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Tag Archives: Bananas

Detroit Firefighter Fired for Bringing ‘Racially Insensitive’ Watermelon to Work

By Katherine Rodriguez | 8 Oct 2017

A Detroit firefighter was fired before he officially began his first day on the job for bringing a watermelon to work.

Robert Pattison, 41, introduced himself to his fellow firefighters at Engine 55 at the corner of Joy and Southfield in Detroit by bringing a welcome gift, WJBK reported.

Second Battalion Chief Shawn McCarty calls this welcome gift “a tradition” for Engine 55’s firefighters.

“It’s not mandatory, it’s voluntary,” he said. “You come in bearing gifts. The usual gift is doughnuts, but you are allowed to bring whatever you want to bring in.”

Pattison, who was a probationary firefighter, decided to stand out from the crowd and bring a watermelon with a pink bow on top.

Some black firefighters were reportedly offended by Pattison’s gesture since 90 percent of the firefighters at Engine 55 are black.

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Banana Peels and …. Racism?

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By Anthony Gockowski | 31 Aug 2017

A Greek Life retreat at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) was promptly cancelled this weekend after a banana peel was found hanging in a tree.

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“To be clear, many members of our community were hurt, frightened, and upset by what occurred at IMPACT,” Interim Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Alexa Lee Arndt remarked in an email between Greek leaders, according to The Daily Mississippian. “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.”

After word of the banana spread throughout the retreat, leaders decided to end the event early. Arndt explained that she “felt it was imperative to provide space immediately to students affected by this incident.”

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According to The DM, some students left the retreat in tears, with McNeil noting that they “didn’t feel welcome” and “didn’t feel safe.”

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