Thank you for posting a picture of that window. I have not seen it anywhere, and believe that it needs to be posted

Char Char Binks | July 13, 2016 at 11:24 am

Only Blacks get to smash things that offend them. Anyway, I thought they wanted to constantly remind everyone that they are descended from slaves. Maybe we should just forget about all that unpleasantness.

Char Char Binks | July 13, 2016 at 11:27 am

Notice the SJW in front nodding his head as if that moronic janitor was saying something profound.

Now we shall see the “broken window” effect writ large.

If Yale does not respond about this property, then they should expect to see more damage in other areas.

impeach obama | July 13, 2016 at 12:01 pm

some comments in no particular order.
1 – if there were depictions of ‘No Dogs or Jews allowed’, would anyone here find that offensive ?
(history of property covenants not permitting sale of homes in Connecticut and other upper class neighborhoods).

2 – if there were depictions of ‘drinking fountains/no blacks’, would that be ok ?
(separate but equal)

those stained glass windows at public places (not library or exhibition halls) are inappropriate.

the manner of destruction, with the possibility of hurting people etc. was not a proper way of removing the offending images but removed they needed to be.
to require employees and students to subconsciously imbibe this sort of derogatory crap is not a healthy thing for society.

keeping these artifacts for study and historical purposes is fine – but wrong venue.

i am a conservative voter and believe in freedom of expression, but not everything which is permitted MUST be displayed in an ‘in your face’ manner.

in regards to slavery, there were white and native-American slaves/indentured servants in colonial times. depictions of white men and woman in slave collars would be just as offensive in this venue.

Plessy v. Ferguson
This 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case upheld the constitutionality of segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. It stemmed from an 1892 incident in which African-American train passenger Homer Plessy refused to sit in a Jim Crow car, breaking a Louisiana law.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to impeach obama. | July 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Due to clumsiness, I gave you one uptick, not the downtick I intended. As for the picture of the window specifying the clientele the merchant wished to serve: those don’t exist anymore. Those signs away with the revocation of freedom of contract under the 1964 Civil Rights act. You posted a straw-man.

    That stained glass window depicted history. The person destroying it had no more right to do so than those trying to close down the showing of Birth of a Nation. It is not for them to do.

David Breznick | July 13, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Yale yielded “space to destroy”.

impeach obama | July 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm

the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would extinguish the application of separate but equal in all areas of public accommodations

    impeach obama in reply to impeach obama. | July 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    50 years after the civil rights act and we are still arguing the sensitivity to slavery.

    walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

    Somebody Else’s Problem (also known as Someone Else’s Problem or SEP) is a psychological effect where people choose to dissociate themselves from an issue that may be in critical need of recognition.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to impeach obama. | July 13, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    The 1964 Civil Rights Act revoked freedom of contract. Is segregation right? I am not saying it is. But neither is the use of the badges and guns of government to tell a business owner with whom he must conduct business.

Funny. Menafee wasn’t picking cotton or a slave when he broke the stained glass window.

Our educational institutions are training a generation to have more in common with those who burned the library of Alexandria than those who built it.

I believe I would have taken pride in the ordeal, or its depiction, that my ancestors had survived; I would be proud that they had the determination and dedication to overcome their oppression.
I guess that is the “glass is half full” outlook….

Common Sense | July 13, 2016 at 3:05 pm

A double standard sickness sweeping across the country.
If you “feel wronged” you can do what you want with no repercussions.