Symbols of Hate

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I found another alt-right sticker in Potsdam, NY, last week. This one was a heavy vinyl sticker compared to the lightweight paper “Pepe the Frog” white power stickers I found last January along the same block. In a December 30, 2016, Vox article called “The 2016 culture war, as illustrated by the alt-right,” author Aja Romano writes that the figure on this sticker represents:

“…the head of the Egyptian frog-god Kek superimposed over an image of his counterpart, the Egyptian snake god Kauket, in a seal inscribed with the Latin phrase ‘satis mentibus obvia,’ or, ‘resist closed minds.’ It’s complicated, but basically, through a series of meme-heavy coincidences involving 4chan’s use of ‘kek’ as a synonym for ‘lol,’ 4chan users profess to believe that Pepe (yes, the cartoon frog) is a reincarnation of Kek, an Egyptian frog-god who ruled over chaos and darkness, and that his coming is a sign that Donald Trump will save them all. Their satirical worship is what turned Pepe from a random internet meme into a racist and white nationalist meme symbol of hate. The ordeal understandably left [the original artist Matt] Furie outraged and upset, and he began a ‘take back Pepe’ campaign in October.”

I photographed the sticker and removed it from the street pole and will show this photo and the photos from earlier this year to the Potsdam police, as suggested by the Anti-Defamation League in NYC. For more information on racist and fascist symbols, see the ADL’s website Hate on Display: Hate Symbols Database.

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