Clemson Says Harambe Memes ‘Promote Rape Culture’

Cincinnati Zoo/Handout via Reuters

Annabel Scott Contributor
Font Size:

Clemson University will not stand for anymore Harambe the gorilla memes.

Resident Advisors at the university have recently been instructed to have all students remove any reference of Harambe from their dorm windows and hallways. In an email to RAs, a Clemson administrator claims the memes of the late gorilla not only “add to rape culture” but can also be “a form of racism.”

“Harambe should not be displayed in a public place or a place that is viewed by the public,” the administrator writes in the email obtained by Campus Reform. “We are no longer allowing any reference to Harambe (or any other spelling) to be displayed on doors, halls, billboards, or windows.”

In a separate email obtained by Campus Reform, an RA explains that if students don’t remove all Harambe memes by September 30, “the individual/individuals will get in some trouble!”

The instructions for the removal of all memes comes after an allegedly “malicious Harambe meme” was posted referencing a certain student, Campus Reform reports.

“If residents are asking why they have to take them down you can share that there was a report from an individual about a meme being offensive and bias in nature and as a result all Harambe references are no longer allowed within our community,” writes another RA in an email to students.

In response to a student email questioning the meme ban, Clemson Graduate Community Director Brooks Artis wrote, “my hopes are that you are being inclusive in your words, whichever you choose to say, so that you are not reported to OCES or Title IX for using bias language against someone.”

Artis also explains that although students are banned from displaying Harambe memes publically in the dorms, Clemson is forbidding the verbal use of the gorilla’s name. “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.”

This meme ban isn’t the first time Clemson administration has played PC police.

Last year, balloons, sombreros, and tacos at a dining hall’s “Maximum Mexican” themed night left two students feeling oh-so-offended. The university, in response to the students’ claim of cultural insensitivity, released an apology for the “offensive” fiesta.