May 8, 2017
On May 1st on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C., someone hung bananas from nooses with racist messages on them. This was the same day that the first black woman, Taylor Dumpson, was sworn in as student government president. Bananas hung from nooses is a racist message in itself, but the perpetrator also wrote “AKA FREE” – in reference to the historically black sorority of which the new SGA president is a member. Other bananas had “HARAMBE BAIT” – in reference to the gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into its exhibit.
This despicable, cowardly act was executed in the dark of night while the perpetrator covered his face so as not to be identified by the security cameras. A few days later a white supremacist threatened Dumpson online.
American University is an elite school. Students and faculty seemed surprised and shocked that this happened, as if the money it takes to go to the school would somehow make it immune from racism in the society. But this was not the first time. In September, a rotten banana was reportedly thrown at a black student, and another rotting banana was left on the doorstep of their dorm.
This vile, racist act is not so surprising given the current reactionary atmosphere in this country. In fact, it is part of a larger string of recent racist incidents. A noose was found hanging in the kitchen of a fraternity at Maryland University. At Boston’s Fenway Park a Red Sox fan threw a bag of peanuts at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and yelled racist epithets at him. The racists never went away, but the explosive movements of past decades forced them back under their rocks. Now, they feel emboldened to come crawling back into the daylight.
Trump, with all his disgusting vitriol, has given all the racists in this country a great big permission slip – signed by the President of the United States himself. This is what Trump has “accomplished” in his first 100 days.
Trump and all the racist scum taking their lead from him need to get the message: this ignorant crap will not stand.