The Story of Pepe
By: Fletcher Donohoe
One day, Pepe the frog was a internet meme. The next day, Pepe was on the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) hate symbol list. How did this happen? Pepe managed to get tied up with the election.
Long story short, Pepe was in a picture Donald Trump re-tweeted, and then was the subject of a post on Hillary Clinton’s campaign website. In this post, Pepe was denounced as a symbol of white supremacy. The post says that Pepe has been taken and used by the “Alt-right” which is a branch of politically right-wing people that has been known to harbor some white supremacists.
From this Launchpad, people started to chime in on the topic: “They commonly resort to using Pepe the frog for the KKK.” Said Sophomore Mike D. Pepe’s hateful variations sometimes portray him as a member of the white supremacist group the “Ku Klux Klan” or the “KKK.”
The ADL offered some reasoning behind their decision in this statement, which can be found on their website “However, it was inevitable that, as the meme proliferated in on-line venues such as 4chan, 8chan, and Reddit, which have many users who delight in creating racist memes and imagery, a subset of Pepe memes would come into existence that centered on racist, anti-Semitic or other bigoted themes.” The majority of uses of Pepe the Frog have been, and continue to be, non-bigoted.”
Artwork Courtesy of Samuel P., you can find more of his work here: http://nibbink.deviantart.com/