I want to start off by saying that James Hatch, the 52 year old Navy Seal and college freshman at Yale who traverses campus with his support animal, due to his PTSD, the author of the recent, viral essay, “My Semester with the Snowflakes,” seems like an absolutely lovely man. This response to his essay is not intended as a criticism of him in any way, shape, or form. I wish him nothing but the best in his studies. I just think it’s important for people to understand that his representation of Yale University as some kind of ideological or viewpoint diversity utopia was not at all my experience of Yale during the six years that I have spent as a PhD Candidate in Philosophy. In fact, his representation of Yale, and of so called safe spaces at Yale, is the antithesis of my experience thereof.
I am, of course, THE Sarah Braasch, the purported villain of the Living or Napping While Black Incident at Yale, and now I am in the midst of what I’m sure will ultimately be a decade long fight to save my life and lifelong human and civil rights academic and legal careers. In truth, I am the entirely innocent victim of the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale, and the Yale Administration and Police were complicit.
The Yale Administration and Police are fighting the release of the Yale Police Body Camera Footage from May 8th, 2018, which exposes them as liars. They told disgusting lies about me to cover up their own wrongdoing, and they didn’t care that they were destroying and endangering the life and career of an entirely innocent and lifelong human and civil rights licensed attorney activist and Yale graduate student. Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins continued to tell these disgusting lies about me on November 4th, 2019, in downtown Hartford, CT, at the CT Freedom of Information Act Commission Hearing. It shocked me to my core and broke my heart. Briefs are being submitted by both sides, which are due in mid January, 2020, and I am hopeful that the CT FOIA Commission Hearing Officer will decide in my favor shortly thereafter, so that I may continue my quest to not only save my life and career, but to restore civil liberties, including due process and free speech, at Yale, and at college and university campuses across the US, and everywhere. I will never stop fighting for justice for everyone who has been falsely accused, cyber mobbed, and defamed, especially for those who have already lost their lives, because they couldn’t handle the pain.
I’ve been working on my Saving the World Project, my Yale PhD Philosophy of Law and Language Dissertation, for over a decade, and now I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to complete it. I’m probably going to have to spend the next decade saving my life and career after having been vilified on a global scale as something akin to a genocidal villain, by Yale, the ACLU, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, NBC News, The View, the Washington Post, GMA, and the list just goes on and on and on. I think you would be hard pressed to find a more complete and more wrongful devastation of an innocent nobody’s life.
My life was burned in grotesque effigy around the world, as if I were some murderous Pol Pot like despot, when, in fact, I was living like a hermit in my isolated dorm room at the top of a tower on Yale’s campus, and I wished for nothing more than to be left alone and in peace to complete my Saving the World Project. My Dissertation, The Statics and Mechanics of Social Institutions, is an analysis of how to minimize the oppression inherent to how aggregations of quasi-rational human beings construct their societies. I had dedicated my life to fighting oppression in all of its many forms. My reclusive lifestyle was not only the product of my scholastic devotion, but also was an arrangement especially crafted for me by Yale Housing, because of my mental health disabilities, including severe PTSD, following a life of egregious trauma and violence.
Despite this being known to Yale, they stood by and did nothing as I was being terrorized in my isolated dorm room and stalked across campus for months. In point of fact, the Yale Administration and Police assisted my tormentors in terrorizing me. It could not have been more obvious that the video that Lolade Siyonbola took of me on May 8th, 2018, standing in the threshold of my own isolated dorm room, without my knowledge or consent, which was a gross violation of my privacy, was intended to publicly shame me for my mental health disabilities. The entire moral outrage industry chose to ignore this fact, in order to exploit the apex of the Living While Black movement, and the ACLU went so far as to edit the video so as to obscure this point. They weren’t the only ones who did so.
The Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax didn’t take place over the course of a couple of early morning hours on May 8th, 2018. It took place over several months, during which I begged the Yale Administration and Police to help me stop the harassment and attacks. The instigating event occurred on February 24th, 2018, when Jean Louis Reneson, a complete stranger to me, followed me, in an unauthorized manner, in violation of Yale Housing Regulations, up to my isolated dorm room on the 12th floor of my dorm, the Hall of Graduate Studies. I made the fateful decision to err on the side of caution and to call the non emergency helpline of the Yale Campus Police, widely regarded as more or less campus security, as I had been repeatedly instructed to do over the years for any reason whatsoever.
The first thing I said to the Officer who answered the phone was to tell him that I wasn’t sure if his assistance was required. He told me that he would send someone by, just in case, just to make sure that everything was ok, and that this officer would come and speak with me. That never happened. But, what did happen that evening is that I was harassed by persons standing outside of my dorm room door, yelling mocking insults and obscenities into my room, ostensibly for having had the temerity to be concerned for my personal safety. Why this has never been regarded as a Me Too incident is beyond me. But, that seems to be the way that Woke Intersectional Feminism works.
But, my troubles did not begin on February 24th, 2018, because I had a reasonable concern for my personal safety and responded appropriately. I was actually exonerated for the February 24th, 2018 incident by the Yale Housing Managers who told me to return to my dissertation and not give the incident another thought. I was happy to do so, as I had no interest in destroying anyone’s life or career. I merely wished to be left in peace to complete my life’s work. But, Lolade Siyonbola and Jean Louis Reneson were determined that I should not be left in peace. Siyonbola and Reneson ultimately approached Yale Graduate School Diversity Dean and Title IX Coordinator Michelle Nearon and falsely accused me of having perpetrated a racist hate crime comparable to a lynching on February 24th, 2018. It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the truth of this statement.
Subsequently, a group of Yale Deans decided to form a mob against me and to participate in the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax, to destroy my life and human and civil rights career. I was informed on Friday, March 2nd, 2018, by Yale Housing Director George Longyear, that these Yale Administrators had convened in some manner and determined punishments for me, for my racist behavior, including having to undergo implicit bias training, which was to be implemented as a new policy for all incoming graduate students, and having to participate in a public town hall, at which I was to publicly profess myself an egregious racist and help to teach other members of the Yale community how not to be racist like me. Yale Provost and University wide Title IX Coordinator Stephanie Spangler later confirmed to me that this mob of Yale Deans who were intent on publicly branding me a racist included Yale Graduate School Dean Lynn Cooley and Yale VP of Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews.
Of course, I refused to participate in the Maoist struggle sessions that the Yale Administration had devised for me, because they regarded me as un Woke. This refusal sealed my fate. Thereafter, the Yale Administration would stop at nothing to destroy me, an innocent human and civil rights licensed attorney activist who worked with the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School on the issues of implicit bias and police brutality. I told Yale Housing Director George Longyear and Provosts Stephanie Spangler and Cynthia Smith that I could probably run an implicit bias training session for Yale, rather than need to sit through one.
At that time, I had no idea what had happened, and no one would tell me what it was that I was being accused of having said or done that was racist, and I had never seen Siyonbola and had no idea who she was. I only knew that I had never engaged in racist behavior in my entire life, and I wasn’t about to let the Yale Administration destroy my lifelong civil rights career by publicly branding me a racist. I told the Yale Administration, the Yale Police, and Yale’s General Counsel, in no uncertain terms, that I would take all appropriate measures, including legal measures, to protect my reputation and livelihood. I had nothing and no one besides my good name and reputation. That’s everything that I am, and I wasn’t about to let the Yale Administration destroy my life. But, they were obviously determined that I should be destroyed.
You are probably thinking, why on Earth would the Yale Administration be so hell bent on destroying one of their own? Why on Earth would the Yale Administration and Police choose to participate in a Hate Crime Hoax, targeting an older, non traditional, lower socio-economic class woman graduate student with mental health disabilities? If what was done to me sounds insane, that’s because it is insane, utterly insane. I have been living inside my own worst, hellish nightmare. It’s even hard for me to believe that this is my life now. I never could have imagined in a million years that this could have happened to me. What was done to me should terrify absolutely everyone. If this can happen to me, an entirely innocent human and civil rights licensed attorney activist, it can happen to absolutely anyone.
My nightmare at Yale truly began during my first year in the Philosophy PhD Program, in the Spring of 2015. I was so overjoyed when I found out, at the very last possible moment, that I had been accepted to Yale off of the waitlist that I curled up into the fetal position on the floor of my surrogate dads’ apartment in San Francisco and cried. The then Chair, Steve Darwall, had had to wait outside a Dean’s Office to get permission to make me an offer on April 15th, 2014, the last day on which to have done so. I was devastated when all of my hopes for my PhD Program experience at Yale were dashed by what took place in Spring 2015.
The Yale Philosophy Department was conducting a search for a tenure track Assistant Professor position. I hadn’t been much involved until I saw on our private email for graduate students that my cohort were taking issue with one of the job candidates. To make a long story short, this particular job candidate, our only POC job candidate, was an Evangelical Christian who had, to my mind, more or less expressed his adherence to Biblical scripture as Christian doctrine, including what he deemed to be a prohibition on sodomy, including homosexual sex, in years old comments on an online Christian forum. Apparently, the graduate students had gone trolling online for dirt on the job candidates, and they found what they were looking for. These comments were deemed anti-LGBTQ hate speech, and, ultimately, the grad students devised a campaign to deny this job candidate this position at Yale, including by interrupting his job talk with a protest, wearing rainbow wigs and t-shirts, etc. While I had initially attempted to gently dissuade them from arguably violating this candidate’s Federal Civil Rights, I finally had to tell them in no uncertain terms that I would not allow them to do this.
I was immediately denounced as anti-LGBTQ. There were multiple departmental meetings and tears and people running from the meetings, because they felt unsafe and attacked as self-identifying LGBTQ persons. I was branded persona non grata, which is not an unfamiliar position for me, and, yet, I was devastated. I had only just begun my studies at Yale, and I was once again a social pariah.
At some point, there was to be a meeting for the grad students only, a meeting I had zero intent of attending. A few of the faculty convinced me to go, saying that the other grad students wished to mend their relationship with me and put this behind us. It was even worse than I ever could have imagined. It was me sitting in the middle of a circle of approximately 20 grad students, while they berated me for hours, until I was bawling. They told me that I was stupid and evil and disparaged my philosophical and legal skills. I held firm, explaining that despite being an anti-religion advocate and decidedly pro LGBTQ rights, I was also a profoundly committed civil libertarian, civil rights licensed attorney activist, and free speech advocate, and that I could not in good conscience allow them to violate the Federal Civil Rights, the religious expression rights, of this Evangelical black man, who also happened to be our only POC job candidate. It was the last time that most of the other grad students spoke to me.
I was entirely socially ousted from the department. The grad students wouldn’t look at me except to glare at me; they wouldn’t respond to me, if I said hello or asked them a question; if I entered a room, they would stand up and leave it. I tried to steel myself, but it was more than I could bear. Eventually, the faculty pretty much insisted that I seek help at the mental health clinic at the student health center, because I was so distraught. I was treated for approximately the next two and a half or three years, including with the use of psychotropic medication, including anti-psychotics. This is the reason why I have a mental health history at Yale, a fact of which much was made during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax by my tormentors.
Later during the summer of 2015, one of the grad students with whom I had remained friendly made me aware that the other graduate students had not been satisfied with merely socially ostracizing me; they approached the Administration with the intent of having me disciplined and even expelled for having expressed my allegedly anti-LGBTQ views. I was told that the faculty had stood up for me, which is the only reason, seemingly, that the Administration did not pursue any disciplinary procedures against me. And, I was told that the faculty kept this information from me, because of my fragile mental and emotional state.
Given the intimate, insular nature of Yale’s campus, it didn’t take long before I was widely known and despised across campus, certainly the doing of the disgruntled grad students, who hadn’t been able to oust me physically from Yale. I believe that my notoriety played some part in the repeated instances of harassment I experienced in on campus student housing.
I had no business being in on campus student housing, even for graduate students, but I had no choice, because I had no money. I’m older, 43 at the time of the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax, entirely devoted to my life’s work, suffer from severe PTSD, and just wanted everyone to abide by the Yale Housing Regulations and to live in a safe and clean and quiet environment. The Yale graduate students living in on campus housing decidedly did NOT, for the greater part, want to live in a safe and clean and quiet environment. In a nutshell, the graduate students who harassed me in on campus housing, were incensed that I had had the temerity to ask them to behave in a civilized manner. I’m sure that they knew who I was, believed that I was an anti-LGBTQ bigot, and also saw me as old, crazy, poor white trash. Who was I to tell them to stop screaming and yelling and vomiting and pooping everywhere on the quiet floor at all hours of the day and night? Who was I to want to actually be able to use the communal bathroom and toilets on the weekends? Who was I to want a little peace and quiet and to be able to work on my PhD Dissertation?
I think most people fail to appreciate the way that class played a role in my ostensible disposability as a human being during the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale. No one had a problem beating the piñata that is my life to pieces, because they saw me as a poor white trash interloper who had no business being at Yale amongst the elite. I actually had to flee Yale’s campus for my life, while being taunted by a mob, and immediately go into hiding, following May 8th, 2018. Everyone and their 2nd cousin once removed took turns bashing me in the Yale Daily News in grossly defamatory Op Eds for Social Justice Warrior and Woke Intersectional Feminism street cred points, and no one stopped to even consider the obvious, that I was an entirely innocent human and civil rights licensed attorney activist who had been falsely accused and then subjected to a campaign to publicly shame me for my mental health disabilities. So much for Yale’s new Belonging at Yale initiative. I guess everyone gets to Belong at Yale except for older, poorer, lower socio-economic class white women graduate students with mental health disabilities.
So, after what may euphemistically be described as a rocky few years at Yale, I believe that the Yale Administration were positively thrilled when Lolade Siyonbola approached them with her false accusation that I had perpetrated a racist hate crime comparable to a lynching. They had been salivating for another bite at the expulsion apple. This is what happens when you stray but a hair from Woke Intersectional Feminism dogma at Yale. This is what happens when you dare to defend the Federal Civil Rights, the religious expression rights, of an Evangelical black man at Yale. This is what happens when you demand to live in a safe, clean, quiet environment in on campus graduate student housing at Yale, as an older, non-traditional female graduate student. This is what happens when you’re a deeply committed civil libertarian who believes in free speech and due process for one and all at Yale.
But there’s more. It’s hard to believe that there’s more, but there is. After May 8th, 2018, the Yale Administration grilled me about my philosophical and legal views, because, ostensibly, they’ve adopted Maoism now. Around a decade ago or so, I was a fairly popular essayist in the online world of secularism, freethinkers, atheists, and skeptics, etc. Following the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale, my online pieces were scoured and willfully and grossly twisted and misconstrued. My single word choices were cherry picked, removed from context, and painted as racist and ugly, when, in truth, these are anti-oppression pieces and are not racist or bigoted in any way, shape, or form.
The Yale Administration got in on the act. They interrogated me over a decade old blog post in which I expressed what I now know to be my exclusive legal positivism as a legal theorist. They questioned me about having described racism as a silly social construct, meaning (which is more than abundantly clear from context) that I think racism is stupidity. And, they harangued my opposition to hate crime legislation as grossly unconstitutional, which it is, and this is a perfectly respectable legal and philosophical view. One essay, which has been incessantly propagated around the globe, includes a description of a mandatory public middle school assignment when I was 11 or 12 years old, in Wisconsin. I was assigned the task of arguing the pro slavery position in a debate on slavery in social studies class, a task that I decry in the essay. My team won the debate, and I explain how. I am now routinely described as a slavery apologist, to my horror.
Additionally, I was grilled over my pro burqa ban position, which I developed while working with Ni Putes Ni Soumises (NPNS) in Paris, France for a year. NPNS is a group of mostly fierce women from the predominantly Muslim immigrant ghettoized suburbs surrounding the major cities of France. They unapologetically fight for women’s rights as universal human rights, and the three pillars of their movement are: secularism, gender equality, and gender desegregation. They see, as do I, burqa bans as public desegregation measures, as civil rights laws. I concur with the dominant French view that free and unfettered access to an egalitarian public space is part and parcel of one’s citizenship, and there can be no hierarchy of stratified citizenship in a secular, liberal, constitutional democratic republic. The French are definitely right about this one. But, supporting burqa bans (face coverings, including the niqab) is considered un Woke these days in the US, as is any criticism of Islam.
And, last, but certainly not least, I have one essay where I explicate my strong position on free speech, not absolutism, but quite strong. The title of this essay has been bandied far and wide as evidence of my egregious racism. It is also what I consider to be my catchphrase: I LOVE Hate Speech, and I HATE Hate Crime Legislation. Provocative to be sure, but if anyone had actually bothered to read this anti-oppression essay, they would have realized immediately that I am not referring to the substantive content of what is deemed hate speech. I explicitly state that I do nothing so well as defend my own free speech rights when I defend the manifestation of speech that I regard as the most abominable, the most obscene, the most rank. And, I always make clear it is most often the marginalized and oppressed whose speech is deemed hate speech by the powerful. The Yale Administration grilled me about this one too.
After May 8th, 2018, the Yale Administration, including President Peter Salovey, made a string of grossly defamatory public statements about me. They knew that I was entirely innocent, but they were trying to cover up their complicity in the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax. They didn’t want the public to know that they had targeted me for my mental health disabilities and egregiously violated my Federal Civil Rights. My life and career were completely and utterly decimated. I will never recover. I will never be able to support myself. Everything that I had worked for has been destroyed. I can’t even tell you how many times I almost killed myself. I went into literal physical shock. I would shake uncontrollably on the hour, every hour, with chills. I couldn’t eat or sleep. It was surreal.
At the beginning of June, 2018, Yale Graduate School Dean Lynn Cooley sent me notice that she was charging me with racial harassment. They were going to try to expel me. I was completely flabbergasted. I had begged Dean Cooley on May 8th, 2018, to retract and correct her disgusting lies about me, and she bluntly dismissed me. In July, 2018, Yale’s General Counsel admitted to the attorney my surrogate dads had hired to stop Yale from wrongfully expelling me that there was absolutely no reason to think that I had ever acted out of racial bias or animus in any way, shape, or form. They also dropped the racial component of the harassment charges, a fact which they later denied. I thought I saw the faintest glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel, until August 1st, 2018.
At the beginning of August, 2018, Yale President Peter Salovey released a public statement that can only be construed as meant to devastated my life, reputation, livelihood, and lifelong human and civil rights academic and legal careers. He precluded the possibility of my receiving a fair hearing and any due process rights whatsoever. I know for a fact that persons inside the Yale Administration warned him against releasing the statement. I know that they told him that his statement was grossly defamatory and illegal and immoral and would endanger my life and probably drive me to suicide. Yale President Peter Salovey didn’t care. He didn’t care if I died. I just want to remind everyone that Yale’s motto is Lux et Veritas, or Light and Truth.
At the beginning of October, 2018, Yale withdrew all charges against me. But, without any due process whatsoever, Yale Graduate School Dean Lynn Cooley permanently banned me from campus and from teaching at Yale. I cannot describe the devastation I felt. Well, they finally got what they wanted. The Yale Administration succeeded in destroying me by publicly branding me a racist, as my punishment for straying but a hair from Woke Intersectional Feminism dogma. They couldn’t allow an actual hearing to take place, because I would have been exonerated and the Yale Administration would have been exposed for what they are: bigoted liars content to throw an innocent grad student under the bus to save their own skins.
The Yale Administration was not content to have exploded my life into a million little pieces. They continue to lead the global defamation campaign against me to this day. In early 2019, they released their farcical and ridiculous Title VI Review Report, which grossly defames me. It is so obviously an attempt to cover up their wrongdoing and justify their illegal and immoral public statements about me that it’s a joke. And, they decided NOT to create a Title VI Office on campus! If Yale actually cared about making students of color feel safe and welcome on Yale’s campus, then they would create a Title VI Office, but the Administration doesn’t want to do that, because they don’t want to have to recognize the due process rights of accused faculty and students. They want to be able to just throw them to the wolves as they did to me. Yale has since announced the creation of a vast Maoist bureaucracy for reporting students and faculty for racial harassment sans any due process whatsoever, led, of course, by VP of Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews. Also, a number of persons inside Yale told me that the Administration was orchestrating, to the greatest extent possible, the media response to the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale. It boggles the mind the number of persons who have received honors and awards and paid positions at Yale since participating in the destruction of my life and career. Defaming Sarah Braasch was good for business and the pocketbook and one’s social media profile in 2018 and 2019.
I am still a PhD Candidate at Yale in Philosophy. I will finish my dissertation and graduate, but my dissertation will not be what I was hoping it would be. But, the important thing is to finish. I can expand on it later. I will never have a career in academia now. Of course, I hope to pursue all appropriate legal remedies. I am struggling to raise legal funds. I am working on a book proposal, and I hope to secure an advance to secure my legal representation. I am also hoping to monetize my YouTube Channel soon, where I reveal the truth about the Living or Napping While Black Hate Crime Hoax at Yale. I have filed numerous formal complaints with the Federal Office for Civil Rights, but, so far, they have not expressed any interest whatsoever in helping me secure justice at Yale. I have literally begged them just to open an investigation. Many people have told me that the Federal OCR isn’t going to help me, because they don’t like cases that fly in the face of Woke Intersectional Feminism. I continue to wait and hope that the decision of the CT FOIA Commission Hearing Officer will be in my favor, and the world will get to see how the Yale Administration and Police told disgusting lies about me.
I am the prime example of why Woke Intersectional Feminism is bigotry and stupidity. For this reason, I continue to be attacked. Those persons whose livelihoods and ideologies and credibility depend upon me being the genocidal villain that they claimed continue to do everything in their power to thwart my efforts to save my life and career. But, I will never stop fighting for vindication and justice. I will never stop fighting for everyone whose life and career have been destroyed by false accusations and the moral outrage industry. I will never stop fighting for the restoration of civil liberties, including due process and free speech, at Yale and campuses across the US and everywhere. I will never stop fighting for Lux et Veritas, for Light and Truth.
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