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Gorilla Madness: When Animals Lives Matter More Than Human

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GUEST: Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and Women’s Studies at Penn State University.

BACKGROUND: The Internet is abuzz with outrage over a “serious injustice.” The life of a gorilla in a zoo was taken to protect a little boy who had fallen into its enclosure. The 17-year old gorilla has, in his death, found legions of fans and supporters who have decided that his death was senseless, that the child’s parents are to blame, that the gorilla was only trying to protect the child, and that zoo officials should have used tranquilizers instead of bullets. As of this recording, nearly half a million people have signed a Change.org petition calling on Child Protection Services to investigate the child’s parents for negligence. Oh, and the family in question is black.

Meanwhile, 700-900 refugees died over the past few days in the Mediterranean Sea, fleeing war to get to Europe, and a new report has found that more than 45 million people the world over live in conditions of modern-day slavery. But somehow we as a society don’t seem as outraged over those injustices.

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