The Internet Is Confused About Jill Stein’s Harambe Tweet
It's been three months since the Cincinnati Zoo killed Harambe the gorilla after a four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure. But people have had trouble forgetting and letting go of the incident, calling for justice for Harambe. People have taken to Twitter — as they generally do in these situations — to express their continued concern over the zoo's actions. And things just got a bit weirder. On Aug. 28, the three-month anniversary of his death, Green Party candidate Jill Stein tweeted a strange tribute to Harambe. And the internet lost it, obviously, promptly expressing confusion about her message.
Stein's tweet read, "The killing of Harambe 3 months ago today reminds us to be a voice for the voiceless," and she shared with a photo of the late gorilla along with a statement on the incident. Stein's statement touched on animal rights activism and the necessity to protect the legal rights of animals everywhere.
Her statement suggests, "Non human primates should have the legal right to live freely or, when necessary, in sanctuaries only for medical rehabilitation or ecological assistance for endangered species." Stein also called animal captivity for entertainment "ethically wrong and fundamentally exploitive." Well, the internet saw Stein's tweet, and they have spoken.
Some people were supportive of Stein's attempt to reach out to the animal rights community:
Some suggested that Stein's post was a reaction to Harambe polling ahead of her in Texas in July, when she was polling at two percent and Harambe was polling at five percent:
Others thought it a very obvious attempt to reach millennial voters:
And others suggested that she get back to real issues, questioned whether Harambe was really the "voiceless" whom politicians should be representing, and made an important connection between Harambe jokes and Black Lives Matter. Some also questioned why Stein pressed the issue further rather than acknowledge the four-year-old who fell into Harambe's habitat:
No one knows what Stein's intention was with her Harambe post, but she definitely caused a stir over the internet's latest meme obsession. Clearly, no one was ready for Stein to comment. But her post, of course, opened the floor to some more Harambe jokes:
People were definitely surprised by Stein's statement, to say the least, and they didn't know how to respond to her call to give a voice to the "voiceless." I personally can't help but find a very clear connection between Stein's "voiceless" statement and the rhetoric of the pro-life movement. But I digress.