Inside a Protestant Church in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, murmurs percolated through the room as former presidential candidate Jill Stein took center stage. The crowd was a mish-mash of prospective Yalies, politically active students, and older Stein supporters from New Haven pushing 70. After posing for selfies with a cluster of undergrads, Stein walked to the altar, silver hair brushed back, and started her speech about why all public colleges should be tuition-free.
But suddenly a voice erupted from the crowd.
“The party of the Left chooses to fight out of love!”
Hundreds of Yale students hissed and banged on the Church’s pews. Another student cried out, “It’s a tough time to be a Republican in America nowadays!” The hollers reverberated throughout the Church as students representing various political groups on campus jacked the event by staking their own soapboxes. Somehow, within a matter of minutes, a Jill Stein talk at Yale had become even more of a laughing stock.
As the former Green Party candidate dived into a 15-minute tirade about free college education, there was hardly a moment free from commotion.
“I thank those standing up for our basic values of social economic justice!” Stein said to placate her antagonists.
The older Stein supporters looked around in bewilderment, horrified at the students’ behavior. The man behind me turned to his wife and asked, “Is anyone filming this?”
The contents of Stein’s speech were as polarizing as her audience’s behavior. Expounding on what she called a “Green New Deal,” Stein warned that “Pearl Harbor is small potatoes” compared to the current refugee crisis. She talked about wanting to impose an arms embargo on the Middle East, tax Wall Street, and bankroll a 70-billion-dollar per year plan to make all public universities free.
“This is not about throwing up our hands and saying, ‘Okay, terrorists, you take over.’ This is about creating effective policy.”
“It’s really critical that we liberate young people from this incredible debt of higher education. If you’re going to survive, you need post-secondary education. This privatized system is just not working. Thank you Joe Biden for creating this system that doesn’t have bankruptcy protection.”
Although it was difficult to make out much of what Stein was saying at the onset, it became easier as the event wore on: every twenty-minutes a third of the audience left in mass.
Following Stein’s speech, students came onstage to debate her points.
“College is not the new high school and we are setting ourselves up for failure thinking otherwise,” asserted an undergrad representing campus Republicans. “Ms. Stein will probably be back here immediately after her plans are implemented asking the state to pay for grad school.”
“All schools already pay students to go to grad school!” a student incorrectly yelled.
“It’s not just rich kids who go to Yale!” shouted another attendee.
Davis Richardson is a writer whose work has appeared in Vice, Nylon Magazine, and Capitol File. Follow him on Twitter @davisoliverr
HOAX: Police Report Alleges Texas A&M Student Faked Racist Letters on Car Dashboard
The suspected hoaxster stopped cooperating with police after being confronted with video evidence.
Texas A&M University police are describing an incident in which a black student claimed racist and anti-Black Lives Matter messages were left on his car windshield as a hate hoax, after investigating Isaih Martin’s claims that he was targeted with the messages.
Martin had claimed that three pieces of paper stating “All Lives Matter,” “You Don’t Belong Here,” and a racial slur were placed on his car windshield when his vehicle was placed in the parking lot of an on-campus apartments. His claims elicited an outpouring of sympathy from the university community, with Texas A&M’s official Twitter even consoling the supposed victim without waiting for any verification of his dubious claims.
However, shortly after police began investigating the incident, Martin’s claim began to unravel. The Texas A&M University police obtained footage from a pool camera revealing that while a few individuals walked within several yards of his car, none of them stopped at the vehicle long enough to place the three piece of paper under the windshield wipers. Instead, Martin was the only individual who interacted with the vehicle long enough to place the notes.
“Martin immediately walks to the passenger side of his vehicle, but does not open any doors. Martin is seen toward the front of his vehicle. A brief white speck is seen from about mid-torso of Martin moving toward his vehicle. Another white speck is seen near his chest area. Martin is then seen stepping back and onto the sidewalk in front of his vehicle, most likely taking photos and videos. He then approaches his vehicle again on the passenger side and remains there for a few moments. He is then seen walking around the front of his vehicle. Martin then enters the driver`s door and drives away a few moments later. The total time spent at his vehicle is 1 minute, 15 seconds.”
An investigating officer accused Martin of placing the notes on his windshield himself, confronting him with video evidence revealing that he was the only person close enough to his vehicle to place them there. Martin stopped cooperating with police on the investigation shortly after an officer confronted him on the video footage. The university senior won’t be charged because he didn’t file a formal police report on the matter.
Martin made his Twitter account private in the hours after the police report became public knowledge.
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