For days now, I’ve heard just about everyone discussing what happened in Cincinnati at the zoo over the weekend.
People are outraged at the zoo for shooting a 450lb, endangered silver backed gorilla after a 3-year old boy somehow wiggled his way into the animal’s enclosure.
Why the outrage?
Here’s attorney Lisa Bloom on my show this week:
“Because the gorilla is identifiable as an individual. He had a name and he had to get shot and killed and why? I think the problem is captivity. We have to get past the point of taking wild animals and holding them captive where we can go and gawk at them. They want to be free just as we do.”
CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill agrees, but says there is a bigger part of the story here, the child.
“What about the kid. I mean if you’re a 4-year old you’d consider being trapped by a 400lb gorilla pretty dangerous, and precarious and having all of these emotions. I mean I’m more worried about the kid and people for some reason seem to have a lot more regard for this animal than they do for this child.”
And now we’re getting to the meat of the story.
They also seem to have a lot more regard for the animal than for the parents.
The parents have been getting lambasted from everyone from animal rights groups to talking heads to everyday people.
I also discussed this with Marc Lamont Hill who went on to suggest a more interesting take on this controversy.
“The Cincinnati Zoo says they’re going to review. Their review is only regarding the actions of the parents/family that lead up to the incident and not related to the operations and safety of the Cincinnati Zoo. Does that seem fair to you?”
Hill – “That seems shameful to me. It’s so easy to beat up on parents, particularly… No one wants to make this a race thing but I just can’t imagine white parents getting the same treatment. I’m sorry. They’re looking at the father’s criminal record. You know how I knew the parents were black? I looked at the headline and it said, “Father Has Criminal History.” I said you know the father must be black. Not because black people are criminals, but because they only talk about it when it happens to people of color. His criminal history had nothing to do with this kid being in a moat.”
I had no idea the kid’s parents were black until someone who was white asked me if I thought some of the backlash was because of it.
I’m not sure it is, but Marc Lamont Hill certainly thinks so.
In fact he says that he believes “some people are more concerned with this gorilla being killed than black kids being killed.”
And that was a quote from him.
I think there’s a lot of blame to go around which can include all parties.
But the bottom line is no matter how the kid got into that enclosure, if I were his parent I’d be wondering how quickly you were going to subdue a wild animal to get my darn kid away from it as fast as you could.
As sad as is it is that a beautiful, endangered animal had to be killed, human life, especially in the case of an innocent child, should take priority.
The zoo had no other alternative.