An employee at Yale University is out of a job and now has an arrest record after smashing a stained glass panel in the university's Calhoun residential college dining hall that depicted slaves carrying cotton, the New Haven Independent reports.
Corey Menafee said that he was tired of looking at the "racist, very degrading" panel and decided to take a broomstick and knock the panel to the floor.
Menafee, 38, was arrested and now faces a felony charge.
According to the Independent, Menafee's actions are the latest element in a debate over the display of racially charged symbols around the undergraduate housing structure, which was named after slavery advocate and former U.S. Vice President John Calhoun.
Last summer, there was a petition demanding a change in the name of the residential college. The petition has since grown to include all the slavery-themed paintings, artifacts and stained glass tiles around Calhoun College.
“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.”
Menafee faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment and a first-degree felony charge of criminal mischief. He said he regretted his actions, which cost him a job that he loved.
“It could be termed as civil disobedience,” Menafee said. “But there’s always better ways of doing things like that than just destroying things. It wasn’t my property, and I had no right to do it.”
Read more at the New Haven Independent.