Recently, Clemson students have been the victims of a smear campaign. Individuals on social media and around campus have claimed that the Clemson student body is racist. On Monday, April 11, a controversial image surfaced on social media. The image circulated online displayed four bananas hung on a poster dedicated to Clemson’s African-American heritage. In the following nine days of protest, five students were arrested and the administration mandated new diversity and inclusivity training for all students and faculty.

Some lower level administration even attended and endorsed the protests, giving credibility to the smear campaign. The administration as a whole genuflected to the protesters’ demands, granting the smear further substance.

Since campus wide unrest was the direct result of the four bananas being hung it seems natural to ask who hung the bananas and what their motivations were. The Clemson administration knows the answers to these questions, but has not revealed them. The only thing most people on campus are aware of is the suspicious behavior and activity from the administration and the student protest leaders.

This leads to more questions than answers. . . .

There have been allegations on campus that the student who placed the bananas on the banner in the first place was African American. The implication is that the student intended for the incident to incite a campus protest. If this is not the case, why has the administration not released any information about the race or motives of the student who placed the bananas?

As it turns out, no charges (criminal or disciplinary) were brought against this student. If the act was supposedly so racist that the administration has decided to start assigning mandatory diversity and inclusivity training to faculty and students, then why was the individual not sanctioned? And if the individual was not sanctioned because she or he did not place the bananas in an act of racism, why are administrators and student activists still claiming the campus has a racially discriminatory environment?

Suspiciously, the identity of the student who posted threatening messages to Yik Yak was released to the public, amid calls for the university to do so. Yet, the identity of the person who placed the bananas is being kept a secret. Why are they so interested in this banana vandal’s privacy?

Stay tuned.