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Harambe Jokes Termed Offensive to Black Students

by Josh Guckert

At UMass-Amherst, two resident advisors are placing a prohibition on Harambe jokes and memes. An excerpt from the letter to the floor reads:

Any negative remarks regarding ‘Harambe’ will be seen as a direct attack to our campus’s African American community. Please be careful what gets written on your whiteboards, as well as what gets written on them. If you are not the one writing these remarks, please let us or the RA on duty know.

Cincinnati Zoo gorilla Harambe has become an internet sensation following his death by shooting in May. The animal was killed when a child fell into his enclosure. The result has been a near-unprecdented slew of internet memes.

One particular phrase becoming popular is the encouragement to expose a particular male body part to remember the deceased gorilla. The letter addresses that as well:

To be very clear: using… phrases/hashtags which encourage the exposition of body parts runs the risk of being reported as a Title IX incident. These are sexual assault incidences that not only get reported to Community Standards, but also to the Dean of Students. Needless to say, it is a very serious incident—especially for a first year student!

Anyway, please be safe this weekend, and watch out for any of these phrases. We need to be sure to respect all UMass community members.

To read the full letter as tweeted by student Jarod Sasdi, read below:

About The Author

Josh Guckert
Associate Editor

Josh Guckert is a 25-year-old lawyer and has been a contributor to The Libertarian Republic since January 2015. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his BA in Political Science with a History Minor in 2013 before earning his JD in 2016. During his time in law school, he served as the Editor in Chief of the Pittsburgh Tax Review and Editorial Coordinator for the JURIST legal news service. He was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area. He is a 2013 graduate of Cato University, hosted by the Cato Institute. His largest areas of interest within the liberty movement include the protection of civil liberties and economic freedom. He is the former President of the Pitt chapter of Students for Rand and a former President of the Pitt Law chapter of the Federalist Society.