When Life Gives You Bananas, Make ‘Nanner Puddin’

By Keith Plunkett | September 1st, 2017 at 12:04 am

BY: Keith Plunkett / Editor

Keith Plunkett is a Policy Consultant, Editor, Writer, Founder and Publisher of MississippiPEP.com. http://mississippipep.com/profilegrid_blogs/keith-plunkett/

Filed Under: Contributor, Culture, Education, Entitlements, Feature Stories, Keith Plunkett, Mississippi, Mississippi PEP, Ole Miss, Opinion, Oxford, Progressivism, Race, Social Justice, Weird News

“In life, you’ll run into a lot of banana peels. Your ability to accomplish anything depends on your attitude and your determination to not let the banana peels get in your way.”

I read the report in the Daily Mississippian last night. I honestly thought when I read the first sentences that it was a joke.

How could it not be a joke?

Apparently a banana peel thrown into a tree due to a lack of garbage receptacles available was stumbled upon by a few black Ole Miss students. This in turn triggered a series of responses that can only be described as absolute foolishness.

Camp Hopewell in Lafayette County was the site of an Ole Miss Greek Life three-day retreat that had to be cut short because a banana peel was found in a tree.

I kid you not.

Let me just repeat that one more time as I laugh uncontrollably, “An Ole Miss Greek Life three-day retreat had to be cut short because a banana peel was found in a tree.”

If you aren’t laughing at that then you aren’t human.

Before I completely unload my thoughts on this slippery subject, here is an excerpt from the DM’s report. Try not to be drinking anything while reading this. There’s a likely chance you’ll spew it.

This weekend, leaders from Ole Miss Greek life convened upon Camp Hopewell in Lafayette County for a three-day retreat designed to build leaders and bring campus closer together. The retreat was cut short Saturday night, however, after three black students found a banana peel in a tree in front of one of the camp’s cabins.

The students shared what they found with National Pan-Hellenic Council leaders, sparking a day’s worth of camp-wide conversation surrounding symbolism, intended or not. In the midst of the open and sometimes heated discussion, senior accounting major Ryan Swanson said he put the banana peel in the tree when he could not find a trashcan nearby.

Alexa Lee Arndt, interim director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said she was one of the only university staff members acting in an administrative capacity at the weekend retreat. Monday afternoon, she sent a letter to all campus chapter presidents, council officers and chapter advisers, confirming the incident and outlining the university’s plans.

“To be clear, many members of our community were hurt, frightened, and upset by what occurred at IMPACT … Because of the underlying reality many students of color endure on a daily basis, the conversation manifested into a larger conversation about race relations today at the University of Mississippi,” Arndt wrote in the letter acquired by The DM.

Student members of Panhellenic Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Interfraternity Council were all present at the retreat, which was organized by Fraternity and Sorority Life and the national group IMPACT. IMPACT is a campus-based leadership institute designed to foster improved relationships among campus leaders through a retreat-type program.

So, here’s a question: What is the “underlying reality” these “students of color endure” when they enter into the fruit section of a grocery store?

If this not only caused the shutting down of a three-day retreat, but also “sparked a days worth of camp-wide conversation surrounding symbolism”; and if this “conversation manifested into a larger conversation about race relations today at the University of Mississippi”; then I have a suggestion for the next time some unsuspecting “student of color” becomes frightened by a damn banana peel.

How about someone injecting into the conversation that race relations today at Ole Miss are the way they are precisely because of this type of idiocy? How about someone stopping long enough from fearing banana peels that they start thinking about how race relations at Ole Miss started getting much worse right about the time the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation began calling the campus home?

Only two years ago a statewide cheer competition held on campus of Ole Miss apparently had no problem with bananas at all. See for yourself:


When and where did this unhealthy banana fear begin over the past couple of years?

After all, as the words to the little ditty many of us learned in grammar school begins, “Bananas, bananas are such a healthy fruit . . .”

Bananas can’t be unhealthy! It’s right there in the damn song! They’re good for your digestive system. They provide boosts of potassium and loads of other healthy things a body needs.

And for goodness sakes! What properly acting Southerner doesn’t go back for seconds at the desert table when there is Nanner Puddin’ available? At some of my family reunions there can be as many as 4 different bowls of Nanner Puddin’.

No! No! No! We must not fear bananas. We must not fear banana peels. We absolutely must not fear Nanner Puddin’!

The silver lining of this ridiculous moment brought to you by the Social Justice Movement is that it lifts the cloak of seriousness the happy little warrior-children have used for so very long to keep the stupidity of it all camouflaged.

There is nothing serious about social justice. There never has been. It’s a creation of a skewed mind more intent on manipulating others for gain than striving to be better and to make oneself more virtuous and more productive. It is a product of redistribution just like any other that suggests taking from one and giving to another. It relies on excuses and perceived oppression to hold its place in social debates.

Social justice is not real. Social justice is a lie.

If you are one of the unlucky graduates of the school of social justice then don’t blame the patriarchy or white privilege, or whatever other nonsense you’ve been led to believe.

You see, the way the world really works is nothing like what the dreamers of liberal theory and progressive theology say it is. The way the world really works can be summed up simply, although its not always easy to overcome.

In life, you’ll run into a lot of banana peels. Your ability to accomplish anything depends on your attitude and your determination to not let the banana peels get in your way.

Life ain’t easy all the time. Heck, it’s not easy most of the time. That’s true whether you’re white or “of color”, and whether you have a nut allergy or an even an unhealthy fear of bananas.

Be strong. When life givers you bananas, make Nanner Puddin’.

And invite me over for dessert.