Have you ever heard of pepe? If you are a millennial or a relatively young person, you probably know and understand that pepe the frog is a simple internet meme. Unfortunately, the rest of society understands pepe as a racist hate symbol. This is because pepe the frog was wrongly labeled a hate symbol by the ADL. Pepe is not a symbol of hate which represents the “alt-right”, but simply a harmless internet meme.
The ADL, or “Anti-Defamation League” is an organization formed over 100 years ago by Jews in order to combat anti-semitism. Today, it works to fight anti-semitism, bigotry, and hate. Their website also claims to “defend democratic ideals and protect civil rights for all”. Recently, the ADL has declared the “pepe the frog” meme to be a hate symbol, earning a spot next to the swastika and the white pride logo. This is a result of a bunch of old ADL officials arriving far too late to the place called the internet. And as most people know the internet isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, so you will undoubtedly find something offensive, or something you don’t like. Finally having discovered the meme of pepe being depicted as hitler, a klansman, and Isis members, the ADL gave itself the authority to deem it a symbol of hate.
Now, people who aren’t millennials see things associated with pepe in a negative light. Just because the ADL says it is racist, doesn’t mean it really is. Saying a meme is racist and hateful is like saying that popsicle sticks are racist and hateful because there is the possibility that a swastika could be formed using them. Thousands of memes have been created using pepe, including Donald Trump pepes. Because something like this exists, and it is being shed in a negative light by the media, People like Hillary Clinton and the left wing blindly use it as a political attack against Mr. Trump and the figment of imagination known as “The Alt-Right”
This is proof that people buy into this crap, and the left wing will do anything to relentlessly discredit other politicians. Hillary Clinton said, and I quote “he’s a symbol of white supremacy”. This shows that she is willing to desperately grab onto anything to use it as a political attack, without even fully knowing what it is she is talking about. Also, other media outlets have made stories off of this subject, riding off the backs of others and making unintelligible claims.
This is not the first time something like this has happened, though. Every year In elections, it is the job of every media news outlet to pick out the negative aspects of political candidates and their decisions. It’s the type of thing that attracts the most viewers and followers, and It’s what makes media outlets enough money to pay their employers and keep their business going. Nothing else is as interesting during times of the election, which says a lot about our ideals and appeals. Or some might argue that political parties relentlessly taking stabs at one another is really what perpetuates the two party system in the USA.
Regardless, It all just seems that the whole presidential election is a huge reality TV show, especially in today’s world with the availability of mass media and all different kinds of opinion. With such a large platform, anyone with a cellphone can give their opinion, or spew information that is or is not accurate. The large majority of media-consuming american people have very little sense of delayed gratification, because of oversaturation of information and the constant availability of entertainment. An example of this is the sheer existence of memes.
Internet memes are a manifestation of people’s immensely short attention span and lack of delayed gratification. The critically important political aspect of our society and the deep parts of the internet should not be mixed. Because the ADL decided to do so, they have created a massive cluster and misunderstanding among older people. That middle schooler wasn’t trying to pledge his allegiance to Hitler Youth when he drew a hitler mustache on a picture of a stupid frog and posted it to the internet for s***s and giggles.
Please, I beg that you understand that pepe is nothing but a harmless meme, and not a hate symbol. Don’t let the media fool you, don’t let politicians put pepe in a negative light and use him against political opponents, or for just a headline. Be aware of the real world around you. Not all pepes are bad, and internet memes are never to be taken seriously.