The Nigerian community in the US has protested the racial bias incident against Lolade Siyanbola, a graduate student at the Yale University.
The Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) in a letter addressed to Peter Salovey, president of Yale University, and signed by Solomon Bakare, demanded direct action over the incident.
Siyonbola had on May 8 posted two videos of the incident on Facebook, saying a white student found her sleeping on a couch in Yale’s hall of graduate studies, and called police officers.
She said she was woken up by Sarah Braasch, a philosophy Phd student, who told her she was not allowed to be there and called the authorities.
The Nigerian organisation called on Yale to condemn Sarah’s behaviour, to send a strong message against any future occurrence.
”To ensure incidents of this nature is not given breathing ground in the Yale community, we would like to see more direct action taken to condemn Sarah’s behaviour, to send the message that it is against what Yale stood for and the community you have the vision to build,” OAN said.
”While we commend the initiative of hosting a listening session for the Yale community to share their thoughts on how to prevent such incident in the future, we strongly believe a direct statement condemning Sarah’s insensitive action is warranted at this time.
”We trust you will use your good office to change this unfortunate narrative and make Yale a leading example for other institutions to emulate.”
The organisation said it would continue to monitor the event and take appropriate actions if and when necessary.
OAN, however, said the incident was not an indictment of Yale, but a microcosm of the society.
”We know of many African students and Nigerians in particular, who have passed through the prestigious Yale community without dealing with similar overt racist student,” OAN said.
”This is why we are convinced that this is more of an aberration and not the norm at Yale.”
Founded in 1989, OAN has taken active roles in engaging appropriate institutions to change any perceived negative stereotypes of Nigerians in the US.