On Harambe, Worst Case Scenarios, And Being Judgmental When The Rainbow Isn't Enough

John Sommers II/Getty Images
John Sommers II/Getty Images

It's my fault, really. "Don't read the comments" (except for at VSB) is pretty much the only way to read articles on mass news sites on-line. Racists and trolls dwell in comments sections when they're not testing glaze at Krispy Kreme.


But I've always been hardheaded, so on each article I've read about the SUPER unfortunate situation at the Cincinnati Zoo where officials had to put down Harambe, the 450 pound silverback gorilla, because somebody's child fell 15 feet into the gorilla moat, I've read the comments that follow. And I've been outright amazed at how fucking ridiculous people are. ESPECIALLY the people with kids.

Let's cut to the chase. It's sad that this animal had to be put down. But it had to be done. People over animals, b. We have no fucking clue what Harambe may or may not have done to that child. The situation itself lasted 1o minutes. Imagine being a parent watching your child effectively living in the wild with a behemoth animal that can literally crush a coconut with his hands for 10 damn minutes. Have you ever tried to do that? You can't do that. It's a wild animal. It's a zoo. I know some of us have this INSANE belief in this country that the lives of animals are more precious than humans, but its simply not true. While man has definitely been an asshole towards nature, the fact is, we run this earth shit. #factsonly

It sucks that this main attraction had to die this way, but it was the only plausible and reasonable solution for each and every reason that the have-something-to-lose zoo officials presented.

But the part that gives me the redass is the people pretending, and yes all of you motherfuckers are pretending, that in NO way, shape, or form could anything remotely "irresponsible" happen to you and your brood.

Get. The. Fuck. Over. Your. Selves.

For those of you without kids, do you know what parenting really is all about? Especially up to, say, age six? Keeping your kids alive. That's it really. Everything is about making sure they don't get dead. Keeping them from chasing that ball into the street. Making sure they understand to walk on sidewalks. Looking both ways before crossing the street. Not touching the stove. Not walking out the door without a parent. Always holding hands with an adult. ALWAYS walking in front of me so that I can see you, etc.


Parenting is one big ass exercise in survival training. So, yes, the parent of that three-year-old (or four-year-old, I've seen conflicting age reports, though it matters not) should have been paying attention to her kid. Because of course she should. Then again, there's no proof that she wasn't. But you know what else? Kids are fast as fuck, fam. And when they get an idea in their head they get tunnel vision. As somebody with small children, I'm aware of this and its a herculean task. The zoo? The zoo is where you put your skills to the test. If you're one of those parents who put your kids on a leash at the zoo, well, congrats, I get it. You decided to avoid the game altogether and ensure a favorable result. But the rest of us, we spend all of our time looking at and for our kids. But look, nobody is perfect. It is entirely possible to take your eye off your child for a SPLIT second and then feel like you're trying to find fucking Waldo.

Kids are fast and they move quick. In 99 percent of the instances, we eventually locate our children, avert a national calamity (see Harambe) and go on about our lives like usual until the next time we avert a national calamity (see Harambe). But every now and then, we get a calamity (see Harambe). That's what happened here. The absolute (well second to absolute) worst case scenario happened. A child managed to find himself in an enclosure with a wild animal and LUCKILY is alive. We can talk about how that parent should have been looking out for her children. And yes, she should be. But who is to say that she wasn't? All it takes is a split second. And if you're a parent, even the best parent alive, you've definitely taken your eyes off of your child for a second. You have. Shit, half of you people text and drive and that's LITERALLY playing with other people's lives.


And likely, something has happened to your child before that just isn't national news or common knowledge.

True story: back when I was like, 9 or 10, my grandmother took me, my sister, and two of my cousins to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. That place rocks. Well, my grandmother, who was a spry 50 at the time lost my sister. She had four kids with her, and for the vast majority of our trip, she had us all corralled. But somehow, someway, my sister got separated from us. My sister was either 6 or 7 at the time and you can imagine what hell she was going through. My grandmother, however, was going through the worst hell imaginable, something I'm aware of now. Every second feels like an hour. She wasn't being a bad parent, but still my sister got lost. For about 15 minutes we scrambled all over the damn place until somebody came up to us because my grandmother was looking frantic and asked us if we lost a kid.


We were taken to a little house FULL of lost damn kids. This little house had coloring books, a television playing movies, and about 20 kids inside who had been separated from their parents. Even in retrospect I don't think that they're the children of bad and irresponsible parents (some might be), but kids who got away from their parents as kids do that thing that kids do…try to live their own myopic little lives without regard for consequences. Sure, they're scared as fuck once they realize what's happened, but it doesn't change anything. Maybe they won't do THAT thing again (immediately), but they'll go try to defy death in another way.

Chirrens gon' chirren.

Yes, it would be awesome if we could all do a 100 percent perfect job keeping any eye on your children at literally all times and avert any and all catastrophes or even small scale major inconveniences. But its unlikely and unreasonable to think its a possibility. Nobody is perfect. Some of you have dropped babies, accidentally left your kids in the car, or locked yourself out of the house with a child inside. For the record, I've done none of those things which proves I'm a better parent than you are. Right?


The high horsery is ridiculous when it comes to this situation. I'm sure that mother will forever think of what she could have done differently, and luckily she gets to hug her child again. But the result doesn't make her neglectful. There's real neglect happening out here to some children. This was a horrible scenario that thankfully ended with a child being reunited with his mother. I think it sucks that Harambe is dead, you know, as much as a person can who didn't know this particular animal even existed until some people decided he needed justice. But it sucks when any situation ends like this. Everything went wrong.

The death threats the mother has received and calls for her to be investigated by child services are beyond non-sensical. Especially because there are no perfect parents. There's just what the rest of us don't know, just as in any other facet of life. This story got national attention because people think this parent should be somehow held accountable for the loss of the caged animal (a whole different can of worms).


But as people, we have to stop pretending like accidents don't happen. They do. Luckily, most don't end up on the news.

Also, I don't assume she's a bad parent, but even if she was the worst parent known to man, the end result would be the same.


People over animals, b. People over animals.

But more importantly, an accident doesn't make you a bad parent. A STRING of preventable accidents makes you a bad parent. If her kid stays in wild animal enclosures and already knows how to drive a stick shift and thinks Future is the best rapper of all time, sure, somebody needs to call Top Flight Security of The World on her.


Most of us have no idea about her life though.

What we all DO know is that accidents happen, especially with children; rarely should that a reason to call for somebody's head.


And here's the MOST important part: I don't ever expect something like this to happen to me and my children. But I know that it COULD happen. I know what kids are capable of and that its possible to lose track of my child for a second. And by all accounts, I'm a stellar parent and one who cares about my children above anything else. Yet, I know that I can't be everywhere at all times and stories like this do scare me because the shit is possible.

With that in mind, if some shit like this ever happens to my kid, would all of you judgmental assholes please aim and fire at whatever animal is potentially going to tear my child apart limb from limb and judge me afterwards? I'm fine with that.




miss t-lee

I've tried to avoid this topic, but since it won't go away I guess I'll chime in.
What's done is done. Kudos to the staff for doing what needed to be done to keep that child safe. I'm not a huge fan of zoos as it is. However, they did act accordingly. Folks talking about they would've jumped in and gone toe to toe with the gorilla. No, you wouldn't. Stop f*ckin' playing. Have you seen what them thangs can do to other gorillas, much less people? Exactly.
I'm sure the parents are going through enough without all the ridicule I've seen heaped upon them. Folks are even trying to bring up the father's criminal record like that has jack schitt to do with anything. Ugh.