At this point, you know all about Harambe. You know the story about how, this past May, a seventeen-year-old lowland gorilla named Harambe, who lived at the Cincinnati Zoo, was shot and killed to save a toddler who had fallen into his enclosure. You know about the internet-based outrage this prompted. And, naturally, you know about the meme–which mimicked the fury felt by many animal rights activists following the event–that was born out of it. I mean, of course you know about the meme, because it’s basically impossible not to be intimately familiar with Harambe and its many variations. You’ve seen the tweets. Perhaps you’ve glanced at the Homer Simpson-Harambe fan fiction (which I will not be linking to, for modesty reasons). You’ve read the think pieces. And now, I would argue, it is time for the meme to be put to rest. (Like Harambe himself, I guess.)
Now, is writing (another) post about the meme, in which I individually highlight each of its variants that have brought me the greatest personal pain, the worst way to go about ending it? Probably! Still, it is about the only thing I can do right now, as doing nothing in response to the many tribute songs and motivational Harambe posters crafted by try-hard teachers, feels, frankly, irresponsible. So, check out these times that people just straight-up abused the Harambe meme:
When Harambe is a better teacher than my highschool teachers pic.twitter.com/dJWXC3FKiF
— Houtarou Oreki (@Rios_Evalle) September 1, 2016
2. This is a place…for BABIES:
Harambe lives on. pic.twitter.com/bByBFXa93o
— Tiffany Nogoy (@tifnog) August 22, 2016
my teacher has harambe on his elbow. pic.twitter.com/hn6ypzQsv3
— daira (@dairugh) September 8, 2016
5. Get Harambe out of my school system!!
we had to explain to my world history teacher who harambe was pic.twitter.com/7GqSWbMIcw
— yuri pope (@KUR0SAWAS) August 11, 2016
6. And out of this Fairfax County School Board member, who wants you all to know that he is just like you–a fellow kid:
The first day of school is rough, but it's nothing compared to what Harambe experienced. Let's dedicate this one to Harambe.
— Ryan McElveen (@RyanLMcElveen) September 6, 2016
When every school copies your Harambe poster. pic.twitter.com/AJT0qaYAiS
— 7'12 (@dylanlewis05) September 4, 2016
8. What…is this?
9. This is a clear abuse of the trust Google Maps puts in their users!!
A Cincinnati high school football team's mascot honored Harambe by dragging a child around the field pic.twitter.com/0PGg2AVnY9
— Allahu Akbar (@SavageJihad) August 30, 2016
11. This might be a good time to mention that Martin Shkreli–one of the most objectively-hated people in the world–is a proponent of the Harambe meme, which is as clear-cut an example of meme abuse I’ve ever seen:
Has He Risen?
Zoo Staff Find Harambe’s Tomb Empty https://t.co/SFrSzjSQ7n
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) August 23, 2016
12. Here’s a Harambe conspiracy theory, if you’re into that kind of thing:
13. What about tribute songs?
so these kids at my school did a tribute song to harambe pic.twitter.com/mUikaxuMJs
— em (@nicoapologist) September 7, 2016
14. Perhaps I can interest you in a…white boy rap song?
THIS RAPS FOR MY HOMIE HARAMBE pic.twitter.com/ZgpRNpidmO
— Hi-Rez (@HiRezTheRapper) August 23, 2016
15. *screams into faceless void* STOP THE SEXUALIZATION OF GORILLAS AGENDA:
16. It’s over. It’s done. No one can save you now:
HARAMBE IS BACK AT SCHOOL but horribly misspelled. pic.twitter.com/acX8xuxt9r
— James Justus (@james_justus) August 26, 2016
What do you think of the Harambe meme? Do you also think it’s time for it to end, or are you still here for it? Let us know in the comments!