It is not often that America is graced with the presence of a hero that can bring the people together. When they pass, we must do all we can to honor their memory.
This past May, the United States lost one of those heroes in a zoo in Cincinnati. His name was Harambe, and his memory lives on in the form of a massive social media meme. People all over the country have honored Harambe, but the University of Massachutes is not having it. They have banned such memorializing because it is apparently racist and sexist.
See, the African-American residential community at UMass is called “Harambe”, the Swahili word meaning “the point where people pull together”. According to two RA’s at UMass, the memes referencing Harambe the gorilla are actually attacks on the African-American community, and so students are no longer allowed to reference Harambe.
These comments are not only derogatory, but also micro-aggressions (sic) to some UMass Students (sic). Similar to RAPs (Residential Academic Programs), UMass also offers “Defined Residential Communities” (or DRPs), in which groups of students sharing similar heritages, ethnicities, and/or identities are able to live together.
We offer a DRP focusing on African-American heritage, and it is called the ”Harambe” floor. “Harambe“ is actually a Swahili word, which stands for “the point where people pull together.” It has very positive connotations, but current social media has been misrepresenting it. The floor has been in existence for many years, so any negative remarks regarding “Harambe” will be seen as a direct attack on our campus’s African-American community.
As the great Billy Mays used to say; wait, there’s more!
Some of the Harambe memes are also deemed “sexist” and Title IX violations. The popular phrase “D***s Out For Harambe” is really the only one they are referencing, but it is a definite no-go on the UMass campus because people there are so traumatized by an internet meme that they are not capable of just laughing with the rest of us.
“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!”
This is a prime example of yet another liberal university getting their metaphorical panties in a bunch over something that really should not be an issue. Time should be spent fighting actual racial and sexual harassment, but instead these Massholes would rather get angry over jokes. I guess having a sense of humor is taboo in liberal communities.