Can we victim-blame Harambe for his shooting memes?

gorillalivesmatter

Many animal lovers and activists are mourning the death of Harambe, an endangered western lowland gorilla held in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo. The animal was killed after a 3-year-old child fell into its enclosure and a zookeeper felt the child was in imminent danger.The authorities are reviewing the incident to determine if charges should be brought against the parents. Many believe a criminal investigation was launched because the family is Black and that they are being persecuted unfairly and there may be some credence to this assumption.

There have been other cases of small children getting away from a parent at a zoo and coming perilously close to injury to themselves or the animal. But none of these parents, mostly White, were subjects of a criminal investigation.There is a value gap in America that holds Black life to a lower standard than White life and it seems now even animal life. When Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Freddie Gray were killed in controversial police encounters that revolved around race, they were blamed for their own deaths at the hands of others. It was ridiculous and extreme the way some media outlets portrayed these young Black men as thugs, gangsters and drug users. So with that in mind, here are examples of victim blaming in the death of Harambe

1) Wearing a hoodie.

Harambe

2) He was seen ‘crip-walking’ with what appears to be a gun

bamboo-or-gun-gorilla

 

3) He was seen throwing up gang signs

Gorilla-gang-member-use

 

 

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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