- Buttigieg, Klobuchar come together to laugh at Bloomberg Wednesday 10:29 PM
- Bernie Sanders calls Bloomberg’s wealth ‘grotesque’ to his face Wednesday 9:53 PM
- Angry Bloomberg asks debate moderators if he’s ‘chicken liver’ Wednesday 9:29 PM
- Elizabeth Warren savages everyone else’s healthcare plan Wednesday 9:07 PM
- K-Pop stans help push ‘Pooping for Kaitlin’ hashtag mocking Kent State gun girl Wednesday 8:54 PM
- Fans speculate after learning Pop Smoke posted address prior to fatal home invasion Wednesday 8:11 PM
- Jar of human tongues found in Florida has people shook Wednesday 6:39 PM
- Video of Blueface teaching Obama lookalike to dance is turning heads Wednesday 5:58 PM
- ‘No one has the range’ for this meme Wednesday 5:21 PM
- Mom confronts man who followed daughter through grocery store in viral video Wednesday 5:05 PM
- Major study linking vaping to heart attacks gets retracted Wednesday 4:36 PM
- George Zimmerman is suing Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren Wednesday 2:55 PM
- Netflix’s ‘Horse Girl’ accused of ripping off 2017 indie film Wednesday 2:52 PM
- The Genyus Network is a safe social space for stroke survivors Wednesday 2:20 PM
- MAGA hat-wearing dog finishes last in ‘Today Show’ fan vote—still named winner Wednesday 2:03 PM
Here’s where we’re at in this presidential election: the Anti-Defamation League, dedicated to fighting anti-Semitic hatred, is fervently fighting for the soul of a cartoon frog. Pepe, the “feels good man” frog, has been co-opted by Nazis and white supremacists, and the ADL has joined Pepe’s creator, Matt Furie, in trying to bring him back to the light.
Pepe originated as a laid-back character in Furie’s comic “Boys Club,” and was remixed on 4chan into a sort of everyman for the internet. This year, he started being used by the alt-right, the online pro-Trump youth who identify as “degenerates” and “deplorables.”
On Friday, the ADL and Furie announced #savepepe, a campaign to spread “positive” Pepe memes and counter the frog’s association with white power and Donald Trump.
Furie has already responded to the popular remix of Pepe as Trump by drawing a new comic for the Nib that recasts “Pepe Trump” as a figment of the real Pepe’s nightmares.
“The true nature of Pepe, as featured in my comic book, ‘Boys Club,’ celebrates peace, togetherness and fun. I aim to reclaim the rascally frog from the forces of hate and ask that you join me in making millions of new, joyful Pepe memes that share the lighthearted spirit of the original chilled-out champion,” Furie said in a statement this past Friday.
Depending on the success of the #SavePepe campaign, the ADL may decide to remove Pepe from its own list of hate symbols, the group told the New York Times. He was placed on the list in September.
Some, including the Daily Dot’s Miles Klee, have argued that listing Pepe as a hate symbol misunderstands the frog and gives the white nationalist movement too much credit.
“We’re going to see how this plays out,” said the ADL’s Oren Segal. “We hope to save Pepe.”
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.