Banana Taped to Dorm Door of Two Black Students at Rhodes College

In Summary

The students said they were targeted because of the color of their skin and do not believe the university is taking the incident seriously. 

On Monday, a banana was taped to the door of two Black male students at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.  

Regardless if the person or persons who planted the banana on their doors meant it as a prank, the students believe they were targeted because of the color of their skin. They also think the school administration is not taking the incident seriously enough.  

Kofi Whitehead, Rhodes College Men of Distinction President, shared a lengthy post on Instagram about the incident and his expectations.  

“We, as Men of Distinction, want action to be taken,” Whitehead said. “When racial instances happen publicly, the apology and the action should be done just as publicly.”  

RelatedAlabama Lawmakers Aim to Cut Racist Rhetoric From State Constitution 

Whitehead said it took a consistent push from students for the university to deliver a sounder response instead of the vague statement the college initially released. The statement initially read, “We have received reports about incidents that have contributed to our campus community feeling unsafe, particularly for Black and Jewish students.”   

“Just like knowing how the administration handled the situation in general was disappointing, knowing it didn’t do much,” said Rhodes College student Imani Eramaus.  

The Rhodes College Black alumni said they also want the perpetrators to be held accountable.   

Rhodes released a full statement on the incident:  

“Whatever the intentions when actions or words make members of our community feel unsafe or unwelcome, they do not align with our values as a college community,” the college stated. “It is incumbent on every member of our community to learn not only how to avoid inflicting these harms but also to intervene actively when we witness them within our community.”  

 Related: Texas NAACP Files Complaint Over UT’s Continued Use of ‘Eyes of Texas’ 

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