A Black man who worked at Yale University got fed up with a stained-glass panel that depicted slavery. So Corey Menafee told The New Haven Independent that he decided to break it. He lost his job and now faces a felony charge.
The controversial panel, which shows slaves picking cotton, was in Yale’s Calhoun residential college dining hall, named in honor of slavery advocate and former U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun. African-American students and university officials are in a battle over racially insensitive images and facilities that honor those who defended slavery. But Menafee told The Independent that the ongoing debate didn’t motivate him.
The news outlet said he worked as a dishwasher, but was helping clean the hall on June 13 when he decided at that moment to knock down the panel.
“I just said, ‘That thing’s coming down today. I’m tired of it,’” he stated.
Menafee, 38, said he climbed up toward the panel and broke it with a broomstick. “It’s 2016, I shouldn’t have to come to work and see things like that,” he added.
New Haven police arrested Menafee. He faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment and a first-degree felony charge of criminal mischief.
Yale said in a statement to The Independent that Menafee, a 2001 graduate of Virginia Union University, apologized for his actions and subsequently resigned from his job.
The university stated that it will not advocate for Menafee’s prosecution and does not seek restitution for the broken panel.
SOURCE: New Haven Independent | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter