Howard Law School Sued by White Student Over Racial Discrimination

A new lawsuit is garnering attention in Washington where a white law student has sued Howard University’s School of Law for racial discrimination. Michael Newman is  alleging the school maintains a “hostile education environment.” The complaint names Law Dean Danielle Holley as well as other Howard officials in addition to the university as a whole.

Newman joined the freshman class at Howard in the fall semester of 2020 and remained there for two years.  He was expelled in September 2022. He alleged that he suffered “depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts” as a result of “public ostracism, vilification and humiliation” due to his race.

The complaint is particularly detailed in what Newman alleges was Holley’s role in this hostile environment. It alleges that Holley told him that the school owed him no First Amendment rights as a private institution and denied that using terms like “King Mayo” and “mayonnaise” were in any way racial epithets. He claims that Holley told students to avoid interacting with him and advised him to avoid further discourse with students.

Global Head of Diversity Recruiting Reggie McGahee allegedly told Newman he had become the most hated student he had seen during his time at Howard.

Newman was targeted by students after he posted thoughts on an online forum following a symposium featuring an African-American speaker in the run-up to the 2020 election. Newman asked a professor if there could be further dialogue on “whether: (1) Black voters didn’t question turning to government for solutions, and (2) reliably voting for the same party every election disincentivized both parties from responding to the needs of the black communities.” The response was highly negative and Newman was removed from at least one of his group chats for the class.

Another flashpoint occurred after a student searched Newman’s social media posting and found a famous picture of a slave baring his badly scarred back with the caption, “But we don’t know what he did before the picture was taken.”  Newman explained that this was a posting against police brutality and an attempt to rebut claims that victims must have done something wrong to justify such a reaction.

Newman faced racial slurs as the “mayo king” and “white panther.” Other students claimed that the “controversies” caused by his exercise of free speech was producing stress and inhibiting their learning.

When Newman attempted to explain his views in a four-part letter, it was labeled a “manifesto” and resulted in Newman’s removal from a second class-wide group chat.

Holley is accused of secretly recording at least one meeting with Newman and publicly denouncing Newman’s views in a public forum as “disturbing in every sense of the word.” She allegedly blocked him from using several functions to try and speak up in his defense, even disabling the chat function and turning off his camera.

Holley and Newman filed complaints against each other. A law school panel sided with the dean, but the complaint alleged that his complaint was never adjudicated.

Holley is correct, if as alleged, she denied the governance of the First Amendment over her actions or those of her school. Howard is a private, not a state, school. However, the university guarantees free speech protections for both students and faculty, even though the university has been repeatedly flagged as hostile to free speech due to its speech code. It is ranked 93rd on free speech rights. Moreover, as Dean, Holley should be striving to assure free speech protections for all students as the very foundation for higher education. That is particularly true at a law school that should be instilling the values of free speech that define not just our country but our profession.


45 thoughts on “Howard Law School Sued by White Student Over Racial Discrimination”

  1. Such odd lawsuits happen. I’ll be filing a title six complaint this week with the doj office of civil rights. And I’m white! But my kids are part of a group…..that gives them third party standing🔱! Their group which is majority of the minorities in the school district was singled out for “tuskegee” type research disparate outcomes and research on blacks. Two of which tragically and separately both blew their brains out in suicide in response to the oppression. Now my kids mourn and suffer harm and vacation of attitude risk….bc they are in the group! And the group got to be exploited precisely because the exploiters knew they didn’t have any political clout…..And the exploiters felt they were immune. I’m pretty sure the office of civil rights will find enough third party standing for the complaint…And enough disparate treatment of any one in the group to maintain a claim! Or are blacks just suppose to 15% democratically suffer forever? Bc a title 6 is reserved for only the civil rights of the colored. Their I’ll treatment which results I. Where’s harms…..those harms don’t matter? No my complaint will be investigated. As will the suicides tragedy of these black kids. Who were systemically oppressed. Jan 2014 example six dear colleague letter said somethong!

    1. One thing we can’t pretend is everyone has I ternet. We know by dog is sick busses for covid and the feds expansion of internet….. all ppl don’t have access to it. For many kids their only chance for social media is at school! So she you cut off those kids by your pouches… cut off not only mole Intel you cut of opportunity for social media support paths for the child alltogether. But they beg with both hands. For more money ey….to buy pouches to stop internet access during school but internet so after school kids have access to It? parents rules be dmned? Really in parent loci?????seriously….

  2. Clues Explaining Why Blacks Shy Away From Republicans

    Two-thirds of white evangelicals and most Republicans are sympathetic to Christian nationalism, a new survey has found.

    According to a national survey released on Wednesday by the Public Religion Research Institute and Brookings Institution, 29% of white evangelical Protestants qualify as Christian nationalism adherents while 35% qualify as sympathizers.

    I grew up evangelical. Terrifying rapture films scarred me for ever
    Meanwhile, more than half of Republicans are classified as adherents or sympathizers, at 21% and 33% respectively.

    The survey also found that Christian nationalism adherents are nearly seven times more likely than non-adherents – 40% vs 6% – to agree that “true patriots might have to resort to violence to save our country”. Among those that support such political violence, 12% indicated that they have personally threatened to use or actually used a gun, knife or other weapon on someone in the past few years.

    Edited From:

    1. “Terrifying rapture films scarred me for ever”

      But you didn’t post a picture of your scars with the comment, ” “But we don’t know what he did before the picture was taken.”

      Then you’d really have something to squawk about.

    2. If you actually grew up in that culture – you seem to have learned very little about it at the time.
      I have no idea what your polls definition of Christian nationalism is,

      But Yes, I would not be surprised if large majorities of americans think Christianity is a superior religion – just as I would hope that jews think Judiasm is superior and Muslim’s think Islam is superior and Athiests think Athiesm is superior.

      Why on earth would you choose to beleive ANYTHING that you though was inferior ?

      As to the nationalist part – the fact that far too many people DO NOT think this is a great nation – the greatest on earth, the greatest that ever was, is extremely disturbing.

      Again I would expect that Germans think their nation is great – and they do have much to be proud of.
      If you have the choice – and all americans have the choice – why would you live in an inferior country ?

      Throughout US history we have been of two or more minds as to what makes this country great – exceptional,
      But until very recently – even if we disagreed on why america is exceptional, and how to make it more exceptional,
      we universally agreed that it was exceptional.

      Regardless, what YOU and your survey are clearly implying – is that much of the country is just shy of donning bedsheets and burning crosses.

      Rather than:
      Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
      With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

      Only a moron beleives this world would be better off without America.

      Who would have stopped Hitler, or Tojo, or the USSR, or more recently Putin ?
      Where is the gas to keep Europeans from freezing to death coming from ?
      Who is stopping Xi from overruning Tiawan ? and later Japan.

      Who assures the oceans of the world are safe for trade ?

    3. “true patriots might have to resort to violence to save our country”

      Presumably you have hard of Lexington and Concord. Of Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, John Adams, George Washington.

      Were you not taught of Patrick Henry
      “Give me liberty, or give me death” ?

      “Those who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety shall have neither.”
      Benjamin Franklin

      The freedom of this country was purchased with our founders blood.
      The freedom of slaves in this country was purchased in blood.
      The freedom of Europe was purchased in american blood.
      The freedom of the pacific was purchased in american blood.

      What of
      Toussaint L’Ouverture
      William Wallace,
      Joan of Aarc.
      Hungarian Revolution of 1956
      Prague spring

      If you are unwilling to resist tyranny with violence I can absolutely assure you, that you will live under Tyranny.

      Freedom is not Free.

      The question is not why so many are willing to resist tyranny with violence if necessary – but why everyone is not willing to do so.

      Of course your poll exposes another problem – why are so many Americans concerned about Tyranny and the need to resist it with force ?

      Could that be because the left has gained in power and exercised it tyrannically ?

      Regardless, you are absolutely correct that you should be concerned that a growing number of people are thinking and speaking of the possible need to resort to violence to restore liberty.

      That is NOT a sign of a desire for violence by those on the right, but of concern over the tyranny being imposed by the left.

      1. Yes, typical left wing nut spin.

        The question is why is it that 100% of christians do not think there religion is superior ?

        Even the fans of a sports team atleast try to pretend their team is the best.
        This survey is completely idiotic.

        Only hispanics have a slightly larger percentage of christians than Blacks, with almost 70% of blacks identifying as christian.

        And why don’t almost 100% of americans beleive their country is exceptional ?

        The “spin” is that anyone that hordes of american secretly have white pillow cases with red crosses hiding in their night stand.

        It is typical of those on the left to turn any value they do not hold into a smear.

        How many KKK marches did you see last year ?

        I saw ZERO, and I am certain that if 2 members of the KKK marchered in nowhere corner Arkansas last year – MSNBC would be running it continuously.

        As another poster correctly noted, many not on the left recognize that Violence may be necessary to restore liberty, but today the only violence in the country is from the left.
        When is the last time someone not on the left committed arson for political purposes ?’
        When is the last time someone not on the left looted for political purposes ?
        When is the last time someone not on the left was murdered at a political protest ?

        Universally – whatever the left is accusing of others – that is what they are doing themselves.


    Perhaps we might obtain an opinion by Howard Law on the dereliction and failure of Abraham Lincoln to implement and enforce immigration law on January 1, 1863.

    The Naturalization Act of 1802 was in full force and effect requiring that aliens of color NOT be “admitted” to become citizens, and that they be not admitted, barred, denied and deported.

    Perhaps we might obtain an opinion by Howard Law on appropriate jurisprudential reparations and remedies commensurate with that dereliction and failure to enforce manifest extant law.

    Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802 (four iterations – they meant it)

    United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” March 26, 1790

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof…

  4. I find the fact that Howard University even HAS a DEI manager hilarious. So many protected classes, so little time!

    1. “So many protected classes, so little time!”

      – RickinGreenHarbor

      I’ve been through the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights and I can’t find bias and favor anywhere, understanding that “equity” is the absence of bias and favoritism.

      I do see a right to the “pursuit of happiness” of one’s own talents and devices.

      I do see a right to success and superior achievement.

      I do see an absolute right to private property.

      I do see where bequeathing one’s estate to any party, hiring one’s friends and family, or providing “gifts” to any party are not prohibited.

      I do find that it is a sin to covet the spouses, possessions and property of others.

      I do find that it is a sin to steal other people’s money (OPM).

      I do find that it is a sin to bear false witness.

      I do find that welfare, affirmative action and the entire communist American welfare state are unconstitutional.


  5. Its an interesting case.
    I would think, as Turley points out… its a private University.

    Yet, if the allegations are true… his case would have merit based on the school not adhering to their policies.

    If it goes to court… he’ll have a chance of winning.


  6. Jonathan: So few actual facts but allegations and speculation. That’s all we have in the Newman case alleging racial discrimination at Howard Law against a white student. Out of an abundance of caution I suggest we wait and see if Newman’s lawsuit survives a motion to dismiss and there is discovery. That might help us sort out the facts and determine whether Newman has a survivable claim. But, as you often do, you use this case to promote the unproven claim that conservative faculty and students are frequently threatened by an “atmosphere of intolerance and orthodoxy”. We don’t see that so far in the Newman case.

    So let’s discuss some other important news. Since the GOP took back control of the House they have promised to expose a “deep state conspiracy” by the Dems and their allies in the FBI to suppress supporters of Donald Trump. Jim Jordan is leading the charge. The NY Times and Rolling Stone have long articles about the first “weaponization” hearing where you testified. The Dems have called the hearing a “dumpster fire”. One Republican said the hearing was “very much amateur hour” making the GOP led hearings “look like morons”. So what have we learned from the first hearing?

    The 3 former FBI officials Jordan called to testify could provide no evidence that the Dems “weaponized” the FBI to go after Trump supporters or conservatives. Instead, they engaged in conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. It has also been revealed that 2 of the former FBI officials who testified have received payments from Kash Patel, a Trump loyalist and former high official in the Trump administration. One former FBI agent, Steven Friend, was hired by an org run by Mark Meadows. Yes, the former Trump chief of staff who is now under investigation for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. While at the FBI Friend engaged with Russian propaganda news outlets and was interviewed on Russia Today about his claim that the FBI engaged in intimidation against Trump supporters. In their pre-testimony interviews the “whistleblowers” were represented by Trump lawyers. Garrett O’Boyle was represented by Jesse Binnall, a former Trump campaign attorney who worked to overturn the 2020 election in Nevada. He now represents Trump in the Jan. 6-related litigation.

    So who is backing Jordan’s spurious claims. It’s Donald Trump and others in his orbit. Jordan is a MAGA supporter who voted against the certification of the 2020 election. He doesn’t exactly have clean hands and we can see where the “weaponization” investigation is headed. Jordan promises more “weaponization” hearings and more “whistleblower” testimony. But Jordan so far has not delivered. It’s been “crash and burn” witch hunt. That probably comes as a big disappointment for you.

    1. He’s been knocking out of the park the weaponization of govt proof is abundant and everywhere how could it possibly be going any better?

  7. If any private entity accepts any Federal Gov funding the government removes that funding until compliance. The states could have kept the speed limits at 70mph but were threatened with loss of highway funding unless they lowered the speed limit to 55mph

  8. Professor Turley Writes:

    Newman asked a professor if there could be further dialogue on “whether: (1) Black voters didn’t question turning to government for solutions, and (2) reliably voting for the same party every election.

    1) Who should Blacks turn to for solutions: ‘The Koch Network of corporate donors’? ‘The Club For Growth’? ‘The American Legislative Exchange’ (ALEC)?

    2) Why would Blacks vote Republican? The GOP defines itself by cutting social safety nets, busting unions, opposing Minimum Wage hikes, hostility towards federal employees, hostility towards women’s reproductive rights, etc, etc.

    Under the ‘leadership’ of Donald Trump, Republicans have openly embraced militias and identified as ‘White Christian Nationalists’. It strains the imagination that any Black would want to cozy up with southern redneck types.

    Therefore this Newman character probably came across as a colossal nerd for asking such questions. It would be like having our blog st**ge trying to assert himself in an all-Black setting.

    1. Why would Blacks vote Republican?

      Vote Democrat, the home of the KKK. and major opponent of the The Civil Rights Act. Passed only by the hard work of the Republican Party.
      Democrats and their largess of “social safety nets” have decimated black families, and Democrat Controlled cities with Democrat controlled schools are turning out blacks that are functionally illiterate and innumerate. The Democrat agenda is to keep blacks stupid and dependent. Results show they are achieving the goal.
      Beggars are much easier to control

    2. “It would be like having our blog st**ge trying to assert himself in an all-Black setting.”

      You look fabulous as Hershey Trans Woman. We could just dip you in chocolate

    3. Themselves like so many successful ethnic groups have done in America and have thrived because of .

  9. Let this be a lesson to everyone, NEVER hire a howard lawyer. The dipshits can’t argue and resort to name calling. You have been warned.

  10. Well the student in this case did ask a very appropriate question and that is why should the African American Voter continue to support a party that rarely has gone to bat for them in substantial ways. The NAACP and others switched their support to Woodrow Wilson in 1912 when they were somewhat ignored by T.R. Roosevelt and Taft. Wilson pledged to help but then eliminated them from federal employment almost entirely and was one of the most racist Presidents we ever had. FDR did a lot but civil rights was not one of them. He did (under great pressure) force industry in War production to not discriminate. Almost all civil rights movement came from Eleanor. He refused to integrate the armed services even after the excellent record of African American soldiers in WW 1 (under French Command). That fell to Truman in 1948 (a border state moderate democrat), Brown vs Board of Education occurred due to a Republican appointment of Earl Warren to be Chief Justice overturning a prior ruling allowing “separate but equal”. JFK did nothing but another border state moderate democrat (with republican help) passed the civil rights act and the voting rights act. Since then the African American community has been cast adrift from the Democratic Party and yet still votes heavily democratic, especially in cities that are falling apart. So I applaud him asking the question, because I think the answer is very uncomfortable. As far as his suit is concerned, it should be interesting especially if it is amended to also include discrimination.

    1. GEB, I think we can now say, thanks to msnbc, that the Democratic Party is now The Black Party, for better or worse. If you listen to black female celebrities you’d think Biden is president because of black women. What a crock!

  11. Lawyers that can only “argue” with people that agree with them. Progressive clowns are always thinking of new ways to be funny. What will the clowns think of next? Doctors that can only treat healthy people? I can’t wait.

  12. Does Howard take federal money as most colleges do? If so, they are subject to the Constitution.

    1. As far as I know, Hillsdale College is the only one that excepts no federal funds

      1. AI is not very good with the English language. I know that should’ve been accept.

    2. No, they’re not. That is not how it works at all.

      Accepting government money only makes them subject to Title IX, not to the constitution.

      Having a large number of students receiving federal scholarships makes a college’s financial aid office (but not the rest of the school) also subject to Title IX. But again, not the constitution.

  13. “Other students claimed that the “controversies” caused by his exercise of free speech was producing stress and inhibiting their learning.”

    *That* is the lede.

    *Law* students in a fetal position. The “trigger?” Dissenting arguments. That is academia’s culture of emotionalism — drowning out debate, persuasion, an appeal to reason.

    1. Sam: Very good comment, thanks for posting it.
      Shocking to me for: the inclusion of law schools, -since the very purpose of legal representation or advocacy is for the development and presentation of opposing sides to an issue.

    2. Excellent comment. And we have doctors now who are supposed to treat according to equity. We’re so screwed because this insane phenomenon of wokeness is not limited to the USA. So much for us being the bastion of freedom.

  14. As we see more and more often that the DOJ lies to us, they now say they have known for some time that the lab leak theory is probable, they knew the “Russian dossier” was fake, they knew the laptop was real, they were in cahoots with the Association of School boards to go after parents, etc etc, we know that the CDC lied to us about closing schools due to pressure from the teachers unions, we know that Sir Fauci lied to us as a way to obscure his support of funding the Wuhan lab, why would we not expect other agencies to also lie to cover for Democrats?

    What if the unemployment rate isn’t as low as we are being told? What if inflation really isn’t waning? What if Ukraine isn’t doing as well as it seems? What if crime is even worse then we are being told like when the FBO released their stats without including NYC and LA?

    The economic agencies are most problematic because this is what will damage the Dems the most. Crime is also big, but people can see and feel crime and it is covered by local news outlets. We can’t know if unemployment is truly low or if inflation is lowering although our eyes tell us that prices are not coming down.

    We can’t trust the government when Democrats are in control because they are ruthless and they have the media and big tech in their pocket.

    1. hullbobby: Not sure about the other items you mentioned, but I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that Ukraine really is not doing as well as the government and its lacky media are telling us, and the reason isn’t hard to imagine. Anyone with intelligence, a basic knowledge of history, and some common sense can evaluate the reports and seek alternative sources. And if they listen to Alexander Mercouris, Larry Johnson, or Alexander Christoforou, they’ll be well ahead of the game and never again be fooled by the lies.

      1. I take what everyone says – regardless of their position, regarding ukraine with a grain of salt.

        There is little doubt that Russians are lying to their people and to themselves.
        But that does not mean that what is being reported regarding Ukraine is correct either.

        This is an incredibly asymetical war.

        The overwhelming majority of us want Ukraine to defend themselves, but we also do not wish to see this escalate to global nuclear war – and most of us will not accept much risk of that.

        What is the accepable level of risk of a nuclear war that will kill 300M people in 8 minutes and 3B people in a year ?
        1:10 ? 1:100 ? 1:1000 ?

        Ukraine has done a remarkable job thus far. They were expected to get roller over within 96 hours.
        They have held on for a full year.

        How is the war going – that is complex.
        Currently it is a war of attrition – and that is bad for the ukrainians. To win that they must inflict 5:1 or greater casualties on Russia, currently they are running about 3:1 – that is not good enough.

        Shortly we are likely to see significant changes – Russia has 500,000 recruits with minimal training about to become available. Ukraine conversely is about to have a large mass of both modern and captured weapons come available.

        If Ukraine can turn this into a war of movement – Russia loses.
        Conversely if it remains the war of inches it currently is – eventually ukraine loses.

        Things are going very well and badly for the Ukraines at the same time.
        The russians are slogging, casualties are much higher for Russia, and gains are tiny.
        We are almost seeing a replay of the western Front of WWI,

        If it remains that way – it will be bloody and Russia will slowly win at great cost.
        But there are other factors that are being ignored.

        Russia is a failing global power – Regardless.
        They have huge long term demographic problems – and getting into a war of attrition with anyone makes that far worse.

        There are a number of other issues – they have only a small amount of lattitude on Energy production before reductions become permanent. 90% of Russia’s energy production is in extremely cold parts of the country.
        Those wells and pipelines either produce or the freeze and Russia probably can not unfreeze them.

  15. @Bman

    ‘Black’ people aren’t weak. Leftist snowflakes and those that herd leftist snowflakes like chattel are, and that includes parents that couldn’t be bothered to raise their children. This was inevitable given trends of the past 20 years. Now we are in it and have to decide how we’d like to proceed.

    OT: Experimenting with not posting at work to avoid poorly thought out statements and typos. Hope it’s a great day.

  16. Even if it’s found that Law Dean Holley denied Michael Newman’s First Amendment rights, nothing of consequence will happen to Howard University and his lawsuit will end up being a complete waste of time. Thank you, Jonathan, for an excellent article.

  17. The plaintiff may not have a 1st A case, but as the left has shown, he sure has a racial discrimination case. Strict scrutiny may not even be needed here due to the flagrant and arrogant way the administration dealt with this student. It is as if they had not a care in the world about their egregious racist attacks on the student.

    The plaintiff may be a trouble maker (why else would he have gone to this particular school), but since when is that a cause for dismissal? When women pushed to get into male only schools it was rightly seen as just, when minorities did the same it was applauded, rightly so. But blacks can DEMAND segregation when they deem it helpful to them and they are the one and only class to be able to do so. We are a melting pot, or we are supposed to be a melting pot.

  18. Why is it that black people are so weak? Well, because it is not about weakness. It is about power they can wield in these instances.

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