The 'Sad Frog' Meme You've Probably Sent Friends Was Declared A Hate Symbol
Well, it looks like the internet just proved itself to be undeserving of nice things again. And by "nice things," I mean Pepe the frog.
The infamous "sad frog" meme was just declared a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, and we're all a little upset about the downward spiral he took before our very eyes.
Pepe was funny. Pepe was harmless. Pepe was an inside joke I used to share with my roommates.
And now, he has been deemed a symbol of racism and bigotry.
According to USA Today, the "sad frog" meme got even sadder on Tuesday, when he was added to ADL's database of hate symbols. This is due to users depicting him as Hitler and a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Come on, guys. Really?
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, recently spoke about Pepe in a statement regarding the meme's admittance into the database. He said,
Once again, racists and haters have taken a popular Internet meme and twisted it for their own purposes of spreading bigotry and harassing users... These anti-Semites have no shame. They are abusing the image of a cartoon character, one that might at first seem appealing, to harass and spread hatred on social media.
Pepe wasn't always a symbol of hate, though.
He was created in 2005 by cartoonist Matt Furie, who used the original character in a comic book series called "Boy's Club."
Seems innocent enough, right?
Little did Furie know that Pepe's fame would take a turn for the worse. He suddenly transformed into sick depictions of racism and white supremacy.
The "sad frog" was even brought into politics recently, when Donald Trump's son posted a Photoshopped picture of Pepe standing behind his father in a recreation of the "Deplorables."
Poor Pepe. You weren't made for this.
In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Pepe's artist talked about his feelings toward the meme's recent depictions. His response was simple and true:
My feelings are pretty neutral, this isn't the first time that Pepe has been used in a negative, weird context. I think it's just a reflection of the world at large.
He's right: The world we live in today is not a pretty one.
Until we make it better, Pepe will remain the same.