Too much of America is having a disgraceful, psychotic meltdown in response to the highly regrettable killing of a gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo, after a 4-year-old boy scrambled into the gorilla enclosure.
There’s just no excuse for being so intemperate and foolish. In a perfect world, no one who has so little sense of perspective would be allowed to feed and dress himself unattended, much less vote, own property, or borrow money.
But getting right to the headline point: yes, folks, Twitter went mad after the event with Tweeps blaming “white privilege” for the gorilla’s demise.
James Delingpole over at Breitbart London found some choice examples.
That gorilla was taken from it's homeland, put in captivity, and then killed to preserve White life. That sounds familiar.
— Isa Ibn (@IsaIbnOfficial) May 29, 2016
The problem, of course, is that the boy is black.
Wait a minute so you guys spent all day talking about white parenting practices & the gorilla boy is black? Oh boy lol.
— EdAsante (@EdAsante77) May 29, 2016
That’s evident in the amateur video coverage of him in the enclosure with the gorilla; it’s also apparent in a family photo from Facebook, which has been posted elsewhere on the web since the gorilla was killed.
So if the “white privilege” angle falls apart, surely hysterics can make something of the “sock it to the parents” angle. Not one but at least two Change.org petitions (here and here) have been started to have Michelle Gregg, the mother of the 4-year-old, investigated by child protective services. There may be more of them.
In neither case do the petitions’ initiators have first-hand knowledge of the particulars of the situation. (One of the petitioners is in Florida.) They are in no position to judge what happened — or what is being done about it, for that matter.
They’re simply having sanctimonious tantrums and looking to punish someone, make them hurt, and assuage their own feelings. That isn’t what our concept of “justice” is about.
For what it’s worth, one of the closest actual eyewitnesses to the incident says Michelle Gregg wasn’t neglectful by any standard, and merits no punishment.
It sounds from here like the zoo may need to rethink the perimeter of its gorilla enclosure. Apparently a 4-year-old can fit through the railing and scurry through bushes to get into it.
But I don’t think the zoo authorities need me to tell them to go into that thoroughly. And they can be held accountable if they don’t. If I were on the city council, and they said “No” when I asked them if they’d reviewed their perimeter security measures, I wouldn’t want to hear anything else. Go away, zoo people, and come back when you’ve done your job. Here’s the date I expect an answer on.
Then again, maybe the lethal shooting can be second-guessed by experts. I’m not one, and have never experienced the sudden onset of expertise so many seem to have out there in our multifarious public.
An alternative reaction that’s at least rational, if unpopular, might be deciding not to have gorilla enclosures or even zoos anymore. I don’t endorse that idea, but it at least makes sense, and doesn’t require setting upon your fellow men with torches and pitchforks.
You know what? The time has come for calling it out as inhuman and deranged, to caterwaul over a gorilla and want an ordinary mother to have her life, and her children’s, ruined by the fury of a mob, because of suppositions the mob has no first-hand knowledge of.
It’s not just that it’s a gorilla. It’s that the people the self-righteous mob wants to go after are human beings, and yes, treating them right ought to be our first priority. You want to undo that moral mandate, we’ll start with you, and nobody else.
The local authorities so far aren’t charging the mother, and I haven’t seen that they’ve sicced child services on her. If you want a mission for child services, get them to do a better job of intervening when they are well aware that little children are being horrifically abused at home.