By: Victoria Ouyang
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) now considers Pepe the frog, a popular Internet meme, a hate symbol. Pepe now joins a list of other hate symbols such as the burning cross, the swastika, and the Ku Klux Klan robes.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) now considers Pepe the frog, a popular Internet meme, a hate symbol. Pepe now joins a list of other hate symbols such as the burning cross, the swastika, and the Ku Klux Klan robes. Pepe was originally created by Matt Furie for his comic Boy’s Club #1. Pepe was originally used as a humorous symbol who could be found in different circumstances making a variety of comical statements. Just a year ago, celebrities such as Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj posted images of Pepe without backlash.
However, Pepe has more recently become a symbol of Anti-Semitism, racism, and other offensive ideologies. Some have used him to harass others and spread bigotry. For example, Pepe has recently been depicted as Adolf Hitler and a Ku Klux Klan member. Not all Pepe users are bigots, and some still only use Pepe for humorous purposes. Ruby Liles (9) defends Pepe’s sanctity, saying, “Pepe himself is not a symbol of hate speech or a hate crime. However, the people committing the hate have been taking advantage of Pepe’s popularity to create negative connotations that have not previously existed. Therefore, you can be a fan of Pepe himself without being a fan of the hate crime.”
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