Target: Jonathan Holloway, Dean of Yale University
Goal: Thank Yale for dropping charges against man who destroyed racist image and allowing him to have his job back.
After years of working at Yale University, dishwasher Corey Menafee decided that he could no longer stand to see racist artwork in his work environment. He then destroyed the image in question — an offensive and insensitive window panel depicting “happy” African-American slaves carrying cotton — by smashing it with a broom handle. Such an action has been viewed as a long time coming to many, as Yale has been pressured for decades to remove the racist images found throughout the campus. As a result, Menafee was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
However, thanks to the public outcry by concerned citizens, including in petitions like this one found on ForceChange, Yale has requested that the State Attorney drop all charges. Additionally, after letting the school know that he regretted his resignation, Yale graciously decided to offer Menafee employment once again.
By supporting the ForceChange petition to drop charges against Menafee, this community has stood up for racial justice and equality. Because of that, this man will not have to be punished for his actions, nor will he be forced to view that racist image, which has since been replaced by a pane of clear glass.
Dear Dean Holloway,
I would like to thank Yale University for dropping charges against Corey Menafee. Although his actions may have seemed rash or reckless, they were understandable. It was cruel and unfair for him, as an African-American man, to be subjected to a racist image in his work environment. By dropping the charges brought against him and graciously allowing him to be employed at Yale once again, this university has demonstrated its potential to evolve and to listen to the voices of the oppressed.
As you are probably well aware, Menafee was not and is not the only person to have been offended by certain images and names displayed on Yale’s campus. I sincerely hope that Yale will show more sensitivity to these issues in the future in order to prevent more actions like Menafee’s. I believe that a university as prestigious as Yale can preserve and revere its history without offending its students and employees. It’s shown itself to be capable of that by not punishing Menafee for doing what he believed to be right.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: m01229