You may notice a wild proliferation of parentheses on social media lately — that’s because it was discovered that white supremacists have been flagging the presence of Jews by bracketing their name with triple parentheses, so everyone is mocking them by putting our own names behind triple parens.
I thought these racists were already pathetic, but I did not know how low they could sink.
It’s worth noting that the internet’s anti-Semites hate when their culture is appropriated by their opponents. For example, when internet users started repurposing Pepe the Frog, a previously racist meme, a white nationalist lamented:
Most memes are ephemeral by nature, but Pepe is not… He’s a reflection of our souls, to most of us. It’s disgusting to see people (‘normies,’ if you will) use him so trivially. He belongs to us. And we’ll make him toxic if we have to.
Which makes stealing the bigots’ signature symbolism for Jews all the more fun.
Say what? This is Pepe the Frog.
If that’s a reflection of their soul, that reflects very badly on their souls. Also, the character was part of a webcomic created by Matt Furie, so they actually don’t own it.
Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says
Oh, is that what that is? I saw it on half the accounts on my feed today, and I was a bit confused about it. I may have to jump on that bandwagon – I’m generally opposed to cultural appropriation, but since the alt right have no idea what cultural appropriation actually is, I make an exception in their case.
Serious question: what qualities (if any) of a group of people are necessary and/or sufficient for it to constitute (or “have”?) a “culture” in a sense that makes it reasonable to speak of “cultural appropriation” from that group? In particular, is “the alt right” a “culture” in that sense?
Presumably you are opposed to more kinds of “appropriation” than “cultural appropriation” (for instance, plagiarism and theft of physical property or “intellectual property” are certainly kinds of “appropriation”, which in typical cases I don’t think can plausibly be called “cultural appropriation”, and I’m guessing that you are often opposed to them).
Of course I may just be spectacularly befuddled this morning.
Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says
To be honest, I, personally, am not really sure. I got with the “I know it when I see it” thing most of the time, which is obviously not perfect. I’m sure others have a good answer to this, though, and I should probably take notes when/if it comes.
Nope. This is the actual reason I don’t mind appropriating alt right “culture” – its failure to exist. That which they often claim as appropriation is usually just people who aren’t absurdly right wing doing the things that people all over the place do, but which they’ve decided belong to them and nobody else, like gamergaters claiming that women playing games is cultural appropriation.
Seriously? They stole the Swastika from Indians, that religion founded by a Jewish dude, masturbated on Darwin’s writings and stole the name socialism from the people <a href="Visit W3Schools“>they murdered, and now they’re pissed because people are making fun of the half digested stuff they came with?
How is pepe racist? I’ve seen a few things where he’s been used by racists to make a racist statement, but I’ve seen the Gene Wilder/Willy Wonka meme, the Morpheus “What if I told you” meme, and lots of others used for the same purpose. I’m genuinely asking here because I had no idea. Is it the lips? Is he supposed to be a black guy? *confused face*
The site linked to, Tablet Magazine, apparently allows comments, but only from people willing to pay $2/mo to have commenting privileges. That’s a unique way of filtering out trolls that I haven’t encountered before.
andrewglasgow@5, Some trivial-ish searching suggests Pepe was not originally racist, but that some nutters at “4chan” (a notoriously evil site) began manipulating his images in a racist fashion. Why Pepe isn’t immediately obvious, I speculate it was, in part, because he was, at one time, apparently quite popular.
The Evil Twin says
I’ve always thought that putting ((())) around someone’s name was supposed to show a hug- although that may be a leftover from the pre-Web internet.
Pepe the Frog, a previously racist meme
Hold the fuck up, I won’t have this unchallenged meme-misquoting on my interwebs! Just because some white nationalists think they have Pepe, all of pepe’s first appearances were within the context of quoting “Feels good man,” and was used broadly to express enjoyment. It wasn’t in support of any sort of ideology (in fact, the original was a reference to pulling your pants all the way down to pee.)
First they steal the Sudetenland, then they steal our memes. Nazi punks fuck off.
Thanks, PZ, I had indeed seen the triple parens, and wondered what they were about. In fact, I was scratching my head at today’s Harold Pollack tribute to the Normandy dead (http://www.samefacts.com/2016/06/personal-moment/thanks-to-all-the-heroes-lost-72-years-ago-today/), with (((heroes))) in triple parens, and now I get it.
As for why Pepe, well, I had guessed he’s got bulbous eyes and big lips, and Pepe is the hypocorism of Jose, so I dunno, maybe it fired up their two main racist cylinders. But yeah, that would he weird, to then claim him as a self-representation. In lieu of a representation of all that they despise. Then again, I don’t spend much time deconstructing their psyches and messages, I just try to convince my daughter to avoid them.
The Evil Twin @ 8:
Yes, it used to symbolize hugs. I mostly remember that from usenet and early BBCode days.
Laurentweppe@4: The Nazis may stolen the word “Swastika” from the Indians (it’s apparently Sanskrit), but they didn’t steal the symbol. That’s found in cultures all over the world, including Norse. The Norse name for the symbol is “fylfot.”
Anton Mates says
Yup. “Feels good man” was all over 4chan, like, eight years ago. Of course, back then 4chan wasn’t primarily known as a hangout for violent white supremacist misogynists, either.
Yeah, it’s a common symbol, but it wouldn’t be the first time Nazis stole symbolism from the Indo-Iranian cultural sphere. See: “Aryan”.