Pepe the Frog, Irony and Hate Speech
Mark Inman, Ph.D.

Hey aging progressives! You won!

Your previous causes have been added to the bedrock of modern American culture.

Unfortunately, winning also means that you are now “the man” and a little bit too self-assured. In fact, you are so self- and social-media-assured that you can no longer see your own hypocrisy and condescending behavior.

Pepe sees it though. Pepe sees all!

Pepe had the audacity of hope and saw it squandered. Pepe saw the Arab spring and watched it devolve into chaos. Pepe saw you suppress unpopular opinions and build filter bubbles. Pepe saw you encroach on constitutional liberties. Pepe saw you take social media far too seriously. Pepe saw you prop up big banks. Pepe watched the news coverage of mass shootings. Pepe saw virtue signaling creep into everything, even his favorite talk shows. Pepe saw a political machine dash the hopes of a popular progressive in favor of another symbol from the establishment. Pepe saw you sow the seeds of racial discord with lies.

…and all the while you scolded Pepe. Talked down to Pepe. Told Pepe he was the problem.

Yet Pepe did not do anything wrong. How do you know what lies in the heart of Pepe?

Pepe is tired of you scolding him.

Pepe no longer believes what you tell him. Pepe is finding his own path and no amount of admonishment is going to change that.