As you surely know, officials at the Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed Harambe the gorilla Saturday. They had absolutely no choice after a 3-year-old boy fell into Harambe’s pen and was in mortal danger.
But as you may not know, 69 human beings were shot in Chicago over the three-day Memorial Day weekend. Six of them died.
There has been plenty of hand-wringing about Harambe the loveable ape. Americans flooded Facebook and Twitter, many expressing deep disgust at the zookeepers and the toddler’s parents.
Have you noticed a similar outcry about Chicago, where some young men spent Memorial Day weekend being memorialized?
Of course not.
According to one analysis, network news programs devoted 54 times more coverage to the gorilla than they did to the Chicago carnage.
Part of this is perfectly understandable. The media went ape because the zoo incident was a very rare and thus newsworthy ‘man bites dog’ story. In this case, it was a ‘gorilla threatens boy’ story.
Meanwhile, many Americans view the mayhem in Chicago as old news.
The Chicago Tribune actually keeps a running tally of the violence, kind of like a box score for the Cubbies. The latest stats show that 1,500 people were shot in the city thus far in 2016 and Chicago is on pace to easily eclipse last year’s brutality.
A few things go without saying. First, the vast majority of the shooting victims are young black men living in neighborhoods where many white folks fear to tread.
Second, most of those victims, and their assailants, grew up in single-parent homes that are frequently chaotic.
Third, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials will blame guns while avoiding family breakdown and other tough-to-talk-about issues.
Finally, Black Lives Matter will be absolutely, totally, conspicuously silent. Until, of course, some white cop shoots a black person, justifiably or not. That will bring the BLM roaches out of the woodwork, where they await the next opportunity to bash cops.
As an aside, can you imagine the uproar if Harambe had killed that 3-year-old black boy because zoo officials declined to kill the ape? We would be hearing endlessly that America, irredeemably racist to its very core, values the life of a gorilla more than that of a black child.
Memorial Day is over and summer is here. We can predict with certainty that Chicago will continue to be plagued with more violence than New York, Los Angeles, and most other major U.S. cities. And we can predict with even more certainty that self-proclaimed progressives will blame guns.
As the Geico commercial says, ‘that’s what they do!’
There was a particularly sad exposition on The Factor this week when two veteran Chicago media types joined the fray. One of them blamed Chicago’s ‘segregation’ and predictably declared, ‘You’ve got too many guns on the streets.’ The other guest denounced Chicago’s ‘racism’ and blamed budget cuts and a lack of resources.
C’mon, people, please get real!
The killings in Chicago are beyond infuriating, they are an outrage against humanity and decency and morality.
So forget about Harambe, the deceased 450-pound gorilla. As one of The Factor guests pithily reminded everyone, ‘We’ve got a gorilla in Chicago, and the gorilla in Chicago is violence.’
Unlike officials in other cities, Chicago politicians and police have been unwilling or unable to slay that metaphorical gorilla. The time has come for new leadership, beginning with the ultra-incompetent mayor.
So why not do the right thing, Mayor Emanuel? Your good pals at Goldman Sachs have a plush leather seat waiting for you. We hear the hours are good and the pay is extravagant. Beyond that, you’ll be doing a huge favor to the good people of Chicago.