The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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One thing about racists: They have absolutely run out of new ways to express their racism.

Last week, a banana was found taped to the dorm room door of two Black students at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, in what students allege was an act of racial aggression. Now, Black students and alumni are calling on the school’s officials to do more than release some bare-minimum obligatory statement of condemnation regarding the incident.

According to ABC 24, the two Black men are members of Men of Distinction, a campus organization for men of color, which makes sense because we all know white people hate being excluded from literally anything despite being overwhelmingly represented in the vast majority of other things.

“We, as Men of Distinction, want action to be taken,” the group’s president, Kofi Whitehead, told ABC. He also said the school’s administration’s response, or lack thereof, was vague and underwhelming and that it failed to directly address the issue at hand.

“When racial instances happen publicly, the apology and the action should be done just as publicly,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead is right, of course, because the statement by Rhodes College, which was published in full by ABC, managed to be lengthy while at the same time saying next to nothing. This Dollar Store generic brand of a statement didn’t even directly mention the banana incident specifically. Instead, administrators merely confirmed that they had “received both Bias Education Reporting System (BERS) and Standards of Conduct reports about incidents that have contributed to our campus community feeling unsafe, particularly for Black and Jewish students.”

The statement went on to say school officials are taking the incidents “very seriously,” that “investigations are underway” and that “racism, antisemitism, homophobia, and other harms have no place in our community.”

Note: Responding to an exclusively racist act with a catch-all description of general, non-specific bigotry is a sure way to send a message to Black people that you’re too unwilling to directly and explicitly confront racism for them to be confident that your “investigation” is going to end in any semblance of justice.

“Just like knowing how the administration handled the situation, in general, was disappointing, knowing it didn’t do much, said Imani Eramaus, another Black student at the school.

Meanwhile, I’m just sitting here thinking: “Really? A banana?”

White racists have been making monkey references towards Black people for so long it’s just barely still insulting. At this point, they’re just completely ignoring the fact that it’s white people who generally share the same size lips with your average primate, but whatever.


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