The Banana Campaign

24 Nov

The Banana-eating social media campaign was the campaign that I came across and decided to write about on the blog. This campaign was started during a soccer game when Dani Alves, a soccer player for FC Barcelona, picked up a banana on the field that was thrown at him by an opposing fan and he simply picked it up, peeled it, and took a bite before continuing the game. From this started a campaign against racism. Other players including Neymar, Mario Balatelli, Sergio Aguero, and Luis Suarez posted pictures of themselves eating bananas in response. Some sources say this campaign was planned originally for Neymar who had previously been racially abused during the Catalan derby. This campaign, also called the “we are all monkeys” campaign, exploded and spread globally so that many people posted pictures of themselves taking a bite out of banana. They are addressing racism because they are trying to make the point that we are all the same, we all came from the same place and we are all monkeys. They are using the strategy of celebrities to spark interest among fans and all people to show their support against racism. They are using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media cites to create a stand for this negativity that still exists in the world today.

Critical Race Theory applies to the banana campaign. CRT deals with examining the relationships between race, racism, and power from an institutional and legal perspective. CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in society, which makes it applicable to the banana theory because we need to change what has been engrained in our society so long. The banana campaign tries to promote awareness and change to end racism. It’s a stand against it, and every stand that is made against racism is step in the right direction to reject racism in society.

It is debatable whether this campaign is effective or not, and if it is effective just how effective it proves to be. Personally, I think this campaign proved to be effective in the ways that it could be. It went viral, by fans of the players on the team but also by others. For example, the president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff even offered support for this campaign online. It is creating awareness that racism still exists and that people intend to make a stand against it. However, this campaign did not prove to be completely successful because after you take a picture of yourself eating a banana, now what? Most people are probably not going to do anything more about the negativity that still exists with racism. This campaign will pass, just like most social media campaigns do. That explains my opinion of prosocial media overall. I think it is a good source of promoting awareness and getting people to take action in the short term, but overall does not prove successful in the long run.


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