Oh sure, maybe he started out innocently -- but after being appropriated by the dark cult of the Alt-Right, he is no longer a neutral symbol.
Right, just like how anyone who wore long hair in the '80s might not necessarily have been part of a Satanic cult that sacrificed animals in abandoned fields -- but it sure raises suspicions. Or how everyone who played Dungeons & Dragons might not necessarily have been seduced into another kind of Satanic cult -- but it sure raises suspicions. Or how anyone who played the Shout at the Devil album was not necessarily part of a Satanic heavy metal cult -- but it sure raises suspicions.
And the worst part was -- maybe they didn't even realize they had been recruited by the demonic forces! They're just impressionable, naive young people, after all. And maybe those teenagers posting Pepe memes are not fully aware of just how racist and Nazi-worshiping they are -- will someone please think of the poor innocent children who are becoming corrupted by wicked pop culture?!
These retarded moral panics never sound any less ridiculous, no matter what they come up with this time.
Here are two recent examples of earnest, concerned discussions of Pepe in American high schools:
This is in my old high school. Pepe is now being taught in US gov classes as a symbol of racist demagoguery. pic.twitter.com/W68epEnJBH— Steven Falco (@nunzioni) September 29, 2016
in case you're sad today just know that we discussed the "hate symbol" of Pepe the Frog in english class today pic.twitter.com/iDBfKyjrGD— Moriah 🌐 (@lowkeychaotic) September 28, 2016
Notice how the kids themselves are just rolling their eyes at their clueless teachers. But then the young people are not the target audience for the panic narrative, which is instead the self-appointed guardians of moral purity, including their worried teachers.
talking about pepe the frog memes in school >— ada (@adainthecastle) September 28, 2016
my government teacher talked about pepe in class— sharkboy (@reidtbh) September 29, 2016
When half of your politics class is about Pepe the frog— BIG MOIST (@Dylan_Cifelli) September 29, 2016
we're literally analyzing the pepe meme in my college writing class lol— erin (@ErinSheariss) September 29, 2016
did we seriously put freaking PEPE THE FROG ON OUR SCHOOL BROADCAST SYSTEM— nika 🐝 (@nikalback) September 29, 2016
my school news is really talking about the pepe meme— hoseoksus (@gwangjjugod) September 29, 2016
Someone mentioned "Pepe the Frog" in my Media and Society class and I want to dive out the window.— SarkhanVolkswagen (@dasebeleren) September 26, 2016
It's one thing to have to sit through a bunch of boring propaganda about the hidden Nazi meaning behind your harmless meme. It's another to have these moralistic busybodies censoring any display of that meme in and around the school. It used to be you got sent home for wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt -- now it's drawing Pepe the frog on your binder.
@zslusser8 the school made the seniors take down all the Pepe memes in their hallway because of this— Joey (@Jomoyr) September 29, 2016
Some kids made pepe out of post it notes, but my school is taking it down because it's a "nazi symbol". Not all pepes are racist! pic.twitter.com/xY1hdi6TS3— Alexey Malyshkin (@amalyshkin00) September 29, 2016
if I draw pepe in school will l get in trouble— marek (@MarekIzKool) September 29, 2016
So now I'm gonna get in trouble in school not only for using my phone, but for posting a Pepe meme because it's a hate crime now. Amazing.— King Of Hearts♥️ (@SteeleFan1) September 29, 2016
My class has a pet frog that someone name Pepe but now hes a hate meme so we have to change his name— Seth (@ItsChargers) September 30, 2016
At least some of the parents are aware that their kids' teachers are retarded and going overboard.
@AV_Newswire @joshtpm My high school kids don't think Pepe is a white nationalist symbol. Media helping change meaning of meme— EduDiva (@EduDiva) September 30, 2016
@DerekActual @TheGingerarchy My kid has Pepe and Harambe in her locker. Waiting for a call from the school shortly.— WINNING TEMPERAMENT (@nonpromqueen) September 28, 2016
Already kids are starting to rebel. Hey, teacher -- leave those memes alone!
I can't believe Pepe has been officially put in the same class as the swastika, wtf is 2016 #justiceforpepe— #SiSloss (@weeaboowitch) September 29, 2016
doing a speech in class on why pepe isn't a hate symbol, really looking forward to it 🐸— alex senpai (@alex_excell) September 30, 2016
What kind of fucked-up world do we live in, where this generation's Footloose is going to revolve around censorship of cartoon frogs on the internet? Trump cannot get elected soon enough -- the Secretary of Education is going to fire any adult caught perpetuating this idiotic panic over Pepe.
The larger outcome of this hysteria will be to utterly discredit the Left among anyone born in the 21st century. More than that, this will change the emotional impression that they have of the Left -- it will be felt on a gut level to be terminally uncool, clueless, and try-hard hall monitor losers.
That was the result of the Satanic panic in the 1980s, and we see what that did to the Cultural Right during the '90s and afterward. Whether they reject SJWs for being intellectual or social inferiors, today's teenagers will be a major force behind dethroning the moralistic Left, whether they take the side of Trump or Bernie as they get more politically involved.