A black female freshman at American University in Washington D.C., Neah Gray, told the Washington Post on Friday that on September 8 she found a rotten banana had been left just outside her dorm room and obscene drawings made on the whiteboard attached to her door. Another black student on her floor reported that on the same night someone threw a banana at her on campus.
“I wouldn’t let people drive me out, but it’s kind of sad that this kind of thing still happens,” Gray told the Washington Post.
The college administration is investigating two white male freshmen in connection with these incidents, but has so far refused to acknowledge the possibility that racism played a part in what occurred.
AU released a statement on Friday addressing the women’s allegations, that says the incident of September 8, “was not characterized as bias-related,” and announced a Town Hall-style meeting for students, administrators, and community members to discuss the “climate” and “the facts as we know them.”
The college’s Black Student Alliance also issued a statement on Friday, that called the incidents “acts of hate,” and condemned the university for taking “little to no action,” adding that, “similar instances have been happening for years.” The letter references racist Yik Yak posts from last year that “called for a slave auction of Black students.”
The BSA has called for the students who harassed the women to be suspended, and a protest has been scheduled at the university for Monday.