A Yale University dean has been put on leave over racially insensitive remarks she made in Yelp reviews. "If you are white trash, this is a perfect night out for you," June Chu wrote about a Japanese restaurant. In other posts, she noted "I am Asian" as proof of her culinary expertise, warned of "sketchy" crowds at a movie theater, and called the workers "morons" who serve "snack orders to the obese."
Harvard University will host its first schoolwide graduation ceremony for African-American students. "Black Commencement 2017" is open to graduate and undergraduate students of color, who will wear African stoles over their gowns. The event is "not about segregation," said student organizer Michael Huggins, but a celebration of "Harvard black excellence and brilliance."
A group of Columbia University students draped a Ku Klux Klan hood over a statue of Thomas Jefferson and labeled the Founding Father "the epitome of white supremacy." Protesters from the group Mobilized African Diaspora said the statue of the slave-holding Founding Father "validates rape, sexual violence, and racism" and shows Columbia's "hypocrisy" in recruiting black students as "mere tokens of the university."
A Catholic college in Kansas is renaming its yoga classes to avoid promoting "eastern mysticism." Benedictine College said alumni and faculty had complained that yoga is a Hindu spiritual practice not in keeping with Catholic teaching. The classes will be rebranded "lifestyle fitness," but will be taught the same way. "We're changing the name," a spokesman said.
A professional musician was kicked off an American Airlines flight after his cello was declared a safety risk. John Kaboff bought an extra ticket so he could strap his $100,000 instrument into the seat next to him for a trip from Washington, D.C., to Chicago. But the flight crew deemed it unsafe and ordered Kaboff off the plane, "like I just committed a crime," he said. The airline later promised to refund the cello's ticket.
Delaware state senator Dave Lawson walked out of a senate session because it opened with a Muslim prayer. The Republican legislator called the prayer "despicable" because "the Quran calls for the death of Americans." Critics called his statements inaccurate and accused him of inciting Islamophobia, but Lawson said he was exercising his "constitutional right to protest."
A Pennsylvania businessman who voted for Donald Trump says he has to hire immigrants because too many native-born workers take drugs. Sterling Technologies president Craig Quigley says that about 20 percent of local applicants fail drug tests, forcing him to hire immigrants, including Syrian refugees, "to fill the void." Quigley says he'd gladly hire more Americans, but only if they "get off drugs."
The owners of a Chicago music store are being forced out of business because of their support for President Trump. Suzanne Monk and Alexander Duvel say they were "outed" online after attending a campaign rally last summer, and have been inundated with threats and calls to boycott the store. Even longtime customers have "decided we're white supremacists, we're xenophobes," Monk said.