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Yale worker destroys stained-glass window that offends him, college destroys the rest for him


Smash first, ask questions later – it’s not just for entitled Yale student activists anymore.

A dishwasher at the university had enough of a stained-glass window in the Calhoun residential college – whose name and namesake have provoked much angst this year – so he “climbed up” and smacked it twice with a broomstick, causing glass to fall on a woman walking outside (who was allegedly not hurt).

You won’t be surprised to learn the glass depicted “slaves carrying bales of cotton,” New Haven Independent reported.

Corey Menafee is not some marginalized person that society has oppressed – he’s a 2001 graduate of Virginia Union University, an historically black institution, and a father of two; he worked for a “management services firm” before joining Yale almost nine years ago.

MORE: Yale profs protest keeping Calhoun College name

But Yale seems to be glad that Menafee gave them an excuse to get rid of multiple windows that students have been griping about, the Independent says:

Last week, “Head of College” (the new title replacing “master”) Julia Adams announced in an email to the Calhoun community that a set of stained glass panels depicting various moments from the statesman’s life would be removed from the college common room.

In the email, Adams said the impetus for their removal came from a study conducted by Yale’s Committee on Art in Public Spaces “following damage to one of the windows” in the dining hall. In an interview, she declined to confirm that the window in question was the same panel broken by Menafee, referring further questions to University spokesman Tom Conroy.

MORE: Yale students afraid to say they agree with keeping Calhoun name

Conroy was tight-lipped, only saying that Menafee is “not employed by the university” anymore. (The broomstick vigilante claims Yale “deemed him a potential threat to students” after the June 13 incident.)

Yale’s top PR official later told the Independent that Menafee did not resign as a condition of Yale declining to press charges against him, though she said he had “endanger[ed]” the woman outside.

Menafee said he accepts responsibility for an action that he had “no right to do” – he’s facing both misdemeanor and felony charges – but hedges: “It could be termed as civil disobedience.”

Yale released another statement Tuesday that said the broken window was indeed the impetus for the removal of the other windows, though they will be “conserved for future study and a possible contextual exhibition … 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.”

Read the story and Yale’s new statement.

UPDATE: Yale released a new statement explaining what will happen to the non-broken windows that were removed. The post has been amended accordingly.

MORE: Yale takes down Calhoun paintings because of slavery

h/t The Chronicle of Higher Education

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