Just when you thought the Harambe jokes were dying out, Clemson University resurrected them by temporarily banning the memes for promoting “rape culture” and “racism.”
A Clemson administrator sent an email to resident assistants Friday instructing them to demand that freshmen remove all Harambe references from dorm hallways and windows, claiming Harambe’s death has been used to “add to rape culture” and can be “form of racism.”
The Harambe incident at Clemson is just one part of a long, problematic relationship social justice warriors have had with the gorilla shot in the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his enclosure.
Since the day Harambe was killed, the Left has obsessed over the gorilla. First, SJWs assumed the child who fell into his enclosure was white, then claimed the fact that Harambe was shot demonstrates racism, white privilege, and the gorilla-killing evils of white people, since such a drastic measure would never be taken to protect a non-white child.
Upon realizing that the child Harambe threatened is in fact black, SJWs suddenly turned to how Harambe’s death was unjustly getting more attention and sympathy than incidents of police killing black men. One columnist even wrote an article entitled “Racists Prove That They Care More About Gorillas Than Black Children,” implying everyone outraged about the gorilla’s death were racists if they did not express more public outrage in regards to police brutality. Others even created a parallel between Harambe’s death and American slavery.
Yet after the initial anger towards the death of the gorilla faded, Harambe’s image pivoted. Instead of an example for SJWs to point to about the evils of white privilege, the gorilla became a meme frat boys could champion. Rap songs were released, posters were raised at Major League Baseball games, and bro tanks with a gorilla’s head beneath a halo were worn, all in the honor of Harambe. Not left-wing media pundits, but college bros accomplished this rebranding after they had enjoyed a few too many beers.
The same racial demographic who were supposedly responsible for Harambe’s death are the ones who support him the most—whether ironically or not.
Harambe’s rebranding turned out to be extremely problematic for the Left, as the entire meme is a satirical way to poke fun at SJWs, not a commemoration of the actual gorilla. How many frat guys genuinely care about animal rights? How many high school students feel passionate about the treatment of gorillas? The anecdotal answer: not a lot.
However, the number of young people who enjoy poking fun at the growing oversensitivity of our culture is significant. The same demographic of young men who listen to the Joe Rogan Experience and read “Total Frat Move”—young men who can’t stand social justice—love the Harambe meme.
It’s not because they find the death of a gorilla funny, but rather, find the response by the sensitivity police hilarious. Blaming Harambe’s death on white privilege and claiming the phrase “dicks out for Harambe” promotes rape culture is to them not rage-inducing but hilarious. Harambe became a sarcastic commentary on outrage culture, a representation of what is wrong with the way SJWs respond to news.
In response to Harambe’s ever-growing satirical presence on the Internet, SJWs are now attempting to pervert the meme with cries of “racism!” and “rape culture!” Leftists wants to fuse the two big Rs with Harambe to ensure counter-cultural young people cannot use the gorilla’s image as a jab against SJWs.
A quick Google search of “Harambe meme” will generate think piece headlines such as “Your favorite Harambe memes are racist. It’s time to stop using them,” and “Harambe isn’t the perfect meme – it’s a racist one.” In a tweet, actor Kumail Nanjiani even claimed “Harambe became a big meme thing because it’s a ‘funny African name’ that people can make fun of without feeling racist.”
It’s not just Harambe that was killed. The Left is now trying to kill his meme by tainting the gorilla’s legacy with racism and rape culture. For this entire episode, however, they have only to thank themselves.