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Volume 4, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

Judge dismisses racial discrimination lawsuit against The Daily Cougar

By Tim Williams
Breaking News Staff

A federal judge late last month dismissed the discrimination lawsuit filed by a local individual against The Daily Cougar and Editor in Chief Nikie Johnson, calling the claim of racial discrimination "a wild assertion."

The lawsuit, originally filed Oct. 11 in Harris County civil court, was removed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in early December.

ShakaZulu Assegai VII alleged that Johnson refused to publish his letters to the editor and hire him as an opinion columnist because he is, as he states, "an African mentally and physically" and because of his gender.

"The Plaintiff (Assegai) gave the Editor in Chief 14 days to publish some of the letters, and give the Plaintiff a position as an opinion columnist," Assegai stated in his suit, filed pro se (on his own behalf). "The Plaintiff waited for fourteen days, but the defendant fail (sic), neglected, or simply refused (sic) to comply," the suit stated.

In the past year, Assegai has alleged similar acts of discrimination in cases filed against several governmental entities and representatives, including the State of Texas, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of State, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

"This is the fifth lawsuit (Assegai) has filed in this district this year," U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes wrote in the Dec. 26 dismissal opinion. "His modus operandi: A claim that he is a citizen of Africa and a modern-day slave followed by a wild assertion that he has been robbed of some constitutional rights."

"Assegai has amply demonstrated his willingness to abuse this court's limited resources with frivolous litigation," Hughes continued. "He was ordered to explain why, given his continued waste of taxpayer dollars with baseless lawsuits, he should be allowed the privilege of an open forum. He did not."

Assegai was further ordered to obtain the court's permission and pay the filing fees before filing any future suits. Assegai, who claims to be a pauper because of a disability, has not paid the fees for previous lawsuits.

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