If you find this headline shocking, it may be even more so surprising to learn that people relating African Americans to monkeys and apes started before Harambe. The recent disrespect of people comparing Leslie Jones to Harambe brought the issue back into the spotlight of social media and public awareness, but Black people have been mocked and called apes for years, centuries even. It dates far back, racist ape-like caricatures in comic books and cartoons, and yet, for some reason, it’s become a new fad. It is a cliché, uncreative, immature, racist, second generation Jim Crow form of disrespecting a people.
Black female students at American University reported that they have been assaulted with rotten bananas by racist white students. The event happened in the girl’s dorm — where women studies, relaxes, lays her head at night, and strives to become a better student and person every day, just like everyone else in the building. And despite all the other pressures placed on college students, especially Black female students, now that woman has to worry about dumbasses throwing bananas at her because they can’t accept the color of her skin or the fact that she’s just as smart as they are — as evidenced by the fact that they go to the exact same school. Later in the same day, another girl found a banana outside of her bedroom.
My message to these women, those in the news headlines and the others who surely exist: Only clowns play with bananas. So laugh at them for the joke they are, throw away their trash — all they will ever leave behind on this world — and show them who the real show-runners are.
Also, you do not have to stand for this. American University is a good school, lacking in diversity. Howard University is only a couple of miles away, thriving with diversity and ready with open arms to accept you, your knowledge, your blackness, and provide a safe place for you to learn and thrive in your skin.
When I tell people that Howard University is the most diverse school I’ve ever attended, they laugh at me. My high school had white people, Black people, Mexican-Americans, and Asian-Americans Yet, Howard University has something different. Yes, to the common man we would all be labeled as Black, but never in my life had I lived in a place so rich with accents and differing cultures. Not only are there students from all across the United States, but there are also international students from Trinidad, Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nepal, China and more.
The simple fact of choosing a PWI (Predominately White Institution) for a University is this: You will not realize that you started to believe the stereotypes until you see them disproven. At Howard University, they are disproven every minute, in every class, in every lecture, and by every student who is impressive and poppin’ and beautifully Black.
Even if you do not want to transfer, there are clubs that will accept you with open arms. Do not let clowns remove your crown. They are only jesters in your court.