Clemson University police have launched an investigation after a banner honoring African-Americans was defaced on campus, officials announced Monday.
Clemson University President Jim Clements sent an email to the campus community to announce the probe, according to Greenville Online:
The email followed an incident where someone hung bananas on a pole supporting a sign that honors African-Americans at Fort Hill, the plantation home-turned-museum that was owned by John C. Calhoun and later came into possession of Clemson University’s founder, Thomas Green Clemson.
A photo of the bananas hanging from the sign quickly spread on social media and students began to talk about the incident using the hashtag #BeingBlackatClemson on twitter.
“This type of conduct is hurtful, disrespectful, unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Clements’ email said.
Writes The Huffington Post:
“See The Stripes,” a campaign started to combat the revisionist history of the South Carolina university’s “Solid Orange” campaign, tweeted a photo of the defaced lamppost and wrote, “#BeingBlackAtClemson means waking up to bananas hanging from a sign in front of the university’s plantation house.”
Students and faculty followed suit, using the hashtag #BeingBlackAtClemson to share their experiences and raise awareness about the everyday instances of discrimination they face on campus.
Jonathan Beecher Field, a white English professor, wrote an article in the Tiger News in response to students on Yik Yak saying black students need to “grow thicker skin” because it was “just a couple of bananas.” Field addressed why this incident is problematic and the message it sends to black students and faculty members.
Clements also asked for anyone with information to report it to campus authorities.