Jack Parkos | @j.ackp
Students at Folsom Lake College were fearful on Wednesday when a flyer featuring the meme “Pepe the Frog” was shown on campus. The school reported that they called the police to search the campus.
The campus reported the following:
“An FLC faculty member found the sheet featuring Pepe the frog on their office door earlier in February, the school informed the Los Rios, California, Police Department about the incident so it would ‘be on heightened alert for any signs that this may be part of a larger trend or pattern.’”
The picture of the meme does not appear to show any threats of violence and seems harmless. Regardless, the school still called the police.
Pepe the Frog: A Hate Symbol?
But this meme became infamous during the 2016 election. Many associated Pepe with the Alt-right and Donald Trump as many 4chan users would worship Pepe as the “God of memes” due to his noted similarity to the ancient Egyptian frog deity Kek. Those in the meme culture then also created a fictional country, “Kekistan”, surrounding Pepe.
However, the new Pepe meme is mostly just internet trolling. The goal was to bait people into overreacting, and it worked. Hillary Clinton called it out as a symbol for white supremacy and journalists wrote articles concerning how it was a sign of the rise of neo-nazis. The final blow seems to be when a school calls the cops over a meme. Quite possibly, whoever put up that sign at Folsom Lake got exactly what they wanted: a reaction.
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