Or so our politically correct betters have decreed.
The cartoon amphibian associated with the so-called alt-right and now found everywhere on the Internet should have lawyered up when he had the chance because he is no longer kosher according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The alt-right — which I first heard of only a few months ago even though I study political activism (pretty intensely at times) for a living — is officially very bad and everyone is required forthwith to disapprove of this aquatic reincarnation of Hitler.
(I previously wrote about my doubts about the bigness and badness of the alt-right.)
And what did this beloved pond dweller do to earn this newfound infamy?
Apparently the wrong people started using him.
People in the alt-right. In other words people who like GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. (The name sounds like Michigan J. Frog, doesn’t it?)
According to The Next Web:
Pepe the Frog started off as a fun, light-hearted reaction image. Today it’s recognized as a hate symbol comparable to the swastika. […]
After its inception on 4chan around 2008, Pepe had grown to be one of the most recognizable memes on the internet. Along with his trademark catchphrase ‘feels good man’, he would give commentary on whatever had been posted before.
But according to the (fairly awful) Daily Beast, Pepe made some bad new friends who made him do terrible things that irrevocably associated him with racism and in particular anti-Semitism.
Pepe didn’t need to be associated with Jew-hatred to be despised by the Left, which, for what it’s worth, is the real beating heart of anti-Semitism today.
The fact that Pepe likes the wall Trump wants to build on the southern border is more than sufficient to make him the Devil in liberal-progressive eyes.
The Anti-Defamation League, which pretty clearly has too much time on its hands, recently started listing Pepe in its database of hate symbols, alongside the confederate battle flag and the swastika.
Pepe displayers can take advantage of a loophole to avoid the eternal damnation of their immortal souls, the ADL says.
It’s called context.
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.
So big of them.