Did Clemson University ban the posting of Harambe photos in their dormitories? The answer is “yes”, although Clemson personnel have been quick to walk that back and the media has been only too happy to assist. Supposedly, Harambe photos are “racist” and “promote rape culture”. And while USA Today might give Clemson a pass because the edict came through in an email, I can tell you from personal experience that defying a “head res” at a university can get you expelled in a hurry. An email from Residence Life has the force of law to a freshman, excuse me, first-year student.
The alert reader will note that there is nothing particularly rape-oriented or racist about discussing a gorilla, so long as you are not directly comparing a biracial sitting president, or his black wife, to a gorilla. (Tt’s not racist at all if the president in question is white, dontcha know.) So why ban Harambe memes or photos?
The answer is simple: Harambe, along with Pepe, is an icon of the alt-right. Posting a Harambe meme can be seen as a silent nod towards the alt-right, the same way that shouting “PEPE!” at the President-Elect is a nonsilent shout-out to the alt-right. The Residence Life staff at Clemson banned Haramabe because they don’t want the alt-right, or even the non-alt-right, to have any voice on the Clemson campus. Plain and simple. Thought police in full effect.
The problem that the Orwellians of the campus left face is this: memes shape-shift too fast to be trapped. If we can’t have Harambe, maybe we can have “Gorilla Munch”. Don’t get your jimmies rustled, you hear?