Yes, we have no bananas.
No, we’ve got your bananas (well, I don’t, but many others do).
Sheesh! And I thought *my* banana trauma was damaging! (When I was a wee one, I loved bananas. But one day, I peeled one without looking at it and took a bite; it was rotten. I haven’t been near one since.)
But my ordeal pales—heh—in comparison to this one:
Just think of all the ways a man might use a banana to offend a woman.
Then you may imagine why some people leaped to the wrong conclusion when a woman complained about a Columbus police officer eating a banana at the Civic Center as people gathered for a Jan. 15 civil rights march.
The woman was deeply offended, she told police. The police were deeply bewildered.
The offense was not what you might imagine it to be. I imagined the officer shoving the banana into his pants pocket to make others point at it and say, "Hey, is that a banana in your pocket or are you just glad to be here getting paid overtime?"
But that was not what offended the woman, who hung up on people who couldn't figure it out.
Then she called Mayor Bob Poydasheff. He said she just started berating him about the police. He told her he'd heard only compliments about how officers handled the weekend march in which the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other longtime civil rights activists led 8,000 people from the Civic Center to the Government Center.
"She said, 'No no no no, when the buses pulled into the Civic Center, I saw a policeman eating a banana.' And I didn't know what to say," Poydasheff recalled. "I was stunned. I said, 'What's wrong with that? Police were on their feet for eight hours. They had to get potassium in their system.'"
He said the woman told him the banana "was an affront to me and to others, including a former state senator." She wouldn't name the senator.
Why was she offended?
Well, it seems that in the context of the march, she took the officer's banana eating to imply an analogous racial slur relating black people to apes.
Banana Trauma Extraordinaire! Therapy is in order for this poor woman! In more ways than one...
Seriousness to follow…
Last Thursday, Dennis Prager did a radio broadcast on the various conspiracy theories that proliferate among black Americans, especially regarding HIV. He seemed shocked and saddened to find out how many black people believe that the virus was created to wipe out black people.
Of course, I’m not shocked because I hear this sort of thing all the time and have nearly from infancy. And, unlike Mr. Prager, I can readily understand *why* such theories abound, even if I don’t subscribe to them: such things have actually happened. Tuskegee Experiment, anyone? Additionally, since Mr. Prager is Jewish, I wondered *why* he couldn’t understand the paranoia on a certain level. After all, people have been out to get rid of the Jews for a millennia (and some are still at it, as he well knows).
According to the Philly link above,
More than 20 years after the AIDS epidemic arrived in the United States, a significant proportion of African Americans believe government scientists created the disease to control or wipe out their communities, according to a study released yesterday by Rand Corp. and Oregon State University.[SNIP]On one point, Mr. Prager was dead on: if one goes through life unceasingly looking over one’s shoulder, that person is likely to be the most miserable and bitter of beings. But, apparently, many black people do go through life like this. (And, of course, even if any of the above were true about HIV, there are sure-fire methods to keep from getting caught up in this particular web allegedly spun by “The Man.” We know what those are.)
Nearly half of the 500 African Americans surveyed said that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was man-made.[SNIP]
A slight majority said they believed that a cure for AIDS was being withheld from the poor. Forty-four percent said people who took the new medicines for HIV were guinea pigs, and 15 percent said AIDS was a form of genocide against black people.
Taking paranoia from the macro to the micro, one is likely to see hate and derision in simple everyday occurrences like a (presumably white) cop eating a banana at a civil rights demonstration.
I'll forego that "prerogative" and let the men and women in blue enjoy their potassium in peace.