— Jackie Bensen (@jackiebensen) May 1, 2017
The oldest Greek-letter Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, is on alert at American University after several bananas were found on campus hanging from a stringed noose with their initials inscribed on them. One of the bananas also bore the inscription, “Harambe bait.” The bananas were found on Monday, May 1, 2017, and is a cause for concern.
At the beginning of this current school year, several Black freshmen women reported rotten bananas were being thrown at their doors and once, at them. It led to a protest and hundreds gathered at the steps of Mary Graydon Center and the university’s Black Student Alliance demanded the administration address campus racism.
Fanta Aw, the interim vice president of campus life at American University, offers in a statement linked on Twitter:
American University was alerted to a racist incident that occurred in our community. Bananas hanging from string in the shape of nooses were found in three places on campus, and were marked with the letters AKA.
Photos began circulating on social media this morning. These racist, hateful messages have no place in our community.
The safety of our students is paramount. The American University Department of Public Safety is investigating.
Anyone with information to share about this incident is encouraged to go to the AUPD TIPS site or call 202.885.2527. The University will have more to share about this incident shortly.
American University Student Government (AUSG) president Taylor Dumpson ran for office in the fall following the first banana incident.
She wrote on Monday following the incident,
“It is disheartening and immensely frustrating that we are still dealing with this issue after recent conversations, dialogues, and town halls surrounding race relations on campus.
“But this is exactly why we need to do more than just have conversations but move in a direction towards more tangible solutions to prevent incidents like these from occurring in the future.
“As the first black woman AUSG president, I implore all of us to unite in solidarity with those impacted by this situation and we must remember that ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress’ – Frederick Douglass.
“We must use this time to reflect on what we value as a community and we must show those in the community that bigotry, hate, and racism cannot and will not be tolerated.
“This will not be tolerated now, or ever, on the campus of American University and I will do everything in my ability to ensure that this never happens again.”
American University is a private research university in Washington, DC. It is located in the Tenleytown neighborhood in the northwest portion of the district.