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Yale Students March Same Day Mizzou Pres. Resigns

Members of University of Missouri's top leadership resign on Monday, and Yale students call for an end to racism on campus.

Hours after the resignation of University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe on Monday morning due to the mismanagement of racial issues on the school's campuses, thousands of students at Yale University joined together for what they called a "March of Resilience" against racial insensitivity.

Two recent race-related incidents on campus brought to the forefront discrimination, which many Black students say they experience. Students from different backgrounds and cultures began the march at the African American Cultural Center, passed by the other cultural centers and fraternity houses and ended in the center of campus.

"Really what's at question here is the racial climate on campus," said Eshe Sherley, a senior at Yale, told WTNH. "[Sigma Alpha Epsilon] is just one part of that. We could dispute what happened on that night forever, but what I think what's important is that there is a consensus that [SAE] is not a safe space for us and the university needs to take that seriously."

Students Sound-Off

Sofia Petros-Gouin, a Columbia University freshman, visited friends at Yale University on Oct. 30 and went to a Halloween party at SAE's house. She said that a white member of the fraternity turned away Black and Latina women at the door.

"He held his hand up to their faces and said, 'No, we're only looking for white girls,'" she said.

The following day, on Facebook, Yale student Neema Githere supported Petros-Gouin's claim as she and her friends had a similar experience last year. Other students began to share experiences as well.

Related Story: Yale Fraternity Party: 'White Girls Only'

SAE, which has previously been accused of having racist traditions, denied the incident occurred.

The same week, Erika Christakis, a faculty member and an administrator at a student residence, sent an email to students shunning a previous Intercultural Affairs Council's email that was sent out asking students to be considerate of the cultural implications of Halloween costumes.

Christakis wrote:

I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?... Nicholas [Christakis] says, if you don't like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.

Nicholas Christakis is her husband and a faculty member who works in the same residential building.

In response, students penned an open letter to Christakis:

In your email, you ask students to "look away" if costumes are offensive, as if the degradation of our cultures and people, and the violence that grows out of it is something that we can ignore. We were told to meet the offensive parties head on, without suggesting any modes or means to facilitate these discussions to promote understanding. Giving "room" for students to be "obnoxious" or "offensive," as you suggest, is only inviting ridicule and violence onto ourselves and our communities, and ultimately comes at the expense of room in which marginalized students can feel safe.

In blog post, Aaron Z. Lewis, a senior at Yale, said the recent demonstrations are about more than the latest two racial incidents on campus.

"They're about real experiences with racism on this campus that have gone unacknowledged for far too long," he wrote. "The university sells itself as a welcoming and inclusive place for people of all backgrounds. Unfortunately, it often isn't."

On Thursday, President of Yale Peter Salovey, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway and other administration members met with 50 students "primarily of color" for four hours on the top floor of the president's residence.

The Washington Post reported that Salovey told the students, "We failed you. I think we have to be a better university. I think we have to do a better job."

Salovey sent a message on Friday to the Yale community regarding the meeting:

We heard deeply personal accounts from a number of students who are in great distress. The experiences they shared went beyond the incidents of the last few days. Their concerns and cries for help made clear that some students find life on our campus profoundly difficult. I have heard and I acknowledge the pain these students expressed … This conversation left me deeply troubled, and has caused me to realize that we must act to create at Yale greater inclusion, healing, mutual respect, and understanding.

Salovey said the student body would hear from him again before Thanksgiving about solutions.

Holloway, the first Black dean of Yale College, also penned a message addressing the incident on Thursday, in which students encircled him outside of the main library and asked why he had been silent in the light of the events in the past week on campus.

He wrote:

I write too late for too many of you, I freely admit, to make it clear that I heard every word that was spoken and I watched every tear that was shed, whether on Cross Campus or in Woodbridge Hall … This week's conversations don't affect only some of us; they affect and include us all … I hold us all, including myself, accountable to give what we seek: respect.

Leadership Matters

Both Wolfe and the chancellor of the flagship UM campus R. Bowen Loftin resigned from their posts at an extreme point: growing protests by Black students including a hunger strike, the threat of a walkout by faculty and a boycott by the football team.

The university has a predominantly white student body, 77 percent, while just 7 percent is Black.

Related Story: Missouri and Racism Back in the News: Mizzou President Resigns

Were the university's top white male leaders disconnected from the experiences of Black students on campus? Or, did they simply choose not to recognize the plight of students experiencing discrimination?

"I take full responsibility for this frustration and … inaction," Wolfe said. That answers the questions.

The student body at Yale is 47 percent white, 16 percent Asian, 10 percent Latino and 7 percent Black.

However, the racial isolation that Black students experience at UM in the Midwest is similar to the experiences of Black students at Yale, located in New Haven, Conn. There has been a long-running debate on campus regarding a residential college at the university named in honor of John C. Calhoun, a member of the Yale class of 1804. He was a 19th-century South Carolina politician as well as outspoken white supremacist.

Perhaps Salovey will now be proactive in working against racial insensitivity on campus. Wolfe's leadership at UM is an example of what not to do.

Oracle Underpaid People of Color and Women by More Than $400M: Department of Labor

Oracle's "suppression of pay for its non-white, non-male employees is so extreme that it persists and gets worse over long careers," according to a federal filing.

YOUTUBE

The U.S. Department of Labor, in a federal filing on Tuesday, accused Oracle of underpaying thousands of people of color and women employees by more than $400 million. Employees with years of experience are paid as much as 25 percent less than their white male peers.

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White Man Pulls Gun on Black Teens in Miami on MLK Day

"I did pull out my gun, but I never pointed it at them," Mark Allen Bartlett said. Video footage shows otherwise.

TWITTER

Mark Allen Bartlett of Hollywood Beach, Fla., pulled a gun on several Black teens, repeatedly calling them the n-word, as they were taking part in a "Bikes Up Guns Down" event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Brickell.

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Update: Student Wearing MAGA Hat Standing Face-to-Face With Native American Veteran Releases Statement

"I was not intentionally making faces at the [protester]," said Nick Sandmann.

Screen shot of Instagram video by Kaya Taitano

UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at 7 a.m.

Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School Junior who stands in front of Nathan Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe and a veteran, in a viral video that has sparked outrage, made a statement through a lawyer and spokesman on Sunday night.

Sandmann said the students decided to raise their voices to drown out the comments against them by four protesters who identify themselves as Black Hebrew Israelites. A video has been released of the incident.

"A student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group," Sandmann said in his statement. "The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school," he said.

Phillips walked up to the students and said he started drumming and singing a song to encourage unity trying to quell the argument.

"There was that moment when I realized I've put myself between beast and prey,'' Phillips told the Detroit Free Press. "These young men were beastly and these old Black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.''

But said at one point, he claims the teenagers started saying "Go back to the reservation'' and broke into chants of "Build that wall.'' He also questioned why chaperones did not get involved.

"I was scared," Phillips told CNN. "I don't like the word 'hate.' I don't like even saying it, but it was hate unbridled. It was like a storm."

Sandmann claims he was "not intentionally making faces at the [protester]. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation."

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington in Kentucky is currently investigating the incident.

ORIGINAL STORY Published Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019

Students wearing "Make America Great Again" hats, who attend Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, K.Y., were in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the anti-abortion March for Life rally. In a video, it appears that Nathan Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe and a veteran, was being mocked by the students at the Lincoln Memorial.

The incident occurred as the Indigenous Peoples March was ending. Videos showing their behavior went viral on social media on Saturday.

One of the students, standing less than a foot away, appears to be trying to intimidate Phillips by staring him down with a mocking smirk on his face. Phillips was in the midst of drumming and singing a song of unity:

Kaya Taitano, who shot the video, told CNN that MAGA hat-wearing-students and four Black teens, who'd been preaching about the Bible nearby, started yelling and calling each other names. That's why Phillips started drumming and singing a song to encourage unity trying to quell the argument.

President Trump, whom the students apparently idolize, posted a tweet last week to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who plans to run for president in the 2020 election.

Trump made fun of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre in response to a video Warren posted on Instagram.

Phillips, a Vietnam Era veteran who said he served between 1972 and 1976, is in tears as he explains in a video how the incident on Friday made him feel:

"I heard them saying, 'Build that wall, build that wall.' This in indigenous land. You know, we're not supposed to have walls here. We never did …"

He continued, "Before anybody else came here, we never had walls. We never had a prison. We always took care of our elders. We took care of our children. We always provided for them. We taught them right from wrong."

He said he wishes the young men who taunted him would use "that energy to make this country really great."

Robert "Bob" Rowe is the principal of Covington Catholic High School (email: browe@covcath.org).

An investigation is now taking place, and the MAGA teens could be expelled. The Diocese of Covington and the high school issued the following statement on Saturday:

"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.

"The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.

"We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement."

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org demanding changes at the high school.

Many are saying on social media that the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students mimics how whites tried to intimidate Blacks during the civil rights movement:

Black Student in Kansas Sues School District for Racial Discrimination

The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.

Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.

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Soul Legend Gladys Knight to Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl

"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," Knight said. There's mixed reactions on social media.

Gladys Knight

It has been confirmed that legendary soul singer, Gladys Knight, will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. 3.

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Vermont Continues to Fail Black Legislator Racially Harassed By White Nationalist

Kiah Morris resigned from her position because of the harassment, but Vermont's attorney general said he will not file charges against the perpetrators, including Max Misch.

Kiah Morris was the only Black woman in the Vermont House of Representatives, until she resigned from her position in September, after enduring years of racially motivated harassment.

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