I have to say, I am impressed with The Daily Mail. Unable to find dirt on Harambe, the gorilla that scooped up and…ape-handled(?)…a toddler who slipped into the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla enclosure, they went for the parents of the child, and they hit gold! Leave it to Western Media to find SOME way to use completely irrelevant information to either victim-blame or throw shade on the humanity of subjects who might be called “gorillas” in less polite circles. Good on you, Daily Mail. You would make Don Black proud.
I didn’t even know the race/ethnicity of the toddler and his family until I saw this “report” this morning. I just knew that a gorilla was shot dead in the effort to rescue a kid. The child climbed over a single barrier and then fell 15 feet into a moat in the gorilla enclosure. From there, Harambe met him, dragged him around, and then Harambe was shot by zoo employees.
Of course, there was controversy! Animal lovers were appalled by the zookeepers’ actions. Perhaps there was another way to handle this. After all, there was the case back in 1996, where a gorilla was unharmed when it carried around a toddler like a baby, playing rescuer. Why not the same solution in this case, where the silverback dragged the kid around like a doll? People blamed the parents. Why the hell weren’t they looking after their kid? How did they not see him climb the wall? The mother was getting death threats, as if SHE shot the gorilla. There are rumors of charges being filed. Nobody seemed to question why the enclosure’s barrier hadn’t been updated in 38 years, though. Perhaps that may have been a factor.
Then there’s the defense of Harambe’s shooting. Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard defended the act of Killing Harambe, and said he had no regrets in the decision to shoot him. The gorilla is 400 pounds! He’s 6 times stronger than any man. Have you ever seen videos of gorillas chilling out in their enclosures, and then one charges the glass and CRACKS it? Now imagine that, but WITHOUT the glass separation. There would have been people calling for the culling of all gorillas had Harambe ripped off that child’s face, or even just gave him a cut. Gorillas are very unpredictable. You can’t trust them. No matter how gentle they seem, they could snap and do something to endanger or hurt someone. Yes, the gorilla was unarmed, but he was so strong, and not as bright as a human…and there is the uncomfortable part of the defense of shooting Harambe where I sound like I’m racist against gorillas…The bottom line is that the caretakers probably know more about gorilla behavior than you or I do, so perhaps we trust their judgement in the matter of rescuing a child. This will not stop people for posting “Justice for Harambe” memes and saying terrible things about the parents. But The Daily Mail took it to the next level. Not only did they publish a few stories questioning whether the boy was in any harm, but just this morning, they published a story exposing the long criminal record of the boy’s father.
What does that have to do with the story at hand? NOTHING! Absolutely nothing! The story states that he has charges all the way back to 2006. It also states in one sentence that all indications are that the father has turned his life around and is focused on his wife and 4-child family. It also states that he’s an equipment supplier, and the mother is an administrator at a pre-school. None of THAT was headline-worthy. “Parents-of-Four Whose Son Fell Into Zoo Enclosure…Father Has a Lengthy Criminal History…”; THAT is what seemed right.
The only way this information would be relevant is if Harambe the Gorilla was a victim of the father’s criminal activity, and he was out for blood. Did Dad kidnap him or set him up to take the fall for a weapons trade? Did he turn state’s evidence on the Silverback to dodge jail time? Is that why Harambe is in the zoo? I doubt it, so who cares what his criminal history is? It has nothing to do with the story of a child potentially being harmed.
But big up to The Daily Mail, for finding SOME way to demonize somebody black in this case. It is a bonus, because I’m sure he was called “gorilla” at least once in his life, too. Your tacit racism game is on point. Thanks to The Daily Mail and its cohorts, more people know that name of Harambe the Gorilla than they do the names of children (12-17) kidnapped by gorilla pimps for the purpose of sex trafficking. I can’t WAIT for the #SilverbackLivesMatter hashtag to catch fire.