White Student At Howard University Law School Sues for $2 Million Over Racial Discrimination

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
Photo Credit: Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Michael Newman, a white student at The Howard University Law School, is suing the institution for racial discrimination.

The Howard University School of Law is facing a $2 million lawsuit for racial discrimination. Michael Newman, a former student who alleges that the intuition created a “hostile education environment,” began attending the law school during the fall semester of 2020. Newman, a white man, remained there for just two years until he was expelled in September 2022. He is now seeking $2 million in monetary damages for “pain, suffering, emotional anguish and damage to his reputation.”

The former Howard student claims that he “depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts” as a result of “public ostracism, vilification and humiliation,” the lawsuit reads. According to the suit, Global Head of Diversity Recruiting, Reggie McGahee, told Newman that he had become the most hated student he’d seen during his tenure at the university.

Newman also said that he raised concerns about his alleged mistreatment to school administrators, but the law school’s dean allegedly denied that Caucasian students at Howard Law, and Newman in particular, faced racial discrimination to any capacity.

After discussions of Newman’s purported racial insensitivity, Howard students reportedly discovered a tweet from his private Twitter account that showed a slave baring his grotesquely whipped back. A caption accompanying the image read, “But we don’t know what he did before the picture was taken,” according to the lawsuit.

Newman claimed the tweet was geared toward commentators who “attempt to explain away videos of police brutality by claiming the victim must have committed wrongdoing before the video started.”

Additional problems arose when the university shifted to remote learning at the height of the pandemic, when students began communicating on online forums and GroupMe chats, Newman claimed in court papers. The former Howard student later said that he felt “utterly disenfranchised” at the school, also comparing himself to a Black student at a primarily White university. Controversies led to a digital town hall meeting with 300 students to discuss Newman allegedly racially harassing classmates.

Frank Tramble, vice president and chief communications officer for Howard told Fox News that while he’s unable to comment “substantively” due to pending litigation, the institution “is prepared to vigorously defend itself in this lawsuit as the claims provide a one-sided and self-serving narrative of the events leading to the end of the student’s enrollment at the university.”

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