Now that the photos of Deonne Dickerson and Michelle Gregg have been released online, the parents of the 4-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure are receiving lots of online hate, as reported by the Inquisitr. Even the young boy himself is the target of some online comments that propose death to the trio of people.
As reported by Cincinnati.com, the parents have received indirect death threats on social media, with the most common death threat usually reflecting posts that claim the parents should have been shot instead of Harambe the gorilla. Such indirect death threats might be tweeted in anger. However, backlash like that can translate into hate speech.
A simple scroll through search terms like “kill the parents” and “shoot the parents” on Facebook turns up Facebook posts from people who write that the parents and the 4-year-old boy should have been shot to death instead of the gorilla. Such hate speech does no favors for those who are seeking “Justice for Harambe” via petitions and a Facebook page with more than 100,000 followers, as reported by the Inquisitr.
On the website of the Mirror, plenty of social media screenshots can be viewed from folks urging the death of the parents, writing things that all sum up the notion that the parents deserved death more than the gorilla.
It was the same type of response that occurred when Cecil the lion was killed by Walter Palmer, as reported by the Daily Mail. Palmer was a dentist who was forced to hire armed guards after receiving death threats when the story of him shooting and killing the beloved lion went viral.
On Twitter, a search for “gorilla parents” turns up a plethora of responses, with folks on either side of the melee voicing their opinions on the matter. One bright spot in the tragic death of Harambe is that zoo officials reported that the gorilla’s sperm was extracted, and therefore Harambe has the opportunity to still become a father, even after his untimely death.
How long do gorillas typically live? Approximately 35 to 40 years, with the oldest gorilla living in a zoo until that gorilla was 55 years of age, reports Berg Gorilla. With Harambe shot to death at only 17 years of age, the gorilla likely had several decades left to live.
Meanwhile, the calls for justice for Harambe are morphing into direct hate speech and death threats by some extremists. While some argue that the father’s previous criminal history has nothing to do with the death of the gorilla, others are spouting racist comments online and threats that seem to go beyond concern for the welfare of the beloved animal that was Harambe.
A sampling of the variety of comments appear below.
“I am deeply disturbed by the many attacks on the parents whose child fell into the gorilla cage.”
“Punishing the parents isn’t going to bring the gorilla back or send a message just like death sentences don’t curb murder rates.”
“Shoot the parents, not the gorilla. I hope they are prosecuted!”
“Really though, don’t shoot the gorilla. Shoot the parents and let the kid grow up Tarzan-like.”
“Don’t know the specifics that led to that boy getting into the gorilla enclosure, but *gasp* sometimes even good parents lose track of a kid.”
“The real question is…….. where were the gorilla’s parents?”
“Let’s all cut gorilla pit mom some slack. My parents haven’t taken me to the zoo in years.”
[Photo by AP Photo/John Minchillo]