''Pray for Harambe''
On May 28, 2016, a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla. Fearing for the boy's life, a zoo worker shot and killed Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. A number of primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care.
Harambe did not have a chance in the incident in which the cruelty of the human race was shown. There is no doubt that if Harambe was still alive, he would have won the U.S. elections and ended up being the president we all desired to have.
Harambe was the internet’s first saint, and the perfect meme for 2016. “Harambe the Meme” was immensely complicated. It was peak millennial irony, the height of the internet’s love of mock reverence (see Bone, Kenneth). And at its core, a relentless send-up of the selective outrage of the angry mob — who mourn a gorilla while ignoring human refugees. It was at times both brazenly nihilistic and brilliantly inspired. But you can’t deny that once in awhile, it was really freaking funny. And that’s just where we’re at in 2016. Things don’t quite make sense, perhaps they won’t for a really long time. But despite the darkness, we’re still trying really hard to make each other laugh. And that, as my man Harambe said, is something worth fighting for.
Harambe ended up being the most famous and recognised meme in 2016, and he will be remembered for centuries as one of the greatest gorillas and historical characters.