Did you happen to read about this?
In the spirit of the time in which we live, where it seems everything…literally, everything…can be seen as having a racial orientation of one sort or another, no one should find the following to be unusual.
About a week ago, a Greek life retreat was supposed to be in full effect at the University of Mississippi. That did not happen, however.
The reason it did not happen is that a banana peel was found lodged in a tree on campus, a tree close to where the retreat for Alpha Kappa Alpha, a historically black sorority, was getting underway.
If you’re looking for more to the story than that, you’re going to be disappointed. It pretty much ends there – Alpha Kappa Alpha did not proceed with their Greek life retreat because of the appearance of the banana peel in a nearby tree.
The sorority’s president, Makala McNeil, is the person who first spotted the banana peel hanging in the tree. Once she did, students apparently chose to leave the retreat, some in tears. As reported by the website Campus Reform, according to McNeil, the students, at that moment, “didn’t feel welcome” or “safe” on Mississippi’s campus.
If you’re still puzzled, it’s because you’re not seeing the banana peel the way these kids did; they interpreted it as an attempt on the part of the person who tossed it in the tree as a way to be racially insulting to black students.
“The overall tone was heavy. I mean, we were talking about race in Mississippi and in the Greek community so there’s a lot involved,” said McNeil, who added that she and others in the group were “all just sort of paranoid for a second” after seeing the banana peel.
Oh, and the person who threw the peel in the tree? He’s a student, Ryan Swanson, who came forward to confess his “crime” after all the publicity. He said he couldn’t find a trash can and thoughtlessly tossed the peel in the tree.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large