How weird is it that in 2016, Americans are actually debating gorilla versus little kid?
Granted, arguing one side or the other is a very twenty-teens thing to do. It’s got all the right stuff for a good old social media knock-down, drag-out. And while gorilla lovers invoke everything from pseudo-science to racism – yes, some say it was racist for the zoo to have killed Harambe – in order to find fault with the Cincinnati Zoo, causing little kid lovers to explode in predictable outrage, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
What does it say about our culture that people would actually engage in a debate that weighs the worth of a gorilla’s life against that of a human being? Not just any human being though, a child?
Certainly over the past several years we’ve crossed many cultural thresholds most never thought we’d venture near. Where it’s taken us isn’t a good place.
In 2016 we look towards Washington DC for guidance on which bathrooms people ought to use. (For the record, over the Memorial Day weekend I drove to North Carolina and stopped at two public rest areas in that state; the bathrooms were unimpressive and certainly weren’t worth national attention).
In 2016 safe zones aren’t an abstract idea but are real, physical manifestations designed to limit free expression on college campuses where free expression should be commonplace.
In 2016, those who protest “white privilege” largely back a geriatric from Vermont whose Presidential campaign promises to bring Venezuelan socialism to America. Argue against it? You must be a racist. Or you’re spending too much time on pesky right-wing media and their coverage of the Jim Jones-style fiasco emanating from Caracas.
In 2016 Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Jon Stewart, and all the rest routinely commit the most egregious assaults against honesty and equality, get caught red handed doing it, and then soldier on as “respected” member of the mainstream media.
In 2016, school districts actually hold the modern day equivalent of book burnings to ensure children don’t learn the “wrong” ideas about climate change while a state legislator denounces the Declaration of Independence as a “racist” document.
In 2016 activism is treated as a legitimate occupation, and it pays much more than $15 and hour.
And now, we debate gorilla versus little kid. Even as thousands of kids are killed each year in abortion clinics, most of them black. Many of the black children that aren’t aborted die before their time is due because of black on black crime. Their deaths will generate no outrage across social media.
But gorilla versus little kid will.
Who are we? And where the hell are we headed?
Image: Screen shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBeVfQtSD2k