Well, once again, authorities have shot and killed an unarmed black male, and everyone is in an uproar.
This just has to stop. The uproar, that is.
Because what were the folks at the Cincinnati Zoo supposed to do? I’m speaking now about the week’s top news story: the slaughter of an innocent gorilla named Harambe who was protecting a young human child…or about to kill it…or thinking about raising it himself.
Talk about a no-win situation. If the zoo folks don’t shoot the gorilla and the kid gets hurt, they’re the ones who’ll get killed in the media. And they’ve already dismissed a trank gun as the solution because it wouldn’t take effect for a few minutes, and, in the meantime, you’d have a very angry ape with a small child dangling from its hand.
“Oh, Harambe was just trying to protect the child,” come the cries. Possibly, but even if that’s so, what if protecting the child entailed hiding him under water or tossing him up into a tree? Meanwhile, Harambe is not announcing his intentions and he’s one powerful swing away from splattering the enclosure’s walls with the kid’s guts.
They say there are two sides to every story, but that’s not true of this one. This one has three sides. There are those who think the zoo was wrong, those who think the zoo was right, and those who think it’s the kid’s mother who should be shot.
And, sure, it’s easy to say she was negligent. But I speak from personal experience when I say that it is simply not possible to keep an eye on a 4-year-old every second. If there’s a witness that says the mother was texting at the time, that’s one thing. But a bystander told reporters that mom was “distracted by the other children with her.” I can’t find any references as to how many other children there were, but it’s plural, so there must have been at least two. Besides gorilla boy, that is.
Therefore, if the mother is guilty of anything, it’s stupidity. Who takes three or more kids to the zoo by herself? You just know something bad is going to happen. Probably not a thrilla with gorilla, but you have to expect at the very least that one of the kids will trip and fall while chasing a squirrel.
By the time your son is four years old, if you’ve learned anything about parenting, it has to be that kids are suicidal. That is why they’re always leaping off four-foot high dressing tables and sticking their heads through crib bars. I mean, if humans represent evolution at its highest point, shouldn’t there be a certain amount of innate survival instinct? You don’t see baby birds plummeting out of their nests as soon as mommy’s back is turned, do you?
There is also the issue of accessibility. Perhaps it is too easy to get into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Here in the New York Metro area, where we know how to handle gorillas, the exhibit at the Bronx Zoo is completely enclosed with (hopefully) shatterproof glass, so that you can get a great selfie with a great ape and yet be in no danger whatsoever, unless the gorilla was making an obscene gesture at you and you didn’t notice until after you posted the photo on Facebook. Then you’d be in danger of being embarrassed.
The thing is, the Cincinnati kid didn’t accidentally tumble into the gorilla enclosure. He “went under the rail, through wires and over the moat wall.”
Which means the whole episode is clearly the kid’s fault.
And him they could have used the trank gun on.
See you soon.