Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sometimes A Gorilla Is Just A Gorilla


So I almost feel like I should send this to Snopes to check out if it is real or not.  But I do follow a lot of kids on social media and I do know there's a sort of morbid fascination with Harambe these days, so maybe it's legit.


Click to enlarge/read
 Those damn "micro aggressions"

If so:   Yikes!

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is 2016, they're working on making the entire world a ball pit, and it will be air conditioned so the little snowflakes don't melt.

Anonymous said...

What business is this of yours?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should send those RA'S down to Townhouse

Anonymous said...

Forget Scopes, send it to Drudge.

This is a new low,even for Planet umASS.

Larry Kelley said...

Well, to be fair, it looks like it is promulgated by these two RAs and not a blanket policy at UMass/AMHERST.

Anonymous said...

And since it obviously was, it's not wrothy of it being a news item.

Anonymous said...

Larry, two RAs are like two APD Officers -- neither does something like this without approval of the Brass.

You could, of course, ask Queen Enku to formally (and publicly) repudiate this, but don't hold your breath.

But Larry,UMass is responsible for what it's RAs do.

Anonymous said...

Love how the UMassHachs are trying to silence this.

Anonymous said...

Ed, you don't go to UMass anymore. Although it did take you two decades to get through it.

Anonymous said...

It took ed two decades and a lot of our money!

Anonymous said...

Larry, I just got a query from DC on this -- wanting to know my guess on the "Syc-3" which I'm guessing is Sycamore Dormitory, one of the new ComCol ones.

And Larry, that went out as a Chancellorspam email to the residents -- it had to be approved by the administrator who actually sent it.

Steven Brewer said...

A moment with google image search (search for "harambe meme") will show you that there is a strongly racial component to many of the memes being created.

I think it's a good heads-up message to students to both provide them with some context and help them recognize that that the UMass community is more diverse than their own insular communities may have been. It's a particularly important year to help students become aware of these issues because the level of discourse in the presidential race has seemingly emboldened many racists to say out loud what has been spoken only as "dog-whistle politics" for years.

This message is a bit like someone saying "Hey. You know that cool shirt you're wearing? The ideogram on it means 'ignorant'. You might not want to wear that."

Words matter. It's our job to help students learn what they mean.

Anonymous said...

They should care half as much about aborted humans. Enough with the Africa crap too.

Anonymous said...

Must be a slow news day.

Larry Kelley said...

Perhaps, but it will be a national story in 3,2,1 ...

Anonymous said...

Steve, the lawyers at FIRE disagree with you:

https://www.thefire.org/umass-ras-are-not-amused-by-your-harambe-memes/

I think her last line is most relevant.

Anonymous said...

Zero...

Anonymous said...

"Faucets on for Hurambe."

Anonymous said...

It's made Drudge -- on the left, just under the masthead.

Anonymous said...

I must be getting old. Had to google what is Harambe. And what is meme (turns out is pronounced "meem" not "meemee").

Now I just need to know why I should care.

Larry Kelley said...

Because it erodes the First Amendment.

Larry Kelley said...

So now Harambe did not die in vain.

Anonymous said...

"Because it erodes the First Amendment. "

As well as the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
And Larry, you quite likely saved that poor kid from an ACT lynching.

Anonymous said...

Larry, this just made Howie Carr's show.

Anonymous said...

Right back to those pious days when " Good society " denied humans were animals - oh - wait - same difference - Christianity masquerading as " Politically Correct " Come again ???!!!

Anonymous said...

I was more struck by the ban on encouraging the "exposition of body parts"
I guess deep vocabulary isn't a requirement to be an RA

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTBftExjXuU

Nina Koch said...

So Larry, is it your contention that the poster you included here is not racist?

Anonymous said...

FIRE put it best: "One last word of advice to colleges: If you want to see a phrase everywhere on campus, the best thing you can do is tell students they’ll be punished for using it."

Larry Kelley said...

Better yet Nina, why don't you explain to us why its racist? (I for one have never been fond of SpongeBob).

Anonymous said...

Nina has taken her tin foil hat, made it into a ball, and hit it out of the park with her whacko comment this time around. No wonder why this town is so fucked up. Look at what kind of people who live here and their core beliefs. Racist? Is she fucking nuts? It's like looking at The Mona Lisa and saying clearly it's a woman who hates blacks. Just makes no sense at all. Then again, most of what she says makes no sense at all, so at least she's consistent.

Anonymous said...

Who is Nina?

Who is Howie Carr?

Nina Koch said...

One of the reasons that it's difficult to have discussions about race is that many people think in terms of intention. I didn't intend to say something racist, thus it's not racist. But most racism is, I believe, unintentional. Often, it comes from the establishment of certain associations.

When you put a picture of a gorilla next to a word that is associated with black people, you are establishing an association between gorillas and black people. You are suggesting that black people are less than human. Note that the student interviewed by the Gazette stated that he has heard quite a few comments in his life that refer to an association between primates and black people. Commenters on Fox News will call Obama "The Great Chimp." It's dehumanizing.

I now understand that Harambe is the name of the gorilla who was killed at the zoo in Ohio. But the picture in your poster doesn't look anything like that gorilla. It's a cartoonish generic gorilla holding another cartoon character (both rather poorly drawn). It didn't make me think about Cincinnati at all and I didn't remember that Harambe was the name of that gorilla. I didn't spend my summer looking at adolescent social media. I just know that Harambe is a word in Swahili, the name of a song, and the name of a TV show -- all things connected to black culture. So to me, I just saw the association of the gorilla with black people.

You may say, "But I didn't mean to make that association." You probably didn't. But that's my point about intention. Cultural artifacts like a poster exist in a context. Whether you intend it or not, people will make interpretations. Having awareness means thinking ahead about what something will mean to other people. Then you can decide whether you care about those interpretations.

People might be interested in taking the Implicit Association test:

Project Implicit

Implicit association research is now being introduced into police training programs:

Police Chief Magazine

This research helps you to see that you can have biases whether you intend to or not.

Larry Kelley said...

As I said Nina, sometimes a gorilla is just a gorilla.

Even if he doesn't look anything like Harambe.

Nina Koch said...

I think you totally missed my point. Or maybe you just prefer to think in absolute terms.

In any case, the entire posting is pretty dismissive. When you say

Those damn "micro aggressions"

it's like you're talking about swatting flies. You're not showing any empathy for what it's like to live in someone else's skin.

Larry Kelley said...

Hey at least I knew who the hell Harambe was before I opened my big mouth in my usual dismissive way.

Anonymous said...

Nina is why Amherst needs a dunking pond.

Anonymous said...

Nina, while you are doing research you might want to look up the difference between Harambe and harambee.
The jokes about the former have nothing to do with the latter.

Anonymous said...

I think Nina is showing great shallowness when it comes to the death of a Gorilla. Given how endangered they are I would expect her to give the situation more Importance! How did she even know to be offended? I value a Gorilla over micro-aggressions.