How the Gorilla Incident Became an Issue of Racism


Animal lives matter – over black ones in this nation.

By now, you’ve heard of the tragic story of a four year-old African-American boy who fell into a gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. The child was approached by a large silverback  named Harambe. The 17 year-old gorilla started to drag the young boy through the water. The child was screaming for help. His mother Michelle Gregg, powerless to save him, tells her son to be strong and that she’s there for him.

There was no other choice than to kill Harambe in order to save the young child.

It’s hard to have to put an animal down, but in this case it was the only way to save the life of a young child. Sadly, the usual brood of faux-liberal animal lovers see Harambe’s death as a bigger tragedy than the thought of a young boy almost getting killed or that a mother nearly lost her son to a wild animal. According to Racism in America, people are already at-the-ready with petitions against the child’s mother calling for her punishment for leading to the execution of their now-beloved primate.

This happened almost immediately after it was acknowledged that the boy and his parents are black. Que the inevitable racist undertones.

The well-being of the gorilla took precedence over the life of a young boy when it was discovered that he was black. It didn’t take long for the trolls of racism to rear their ugly heads cursing out and calling for the deaths of the boy’s mother. And almost immediately, the news media got in on the act.

It’s deplorable that racists can’t put their bigotry aside and would rather be condescending assholes instead of being good, sympathetic people.

The Daily News, a British conservative news site where their top stories are always about what the Kardashian/West family is up to – according to the right side of their pages – decided that it was a good idea to write about the boy’s father’s (Deonne Dickerson) criminal history. Racism in America writes:

Laura Collins, writer for, wrote an article titled, “EXCLUSIVE: Parents-of-four whose son fell into zoo enclosure sparking killing of Harambe the gorilla as it emerges father has a lengthy criminal history – including kidnap and drug trafficking.” Collins writes:

“Seen here for the first time is mother Michelle Gregg, 32, who has four children by father Deonne Dickerson, 36, a man who, Daily Mail Online can disclose, has a lengthy criminal history. Criminal filings against Dickerson stretch over a decade and include burglary, firearms offences, drug trafficking, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and kidnap. In 2006 he was sentenced to one year behind bars for a drug trafficking conviction.”

Shaun King, a reporter at the New York Daily News, noticed the same thing. The story of the young boy who was in danger of being killed by a gorilla became a race issue. But King listed several examples of how similar incidents weren’t cursed with the problem for obvious reasons:

Last year, a child fell into the cheetah exhibit at the Cleveland Zoo. The child and his parents were never identified.

A leopard mauled a young child who scaled a fence at the Kansas Zoo. Not a single report mentioned the criminal history of anyone involved.

In 2014, two jaguars mauled a toddler who fell into the jaguar exhibit of the Little Rock Zoo. The child’s identity, the identity of his parents, and their criminal history was never mentioned.

Fifteen years ago a child fell into another gorilla exhibit and was rescued. The criminal history of the parents was never mentioned.

At the Pittsburgh Zoo, a child lunged from his mother’s arms into the African spotted dog exhibit and was mauled to death. The zoo actually settled a wrongful death suit with the family. I searched all morning to see if any media outlets mentioned the criminal history of the family. They didn’t.

A tiger at the San Francisco Zoo mauled a 17-year-old boy to death. A drunk family member was witnessed taunting the tiger beforehand. The zoo settled with the family. Again, not a single story was written on the criminal history of anybody in that young man’s family.

Of course, the good people at Fox & Friends couldn’t wait to sink their fangs into this story, ready to blame the dad for the incident and address his past criminal charges.

It should be noted that the child’s father wasn’t even at the zoo when this happened. Yet, Collins, the Daily Mail and Fox News wanted to not only bring up Dickerson, but also wanted to advertise the man’s mistakes. But, as King puts it, Dickerson has a descent job and appears to be a loving father. But, of course, that part doesn’t matter for today’s “journalism”.

News stories like this only serve the racist mindframe where black lives are demonized. How many times have black people been murdered, especially at the hands of cops, and there’s always some reporter – usually a white one – who instantly tries to dig up their criminal past or drug history, if one is there? (Sometimes they’ll sink low enough to create false images of the victims to make them appear ‘thuggish’, deserving of death.) The same is done here. Only no one thankfully died in this incident. Still, the call to uncover some dirt on the victims was answered. It’s a practice to devalue black lives.

And people wonder why some folks hate the media.


13 thoughts on “How the Gorilla Incident Became an Issue of Racism

  1. You know what’s funny? White people have for the longest while compared us to monkeys and gorillas yet they are suddenly grieved by the death of a gorilla… Which is why their hypocrisy must constantly be called out. They are the biggest supporters of animal rights and make the most noise when animals are killed, yet more than half of the World’s animal population is either extinct or on the endangered list because of WHITE PEOPLE…. Boy these people make me so mad. If this had been a white child and the child had died they would’ve been screaming for the animal’s head. We even had full-blooded bonfire racists on certain article pages saying that the mother and child should have been shot instead… You cannot expect any better from white people….

    1. The irony is the Harambe himself is a member of an endangered species of Gorilla, and not one of these damn fools calling for the parents to be punished, has ever lifted a finger, said boo, or signed a petition, to protect the very endangered species from which Harambe came.

      Most of the people calling for the mother’s head, over this precious snowflake named Harambe, probably didn’t even know what kind of gorilla he was, or that he was even endangered, but when graced with an opportunity to be give in the to their better natures, or vilify black people, look what side many of them choose.

      You’re right, I know longer even e pe to white people to try to do better. I go into every situation online now expecting them to be complete and utter a**holes. Now, I’m actually surprised when they’re not.

  2. No mention I see of the initial claims it was a white child and the #BLM people piled on saying they would have let the child die if he had been black. Disingenuous and Hypocritical but you always have been.

  3. I’m going to re-blog this because your argument is supported by the links that you provide. The Father’s ‘history’ is irrelevant to the event. His crimes have nothing to do with the fact that his son’s life was in danger and that in this country, as barbaric as we now are, we still value human life over animals.

    Right wing media is playing it’s game of guilt by association on two fronts: the child’s life is unworthy because the Father is unworthy and by accusing the Mother of neglect right wing media is also playing the lazy black Mother card.

    I think that what we see in our media is filtered through a haze of propaganda that is designed specifically to divide progressives. How convenient is it to this system of for profit brutality for Animal Rights Activists to be at odds with Black Lives Matter?

    We must be very careful at this particular moment because the right has much to lose if progressives successfully unite.

  4. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    When do we stop letting conservative media manipulate our hatreds? How is this headline from the Daily Mail relevant to the fact that the boy’s life was in danger?

    “Parents-of-four whose son fell into zoo enclosure sparking killing of Harambe the gorilla as it emerges father has a lengthy criminal history – including kidnap and drug trafficking”

    If the Father had no criminal history would anything be different?

    My question is this: What do you think?

  5. For some reason..I felt that the kid’s parents were either Black or a mixed couple. I just looked at the Father’s name and though I’ve seen White people with his name..I just knew that he was Black. Secondly, remember those code words/ statements. Only do White people question Black people’s parenting skills though the same came be brought up about the White parents whose kids endured the same accidents and lastly , never in Zoo history have a parents background ever been brought up..until now.Yep..they can deny it all theory want but we know them better than they know themselves.

    What does the kids father past have to do with that child’s accident absolutely nothing.He wasn’t even there when it happened. Its really sad and evil how much disregard how those protestors have for that gorilla than that child. In prefer for animals to live like humans but I’m not going to lie..if that was my child in that kids come first before any animal..even if I have to attempt to get them myself. Let it hasppen to their kids and see will they talk that crap coming from their hypocritical mouth.

    I find it ironic some people have mentioned on other blogs how they call us monkeys yet when it comes to the real deal.. we’re now human beings! and if they loved Harambee and other monkeys and chimpanzees so much ..why do they feel that its OK to have him caged? Man..White society can be something else.

  6. For me it became racial when they talked about the father’s rap sheet that had nothing to do with the little boy falling in the gorilla enclosure. The media always is the culprit.

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