Clemson University bans Harambe memes for promoting racism, rape culture

Clemson University bans Harambe memes for promoting racism, rape culture

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson University is putting the kibosh on all public displays of Harambe, the oft-memed gorilla who was shot and killed in the Cincinnati Zoo in May, claiming that his image promotes racism and rape culture.

In an email obtained by Campus Reform, Clemson Graduate Community Director Brooks Artis informed resident advisors that "We are no longer allowing any reference to Harambe (or any other spelling) to be displayed on doors, halls, billboards, or windows."

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"Harambe should not be displayed in a public place or a place that is viewed by the public," the email said.

Artis, who claimed that Harambe memes have been used to "add to rape culture" and can be a "form of racism," said that the announcement was spawned after a Harambe meme was used maliciously toward a student, though he did not get into further detail about that incident.

Artis also threatened that anyone who violated the new rules would "get in some trouble" and may be reported to the Office of Community and Ethical Standards or Title IX for the use of biased language.

"While we are not banning the word, I want to encourage you to think about what you are saying and how someone who may be a different gender, race, culture, or sexuality than you may take the comment," Artis wrote.

The one exception to the Harambe meme display ban, Artis clarified, is in dorm rooms, "where people would have to be invited into the space to see said decoration."