Another day, another outburst from American Nazis — this time, claiming some ill-conceived 'victory' after Wendy's fast food chain shared a potentially racist meme.
The "alt-right" Nazi publication The Daily Stormer, run by neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, declared the chain "the official burger of the Neo-Nazi Alt-Right movement" in the wake of public backlash against Wendy's for tweeting a Pepe the Frog meme.
The meme, which originally had no negative or racist connotations when it surfaced in 2005, has been appropriated by Nazis, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) explains.
"It was inevitable that, as the meme proliferated in on-line venues such as 4chan, 8chan, and Reddit, which have many users who delight in creating racist memes and imagery, a subset of Pepe memes would come into existence that centered on racist, anti-Semitic or other bigoted themes," says the ADL.
When Wendy's was prompted by Twitter user MrRespek, "Got any memes?" the company's Twitter responded with a picture of Pepe with their Wendy's logo's signature red hair and freckles.
All Heil our Burger Fuhrer Wendys: Making Commies into Tendies since '69 https://t.co/GLnHLeis89— Emily Youcis (@realEmilyYoucis) January 4, 2017
The tweet was almost immediately deleted, but not before enough people witnessed it and called them out for it.
Let's let @Wendys lead the reclamation of Pepe. He was a Good Frog before he was a Bad Frog— CarlG ?? (@CarlOrkmansen) January 4, 2017
I can't believe @Wendys posted a Pepe meme just to distract us from the fact that no one knows where their square burgers come from— ? Ru ? (@rumeru_chan) January 4, 2017
The company did not apologize for the tweet, but made a follow-up statement saying, "Our community manager was unaware of the recent evolution of the Pepe meme’s meaning and this tweet was promptly deleted."
@kylegriffin1 Our community manager was unaware of the recent evolution of the Pepe meme's meaning and this tweet was promptly deleted.— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 4, 2017
Anglin posted on his blog, "Of course, [Wendy's] promptly deleted the ULTRA RARE image when they were confronted by the evil k***s, and were all like 'bro we didn’t know.'"
"Note that this is not an apology. And of course, everyone knows that Pepe is a Nazi frog."
"This was a frog whistle, straight up. And we need to embrace them for it."
It is comforting to see just how many people raised the alarm on Twitter against the proliferation of Nazi values and imagery. The "alt-right" white supremacists, however, continue in their efforts to appropriate mainstream images and products like the Pepe meme, New Balance shoes, and now Wendy's.
Hopefully the fast food company will do everything in their power to disassociate themselves from the hate group after this despicable announcement. If they don't, Americans who stand against hatred and bigotry will no doubt boycott their stores.
Banner Image Credit: Flickr, Mike Mozart