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There’s dining while Black, shopping while Black and now napping while Black.

On Monday (May 7), a White Yale graduate student apparently believed sleeping was criminal activity when it came to her African-American classmate, the Yale Daily News reported. The sounds of someone napping in a dorm common room were so offensive to her that she thought the only thing to do was summon campus police to the scene. Wow. Jaw dropped.

It surely takes some racist audacity to report a classmate of color for sleeping, which is one of the most natural things that a human being can do. Who knew that you could close your eyes in a public place and wake up to the picture of cops hovering over you? Who knew sleeping wasn’t safe with Brown skin? Lolade Siyonbola, the sleeping graduate student whose age was not disclosed, most likely received the shock of a lifetime.

Siyonbola knew the standard thing to do in these situations: break out your cell phone and start recording. She posted footage early Tuesday morning of her interaction with the privileged student, who was not identified, as well as with the cops who interrogated her for a good 15 minutes. Why so long? Her name was misspelled in the Yale student database, according to the Yale News. Really?

Of course, this craziness at the predominately White school went viral.

Students began debating whether this was an incident of racial discrimination and harassment. Clearly, it must be.

For one, the student who called the cops had previously committed a racist infraction, according to Siyonbola. She called campus police after one of the Siyonbola’s friends got lost in her building months ago, the student said in one video.

Secondly, the police-happy student felt justified using her privilege to burn her Black classmate. She told Siyonbola, “I have every right to call the police” in one video. Really, again?

Thirdly, the cops didn’t believe that Siyonbola was a Yale student. They ran her ID as if she were a criminal or trespasser, and she actually had to tell them that she belonged at the school. They said they couldn’t verify her as a student because of her name being misspelled in the school database.

It’s important to note that Yale students are 52 percent White and about 8 percent African-American, according to College Data.

The school unsurprisingly defended the officers’ actions as only following protocol. Let’s be clear here: Racism should never be part of the protocol.


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Yale Graduate Student Calls Campus Cops On Black Classmate For, Uh, Sleeping  was originally published on