Hit & Run

Clemson University Bans Students from Making Harambe Jokes, Because Racism and Rape Culture

Harambe is now like the Prophet Muhammad: students can say his name, but they aren't allowed to draw him.

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Harambe
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Harambe has been killed again. This time the perpetrator is Clemson University, which informed residential advisers on Friday that all public displays involving Harambe are strictly prohibited.

RAs were instructed to inform students that visual representations of Harambe—the gorilla who was killed by Cincinnati Zoo officials after a kid wandered into its enclosure—"are no longer allowed within our community."

When pressed for an explanation, a Clemson official insisted that Harambe's death has been "used to add to the rape culture as well as being a form of racism."

Harambe just can't catch a break, huh? First, people killed him. Now, he's being blamed for rape culture and racism.

Note that Clemson isn't just banning specific Harambe jokes it considers to be in bad taste—such as "dicks out for Harambe," which is a racist microaggression and possibly a Title IX violation at UMass-Amherst. It's banning all Harambe-related displays.

Students are still allowed to say the word "Harambe," but if they draw Harambe on their whiteboards, "the individual/individuals will get in some trouble!" Campus Reform reports.

So it would seem that Harambe has achieved the same status as the Prophet Muhammad.

Of course, students who just talk about Harambe could also get in trouble, Campus Reform notes. Clemson Graduate Community Director Brooks Artis said in an email that that he hopes students are being "inclusive" in their choice of words, and reminds them that if they say anything that anyone finds offensive for any reason, they could be investigated on suspicion of violating Title IX.

As a reminder, the most recent racial incident at Clemson was a complete hoax.

Clemson is a public university, and it clearly needs a stern reminder that it may not prohibit students from celebrating the life of Harambe in accordance with their own spiritual beliefs. I propose that students wear Harambe T-shirts in the Clemson dormitories until the administration relents.