Corey Menafee was an employee at Calhoun College, an arm of Yale University. He’s recently resigned from that position, after conducting what you might call some renovations on a window in a dining hall on the campus.
One day, Corey – who is black – got fed up with having to look at a stained glass window that depicted slaves picking cotton. It was implied that he had seen it many times in the past as a part of his job, and that day he had just simply felt enough was enough.
Corey took a broomstick and smashed the window, ensuring that no other people who felt offended by the depiction had to deal with it again.
“It’s 2016, I shouldn’t have to come to work and see things like that,” he said in a comment to The New Haven Independent.
Here is what the window looked like.
Corey was right. Just because something may be historical in nature, it doesn’t mean that in this day and age we should have to look at it. This is especially true when it’s something that memorializes slavery and the person that has to see it every day is of an ethnicity descended from those same slaves.
Menafee faces misdemeanor and felony charges by local authorities. However, his previous employer went above and beyond, going to bat for him with the cops.
Yale issued a statement saying that Menafee apologized for the action and that the university will not seek restitution. Additionally, they are going to request that the state not pursue any charges against Menafee.
It didn’t stop there. Yale then vowed to remove other panels that depict scenes from slavery at Calhoun College. They will be commissioning an artist specializing in stained glass to design new windows with input from the Yale community. The decision on what to use will come from the Yale community, including its own students.
State attorney David Strollo indicated that due to the circumstances in this case, Menafee’s charges will likely be dismissed at a hearing later in July.
It isn’t known if Menafee will get his job back or not, however, his attorney indicated that he wanted to if Yale would allow it.
This says a lot about Yale. They had some guy bust out a window that probably was very old and worth a lot of money, and their only response was to understand and empathize rather than prosecute and sue.
Thank you, Yale, for being good people.
Featured image via wikipedia