One of the avid readers of Political Soul Food, probably the only avid reader, has been encouraging (demanding) me to get back to posting weekly on my blog. Citing my last post date as “not since July,” she insisted that I get busy. She is either my biggest fan or she has too much free time. She gave me until August 31st. That was on August 30th. You can obviously see by the date of this article that I have failed to comply. I am considering getting a restraining order.
A dear friend recently sent me a link to an article (which I honestly thought had to be satire), which was a painful reminder of the death of Common Sense. It was an account about the hysteria that ensued after a banana peel was found hanging in a tree. Along with the link was the question, “Are bananas racist?” She was serious. I told her that the last one I ate didn’t give me any indication that it preferred to be eaten by someone of a different color or ethnicity.
Like a jillion others, Emma is trying to navigate through this cesspool of political correctness. She sincerely wants to know about any wounds that I, or others I may know, have suffered along the journey simply because our melanin mattered to someone whose opinion of us didn’t matter at all. This isn’t a detached curiosity. She wants to know so that she can feel righteous anger toward the offender(s) and vicariously share in the pain of the moment, even when it’s been decades after the fact. And she wants to apologize (and has), not because she is personally responsible for the sin of the person(s) or for an entire race. She is wise enough to know that for a Jesus-loving Christian self-condemnation is destructive and dishonoring to God. Her apology comes from the deep sorrow that she feels for wounded people and for the pain it has caused God. But back to her question, “Are bananas racist?” In other words, Emma wanted to know why a banana peel would trigger such a visceral and irrational response in people.
I’m going to assume that you have clicked on the link in the second paragraph and read the article. If you haven’t you will need to do so before reading on if you want to get the full effect of what I am expressing.
Let me first state that I believe that when the 80’s gave birth to the concept of political correctness a special kind of evil was spawned. Orwell referred to it as Newspeak in his eerily prophetic book “1984.” We are now living deeply entrenched in this web of sanctioned speech and thought. I won’t go into the myriad reasons why state controlled speech is bad. If you are a Political Soul Foodie then you know the danger of this affliction. If you are uncertain, imagine moving to North Korea and saying Kim Jong Un is a nut. If you still don’t get it you either don’t want to or you need to take up reading as a part time job. The demand that we say and think only those things that are deemed acceptable by the “state” has crippled our ability to use sound judgment. Thus the frenzy about the banana peel in the tree.
The idea that a human being would look at the skin of a banana hanging from a tree and break out in tears, is queer (synonym for bizarre per thesaurus.com). I mean if the person were crying because the image reminded her of Harambe I would still find it unsettling, but crying because there is some sort of racial threat is um, queer. And instead of some sane person saying, “Hold on a minute. What the heck makes a banana peel hanging from a tree branch threatening?” They collectively ran to the rescue of the offended woman and everything came to a screeching halt. In all honesty she should have been offended that the question wasn’t asked. (Sit with that for a minute). Had I been there I would have asked the young woman, and the rest of the people who were running around looking for a Trump supporter to blame, that very question. I would have made her tell me, out loud, what she was afraid of. And I can tell you right now that I would have rolled my eyes no matter the answer.
I am frustrated that I can’t answer Emma’s question definitively. I guess to some folks a banana peel hanging from a tree is like seeing a noose? Or maybe those ladies think of themselves as having simian origins? I am more frustrated that I have to attempt to answer Emma’s question. Political correctness has undone this nation. It has deluded people into thinking that they have the right to NOT be offended. (That doesn’t include Christians, Conservatives of any stripe, or white heterosexuals.)
Catering to every perceived micro-aggression is a way to create victims and contention. Ultimately this will lead to civil unrest and state control of the populace.
Little do those young women realize that their distress over the banana peel in the tree sent a message that reads like this: How dare you imply that we are the monkeys with which we self-identify?
I’m well aware that there are still situations that occur surrounding race that deserve our attention. But when people are assaulted and fired and shamed for using an uncommon word like niggardly in a sentence, it makes black folks seem really unintelligent.
I don’t know what else to say about this banana peel in the tree drama. But I will offer a word of warning to HGTV. You should probably make sure you don’t capture any images of banana trees when you film episodes of House Hunters Caribbean Life. Just sayin’.