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|The Ways of Our People (Part II) (Oct. 1996)|
|A Certain Trumpet (May 1997)|
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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.
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.
The mayor told the woman he’d check it out. And he did, and he learned that while police were working security at the march, the department sent around a snack van to give officers something to eat, and in fact bananas were among the snacks offered, and some officers did eat bananas.
So he called the woman back and explained all this, and added an apology. “I’m sorry you were offended, and let me apologize to you personally,” he told her.
“Well, send it in writing,” she told him.
So he did. Call it “The Banana Apology.”
(Posted on February 15, 2005)