Ole Miss is taking heat for its decision to shut down a Greek Life retreat over uproar regarding a discarded banana peel. The campus has been hit with a mix of criticism that is both legit and hilariously tongue-in-cheek, some serious and some satire.
As The Daily Mississippian reported, the retreat came to a crashing halt after students found a “lone, fresh-looking banana peel” up in a tree, thrown there by a student after he said he could not find a trashcan. Despite the banana-tosser’s profuse apologies for any misunderstanding, students of color interpreted it as a racist insult.
“The conversation carried on, and tensions continued to rise. White and black members of the Ole Miss Greek community shared their views on the day’s events and race relations in general … but the conversation began to move in an unhealthy direction,” the DM reported. “… The massive discussion session wrapped up as more and more students stood and left the room – some in tears, some in frustration. … The remainder of the retreat was canceled later that night.”
News of the shut down has since gone viral, and now others have begun to weigh in on bananagate, including a Twitter account created sometime this month that quickly parodied the entire affair.
Its banner? #Justiceforbananas. Its handle? @urallpusssies. Its description: “just a simple banana peel perpetrating hate crimes one day at a time.”
— ole miss banana peel (@urallpusssies) September 1, 2017
Others weighing in include Todd Starnes, who wrote about the issue Wednesday, posing the question: “Does that mean Ole Miss will ban racially-offensive fruit and vegetables from campus dining halls? Has there been a call to banish banana nut bread or ice cream sundaes or heaven forbid – banana pudding?”
Rush Limbaugh also got in on the action, pointing out Thursday to his millions of listeners that “this is exactly the kind of sensitivity and weirdness and oddity and political correctness that students have been conditioned to expect and be traumatized by.”
Breitbart’s tongue-in-cheek remark on Twitter: “Definitely need to tear down a statue or two over this heinous hate crime.”
And comments posted to an article by Campus Reform on the matter included “Imagine the triggering that must go on when these vulnerable children see all the white sheets installed on their beds. Oh, the horror.”
For those keeping track, this is not the first bananagate incident to rock a college campus. Far from it.
Remember that in May at American University, public safety launched an investigation after “multiple bananas were found hanging from string tied in the shape of nooses in three places on campus.”
It marked the school’s second brush with racist bananas since the fall of 2016, when two white students were accused of throwing a banana at a black student, and a rotten banana was left in front of a black student’s dorm room.
But the university refused to say how it punished the alleged perpetrators in the banana-throwing, only that they were “held accountable” without explaining their punishment. In the second incident – the rotten banana left at the door – no perpetrators were ever identified.
Things that make you go hhhhhmmmm.
Nevertheless, when the bananas hit the fan in May 2017 at the private, Washington D.C.-based institution, its officials closed off a new campus cafe to white people so that students of color could use the venue as a “sanctuary.”
And it was all the banana drama at American over the last year that prompted part of the debacle at Ole Miss, as students at the Greek retreat kept telling their peers to “google the American University incident to understand the banana peel’s significance,” the DM reported.
Finally, there was Clemson University’s banana brouhaha. Last year campus officials refused to identify and apply criminal charges to whoever hung bananas from a banner there commemorating the plight of African Americans in the Civil War, prompting people to suggest it was a hoax.
But that did not stop the “racist” bananas from spurring a weeklong sit-in and other unrest.