Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Calhoun College

Calhoun College: Named after a prodigious slave-trader

“It was a picture of slaves that just—you know, as soon as you look at it, it just hurts. You feel it in your heart.”

Steven Salaita posted

Many are sharing the story of Corey Menafee, the Yale University dishwasher who got fired for breaking a stained glass window depicting slavery.

Calhoun College, where the picture hung, is named after a prodigious slave-trader (like much at Yale).

Like many of you, I have at least a distant sense of what Menafee was feeling. He explains, “And I don’t know, something inside me said, you know, that thing has to come down. You know, it’s a picture—it was a picture that just—you know, as soon as you look at it, it just hurts. You feel it in your heart.”

Menafee perfectly describes what so many of us feel when we see yet another person choked or beaten or murdered by policemen who will, we know (because we’ve seen it hundreds of times), walk free and claim their pensions;

When the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) deploys cluster bombs and white phosphorous and incinerates blocks of residential areas, leaving entire families dead in one another’s embrace;

When the machines of technocratic warfare drone aloft and drop bombs on funerals and wedding parties; When Indigenous peoples the world over are forced off their lands by national forces in the employ of multinational corporations.

Sometimes you have to be loud, crude, disorderly.

Sometimes you have to break shit–with words, footsteps, or broomsticks.

Sometimes you have to lose your job.

Sometimes you’re just tired of the totality, the ascendancy, the ubiquity of oppression, and the complicity of its dapper and decorous guardians.

Sometimes you exhaust all means of exercising control.

We’re too conditioned to play by rules designed to restrict the possibilities of freedom. In the end, “dialogue” is just another liberal defense of private property.

The feeling Menafee describes will always have more power than appeals to patience or civilized norms of etiquette.

Menafee needs to be reinstated (with back pay and a raise); and Yale should rename the damn college after Menafee.




March 2023

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