College Bans Harambe Jokes For Being 'Direct Attack' On The Black Community

by Alexandra Svokos

It's no big secret the world can't get enough of Harambe jokes.

But RAs at the University of Massachusetts are taking a stand against them.

No, it's not because the school is super bored of this meme. It's because it has racist implications on the UMass campus.

The university has a bunch of "Defined Residential Communities," or hallways in dorms that are centered around certain themes or identities.

One of those "DRC" floors is called "Harambee," which is a Swahili word for "the pulling together point." The school says,

This community is designed to support students who are of African descent, identify within the African Diaspora and/or wish to learn more about African culture and celebrate different African Diaspora cultures.

Obviously, this floor now has some new problems from the student body.

RAs sent out a letter to students telling them to refrain from making Harambe jokes.

The RAs said Harambe jokes on campus "will be seen as a direct attack to our campus's African-American community."

They asked students specifically to stop making these comments on their whiteboards.

Although it might sound ridiculous, this request does make sense given the history of Harambe at the University of Massachusetts.

It's not totally out of the bounds of reality to imagine a member of the Harambee DRC seeing a Harambe joke on a whiteboard and thinking it's about the community. That could be extremely alienating to a member of that community.

Not to mention, humanity can be terrible, and it's not hard to imagine people making Harambe jokes about the DRC.

The letter from the RAs goes on to say,

To be very clear: using popularize[d] phrases/hashtags which encourage the exposition of body parts runs the risk of being reported as a Title IX incident. These are sexual assault incidences that not only get reported to Community Standards, but also to the Dean of Students.

Title IX is the amendment that protects discrimination based on sex at schools. Campus sexual assault cases, for instance, are Title IX cases.

Basically, the RAs are warning students that "dicks out for Harambe" will be seen as a form of sexual harassment.

Again, this may sound ridiculous, and as funny as "dicks out" sounds, actually having a dick out can be a form of sexual assault and harassment.

Honestly, it sounds like these RAs are just trying to prevent any incidents of misunderstandings from escalating. That's not a bad move. People, especially college students, tend to be assholes. May as well try to lessen that as much as possible.

But then again, this will probably increase the instances of whiteboard Harambe jokes because, again, people are assholes, and this letter will be seen as a troll instigator. Yay, humanity!

Citations: UMass, Metro