video via Good Morning America
Lolade Siyonbola, 34, spoke to Good Morning America after video of a white-female student calling the police on her went viral. Siyonbola said she shared the video of the encounter to her Facebook for her personal safety because she was scared for her life after recent police brutality incidents.
“Someone who uses the police in the way that Sarah uses it should be held accountable… Whether that’s expulsion [or] some other form of disciplinary action, there needs to be some punitive measures for people who act out of racially motivated bias…. If there are punitive measures I think someone like Sarah will think twice about calling the police,” the Ivy League student added.
NY Daily News wrote an article about the woman who called the police on Siyonbola.
“The white Yale University grad student who called the cops on a black student napping in the common room of her dorm has expressed vehement opposition to hate crimes legislation and had called racism a “silly” social construct in years-old online posts.”
Sarah Braasch is a human rights lawyer with multiple degrees in engineering. She is currently attending Yale, on the path of receiving her Ph.D in philosophy.
“Her 30th birthday brought into focus her desire to become an international human rights lawyer, with a focus on women’s sexual and reproductive rights,” according to San Francisco State’s website, where Braasch was previously a master’s candidate in philosophy.”
Siyonbola relayed that increasing the number of Black faculty at Yale will be a huge help in fostering a more inclusive campus.
I love how GMA touched on the correlation between Justin Siemen’s Dear White People in relation to the incident at Yale–especially in noting how college campuses are one of the primary institutions where the idea of a ‘post racial society’ is challenged.
In Braasch’s case and so many others, prestigious degrees from various universities does not necessarily mean inclusiveness and understanding of others. Just like Black people, other “minority” groups are marginalized and actually come into an understanding of themselves as the “other” on college campuses.
Two Native American students were at Colorado State University on a college tour, when a parent reported them to campus police.
photo via New York Times
It is interesting to note that there have been numerous incidents within the last month, that have gone viral, concerning police being called on Black patrons of businesses. Two young, Black-men were waiting to conduct a real estate meeting when they were asked to leave Starbucks because they did not purchase anything. After they refused, the police were called and they were placed in handcuffs, just as the person was arriving for their scheduled meeting.
One incident involved Bob Marley’s granddaughter, who is now suing the Rialto Police Department.
“Three black people loaded suitcases into their car after staying at an Airbnb in Rialto, Calif., on April 30, but they were halted by the police after a neighbor suspected they were burglars. They were questioned by officers as a helicopter flew overhead. The renters are suing the Rialto Police Department, which said in a statement it was “confident officers treated the involved individuals with dignity, respect and professionalism.” Airbnb said in a statement that the guests’ treatment was “unconscionable,” (NY Daily News).”
Black women were golfing in Pennsylvania when the owners reported them to police after they were warned for “golfing too slow.”
Mandatory (and effective) “unconscious bias trainings” would definitely be a step in the right direction for companies and businesses. For communities of color, to still have to deal with the ridiculous experiences of just existing in spaces where your presence is not valued or wanted, is tiring.
We definitely should not share our money where we are not respected, as well as represented.