It has been more than two months since Harambe, a Western lowland gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, got shot while dragging around an insignificant human child. Now one Milwaukee community is striving to ensure that Harambe’s memory, unlike the gorilla himself, doesn’t die.
This afternoon, at the urging of community leaders, Milwaukee’s municipal government passed an ordinance renaming the city’s Harambee neighborhood to Harambe. The move came after weeks of impassioned campaigning from area residents.
“We want the world to know that the people of Milwaukee stand in solidarity with Harambe’s rapidly decomposing carcass,” said Harambe resident Tucker Jackson.
The occasion was marked with a small festival on N. Palmer Street, where people celebrated Harambe’s life by wearing gorilla masks and dragging their own idiot children through the street. Vendors peddled “Make The Gorilla Alive Again” t-shirts and “Harambe 2016” lapel pins. There was even a Harambe-themed poetry reading.
“Roses are red, violets are blue” intoned one amateur poet. “Harambe is dead, and is probably in glue.”
Harambe is located on the north side of Milwaukee and is one of the city’s most culturally vibrant neighborhoods. Originally settled by German immigrants in the mid-1800s, Harambe has been a center of African American culture in Milwaukee for almost a century. The neighborhood now looks poised to embrace a new kind of culture: gorilla.
“We want to put a King Kong-style statue of Harambe dangling a small child on top of the tallest building in the community,” Jackson said. “We’re also looking to get Harambe’s body moved to Harambe. So if you don’t find any remains in his mausoleum in a few weeks…I’ve already said too much.”
While curiosity may have killed the ape, Harambe lives on in the hearts – and memes – of his new neighborhood.