Black parents’ background blamed in gorilla death

 Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson,( Photo Credit: Facebook Michelle Gregg)
Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson,( Photo Credit: Facebook Michelle Gregg)

Over the past few days, many across America have been drawn to the tragic occurrence at the Cincinnati Zoo. It was there that a 4-year-old child made his way across a protective barrier and fell 15 feet into the enclosure of a 17 year-old Silverback gorilla named Harambe. As the parents and crowd looked on in horror, the gorilla pulled the child through a water filled moat and seemed to be curious and playful. However, zookeepers felt the child was in eminent danger and shot Harambe, killing one of the most endangered species on Earth.

Animal rights activists were outraged that the gorilla was killed and are blaming the parents for not supervising their child as well as the criminal back ground of the father. Media outlet Daily Mail has published a lengthy article that details the criminal background of Deonne Dickerson, 36, the boy’s father. According to the article, Dickerson has been charged over a ten year period with burglary, firearms offences, drug trafficking, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and kidnapping. He also served a year in prison in 2006 for drug trafficking charges. But none of this had anything to do with the incident that occurred at the zoo that day. It was simply a family attempting to enjoy a wholesome outing when something went terribly wrong. Some are even questioning the parenting skills of the mother Michelle Gregg, 32, who has four children, all by Dickerson.

The death of Harambe is now a social media movement that includes the Facebook page Justice for Harambe, which now has over 100K followers after two days. In addition, the page has spawned a Change.org petition also titled Justice for Harambe with a shocking goal. The petition wants the parents possibly charged and states in part:

“We the undersigned feel the child’s safety is paramount in this situation. We believe that this negligence may be reflective of the child’s home situation. We the undersigned actively encourage an investigation of the child’s home environment in the interests of protecting the child and his siblings from further incidents of parental negligence that may result in serious bodily harm or even death. Please sign this petition to encourage the Cincinnati Zoo, Hamilton County Child Protection Services, and Cincinnati Police Department hold the parents responsible.”

The family of Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson, two hardworking parents with stable jobs are under attack. The online petition has 350K signatures in just two days, all calling for the punishment for an innocent Black family of six.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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