Before this year, Pepe the Frog was little more than a character used internet memes. But for the hardcore comic book enthusiast, he was a character hidden in the pages of a underground Fantagraphics comic book called "Boy's Club" by Matt Furie.
As of Wednesday however, according to Anti-Defamation League, Pepe the Frog is now officially considered a hate symbol, thanks to ambitious trolling powers of -- and in the words of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton -- the Basket of Deplorables, who have circulated the character to its deplorable death online.
First, it's important to address those who think it is ridiculous, that a cartoon character could be taken so seriously, and to also address those who have made the effort to go even further to say that Pepe the Frog's association with white supremacy groups is just liberal fear-mongering.
Those are two kinds of people, the first being those who only see Pepe The Frog as an illustration and the second, those who are members of the Deplorables who have engaged in the idea that the condemnation of the character is part of a liberal agenda.
While the first kind of person is vulnerable to being influenced by the argument made by the second, it is the second kind of person who is part of the insurgency that has devolved the character to the hate symbol Pepe The Frog is now considered.
Why Take 'Pepe The Frog' So Seriously?
Again, Pepe the Frog is by its origins a creative property. Those who considered this went the distance to ask the artist directly what he thought about Pepe's new evolution, which he dismissed as just a phase. In another article however, Matt Furie is made an example of, as someone so naive to believe the hijacking of his character by online trolls is just a phase, as dangerous.
After the widely published interview, there was evidence of the "Boy's Club publisher," Fantagraphics "trolling" the trolls with #MakePepeGreatAgain on social media, to show they had some control over it, which is different and timid compared to a cease or desist order that one normally expects. Currently, since the ADL made their press release, Matt Furie has asked that the kids who know the character as something less sinister, take him back.
Pepe The Frog's Fascist Origins
What we now know about trolls is that they're the part of us who like to get a reaction from people, by doing something -- in this case -- deplorable online. And really, the trolls who originally "spun" the meme as a fascist Donald Trump "goof" on the rest of us, are obviously laughing their pants off over the latest press release by the ADL and before that, over the post about Pepe on Hillary Clinton's site, which referred to the character in the same way.
What those trolls do not understand -- assuming they're just laughing at the liberals -- is that it was those Alt-Right accounts who have also taken the racist symbolism seriously, thanks to them. So the character in this case, is out of Matt Furie's control, as well as with the troll(s) who started it, because those Alt-Right conservative accounts have "built up" the momentum of Pepe The Frog's new symbolism which is why Pepe exists as the Hillary Clinton site and ADL claim they do, who have now made it official.
Calling 'Pepe The Frog' Back To The Pond
It should also be noted that Matt Furie has apparently said that he will be voting for Hillary Clinton and so if that's true, then it's another sign -- although not as good as actively putting a stop to its current manifestation, to at least say that Pepe The Frog doesn't belong to the Alt Right. At the same time, those mentioned second types of people, are also again, dismissing that the character should be taken so seriously.
But as pointed out in the article which refers to Matt Furie's initial dismissal of its use, the symbolism of the character has great power because of the number of people who believe it. And so in a way, if it's the liberal media who have made Pepe the Frog into the facsistic symbol it is, it's on them. #BasketOfDeplorables #PepeTheFrog #AltRight