Tag Archive clinton

Pepe The Frog: Racist Or Comedian

On September 12 2016, one day after the 15 year anniversary of 9/11, the Clinton presidential campaign decided to strike back at those in the world who are intolerant. The moment of mourning had past. On hillaryclinton.com, an article was released. This brought the world’s attention to a horrendous symbol of hate that, unbeknownst to many, had been plaguing the internet for years. This symbol, which represents hate, supremacists, bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism, is known as Pepe. Pepe the Frog.

Who is Pepe? Well unlikely as it is that you are unfamiliar with this now infamous icon, given the current surge of media attention the Frog has been getting, I feel that it would be unprofessional to leave out Pepe’s origin story in this post.

In 2005, 25-year-old student and aspiring artist Matt Furie, created a web comic which he released via his MySpace Profile page. This series featured various anthropomorphic characters, none more famous however then Pepe the Frog. These comic were based on low-brow humour, with a satirical centre on life. When Furie created the character, he could never had anticipated what the internet had in store for his little green friend.

Image result for pepe memes feels badman

Feels Good ManUsers of websites such as 4chan, took an image of Pepe and a caption saying : Feels Good Man. Over the years variations of this image has occurred, most noticeably a sad Pepe with the caption Feels Badman.

Pepe became one of the largest Meme sensations, such as Wojack or the current Harambe memes. A meme is mostly a still image with a humourous caption. The caption is usually out of context with the original intent of the image and the caption be applied to numerous scenarios. Sites like dank memes often times Image result for pepe memesdictate the current trend of memes. Currently crusader memes are very popular. A popular trend of Meme’s are “racist memes”. In reality the majority of these memes are satirical and are not intended to offend. Well not to be hurtful anyways.Image result for crusader memesImage result for crusader memes

It is due to the fact that Pepe’s likeness has been reused in a multitude of different scenarios has led to some individuals believing that the poor frog is a criminal. A symbol of Nazism.

Pepe’s original meaning has been perverted, much like the Swastika before it. Or has it? The anti-defamation league of America certainly has. This is an organisation in America which aims to protect Jews from antisemitic comments. Pepe has been added to a list of hate symbols on their website. While the post admits that it is the context that Pepe is used in is what is racist rather than Pepe himself, the organisation decided to cast a large blanket over the situation and in a vast sweeping decision, any use of the Pepe the Frog meme is a form of hate. The post features images of an altered Pepe made to look like hitler, as well as racial stereotypes. However it is difficult to take the image of Hitler seriously and it is difficult to see how an individual could find this image Racist.

The YouTube channel ETC News goes into more detail about this.

ETC News also mentions a Twitter account which many articles claim is that of a leader of the Alt-Right movement. Jared Taylor Swift 🐸 (@JaredTSwift). In his bio, Swift describes himself as “Prominent white supremacist. Bad memes. Holocaust survivor”. Finally Swift also mentions that, and I quote “*PARODY ACCOUNT*”.

We need to make meme Pepe into a Nazi icon so that SJWs stop using him. This is our greatest task.

ducknaziOnce again this is a satirical post. The idea of a cartoon frog being a symbol of religious hate harkens back to the humourous cartoon of Donald Duck saying “Seig Heil”.

Is Donald Duck a racist? Should we ban Donald? No, this was a parodic cartoon. And in much the same way, most Pepe memes are as such.

Pepe the Frog is just a crudely drawn Microsoft Paint cartoon Image result for donald trump racist memecharacter. And that’s probably giving him too much credit. Pepe is not what people find offensive. Its memes. As I said earlier a meme has a caption. Most of the time it is the caption
which is racist

Other times a meme features an altered image of the original design.Image result for racist gandhi meme
Image result for pepe racist

With enough time and effort any symbol can be shaped into something different.
untitled

An image itself is not racist. It is like saying a gun is evil. It is just a thing. And it is what people do with it determined the character of the person rather than the object. Admittedly there are somethings such as a swastika which is a symbol of pure hate, a meme is not. A meme is a parody. It is not a serious statement. It is not a declaration of war. While it is unfair on those who are offended by such memes, the solution is not to say that Pepe is racist. There are many memes which  are inoffensive and  humorous . Out of all the memes out there, it seems strange that it is Pepe many are rallying behind.

Image result for pepe funny memeA lot of the humour behind the racist Pepe memes is based around the humour image of seeing the usually innocent Pepe in a Racist surrounding. He is not inherently racist, unlike say those crusader memes, which are mentioned above. Nor is he based on an antagonizing figure such as the Troll meme. He is a sad Frog who the world has turned against.Image result for pepe funny meme

 

 

Image result for pepe vs hillary

At the end of the day Pepe is a cartoon Frog. To suggest that he is a symbol of hate seems rather inane. Also given the importance of the position Ms Clinton is running for, it would appear to be a rather unimportant issue, given larger real world problems going on.

References:

Anti defamation League:

http://www.adl.org/combating-hate/hate-on-display/c/pepe-the-frog.html?referrer=https://www.google.ie/#.V_J_8PkrLIU

Who is Pepe

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/pepe-the-frog

http://knowyourmeme.com/blog/interviews/qa-with-matt-furie

Hillary Clinton Vs Pepe

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/feed/donald-trump-pepe-the-frog-and-white-supremacists-an-explainer/

ETC News

https://www.youtube.com/user/MachinimaETC

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