Our most recent editorial, published on October 3, garnered a substantial number of community responses, including allegations of racism due to the fact that the editorial pointed out the anti-Black implications of the Harambe vigil and meme. We want to reaffirm our stance and make clear that drawing attention to and denouncing racism is not the same as perpetuating it.
However, the language in the editorial was unclear, and we should have emphasized that the idea that the Harambe meme is anti-Black is not ours. The Daily’s editorial board is comprised of mainly non-Black editors, who cannot speak for the Black community, and we should have acknowledged that concerns over the meme’s connotations have been raised in other media by numerous Black writers and activist groups.
The Daily has an anti-oppressive mandate to report on issues concerning people with marginalized identities, and critique unequal distributions of power. However, this does not mean we know everything about anti-oppression; we recognize that it is a process that requires constant self-awareness and growth. We appreciate and plan to use the constructive criticism that we’ve received to ensure that our editorials are more clearly written and contextualized in the future. We encourage readers to read the resources, written predominantly by Black people, that we consulted while writing the editorial.
“Harambe Isn’t The Perfect Meme—It’s A Racist One” by Kasai Rex.
“Your favorite Harambe memes are racist. It’s time to stop using them.” by Charles Pulliam-Moore.
Podcast: “The Black Girl Dangerous Podcast 6.6.16: This Is Why We Need Our Own Media: Harambe Coverage & Roots”