By now, you’ve probably seen Pepe the frog as a meme on social media and in pop culture.
A cartoon character popularized by the alt-right, Pepe was once a joke on the alt right, but as far as I know, no one’s ever actually said it.
Now, it’s been appropriated as a symbol of everything from racism to Islamophobia, and a trending meme on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
But, before you dismiss Pepe, let’s go back to the beginning.
Pepe is the Greek word for “frosty.”
And it comes from the Greek mythological hero, Achilles, who famously took down a giant frosty tree.
As a result, many people associated him with cold weather and the cold weather.
In fact, he was once described as the “frother of the winds” in The Odyssey, an epic poem written by Homer and dedicated to Achilles.
In the book, the hero is said to have used his sword to cut the giant frosted tree in half, thus creating the mythological character of the frosty frog.
Over the years, the frog has been depicted as the symbol of racism and bigotry, and it has also been used as a tool for spreading memes and trolling on Twitter.
Pepe’s first appearance on Twitter was in August 2018, when he was spotted in a series of tweets, including one that linked to a meme about the president Donald Trump’s inauguration.
In a tweet that quickly went viral, the author of the tweet wrote, “We will not forget who the president is.”
The meme went viral.
The next day, on August 21, 2018, a group of Pepe followers launched a #NotMyPresident movement, and the hashtag #NotYourPresident trended on Twitter for several days.
The following day, the Pepe meme reached new heights of popularity, as the meme was linked to more than a million retweets and comments on the Twitter feed of conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
On August 23, Trump responded to the Pepe memes with a tweet: “I do not care what you say about me.
If you are offended by it, I apologize, I know you are.”
In the following days, Twitter users were quick to take advantage of the meme.
The next day on August 24, a Twitter account belonging to the alt nationalist Richard Spencer was created.
On Wednesday, Twitter suspended the account of Richard Spencer, but the account has since been reinstated.
In an article published Wednesday on The Daily Beast, Spencer’s son told BuzzFeed News that Richard Spencer’s account was suspended by Twitter because “it was racist.”
He added, “They were afraid to do anything to it, but they just went ahead and suspended the whole thing.
So, this was the first time that we knew about it.”
Richard Spencer’s suspension was announced shortly after a Twitter user posted a video calling on Twitter to ban the account.
A few hours later, Twitter told BuzzFeed that the account had been reinstated, but it still contained “multiple offensive content.”
Richard’s account remained suspended on Thursday.
On Saturday, the president of the United States tweeted a response to the memes.
In his statement, Trump wrote, “[I]t is offensive to use a cartoon character to promote a political agenda.
It is also offensive to promote hatred of other races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, or religions.
This kind of thinking has no place in America.
I do not see any reason why a cartoon frog should be a symbol for this kind of hate.”
The next morning, a new meme, Pepe the Death Star, went viral after a series was uploaded to YouTube.
In it, a white person wearing a mask shoots Pepe the death star at a fictional Star Wars character.
Within days, the meme gained over 30 million views.
While the memes were popular on Twitter and Instagram, they also had a lasting impact on the way people perceive Pepe.
The new meme was seen as a positive response to racism and the alt left.
In turn, the death Star meme was taken as a response, and in turn, Pepe became a symbol associated with racism and white supremacy.
At the time of writing, Twitter is down for the time being.