Over the past week, media outlets the likes of Vox and Mic have released stories concerning everyone’s favorite meme, Pepe the Frog. A week ago, Cooper Fleishman authored an article titled “Wendy’s just tweeted the Pepe the Frog meme, a white supremacist mascot” while Zack Beauchamp of Vox named his article “The Russian government just tweeted an image of a white supremacist frog.”
I don’t even want to link to their articles because their employers do not deserve the ad revenue, but if you were to read them, they would go something like this: Organization tweets Pepe, mentions Anti-Defamation Leauge lists Pepe as a hate symbol, Pepe=bad. Now the foundation of their claim that Pepe is a hate symbol rests upon the ADL listing that it is. Now I am not denying that Pepe is not on the list or that Pepe has not been used in white-supremacist concepts, but when I looked further into what the ADL wrote, their explanation sounded very reasonable.
From the ADL Pepe page:
However, because so many Pepe the Frog memes are not bigoted in nature, it is important to examine use of the meme only in context. The mere fact of posting a Pepe meme does not mean that someone is racist or white supremacist. However, if the meme itself is racist or anti-Semitic in nature, or if it appears in a context containing bigoted or offensive language or symbols, then it may have been used for hateful purposes… The majority of uses of Pepe the Frog have been, and continue to be, non-bigoted.
Do these Pepes suggest anti-Semitism or racism in any context?
If your answer is yes, then you need to read a dictionary. It is clear here that Wendy’s is bantering with a customer while the Russian Embassy is absolutely trolling the hell out of the Anglo-American alliance. If anything, the Russian embassy tweeted a Pepe knowing that mainstream American news outlets would lose their shit over it and they played right into Russia’s hands.
It is sad to see American “journalism” devolve into reporting about how they are triggered by cartoon frog. With “fake news” being the buzzword of the moment, would Fleishman’s and Beauchamp’s articles fall into that category? Aren’t there more important things to inform the American people on such as proposals in Congress and attacks on our allies abroad? The more mainstream media propagates false contexts of what is offensive, the more respect and integrity they lose from the American public.