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?
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