Introducing Pepe Le Pen, the Face of the French ‘Alt-Right’ by the Forward

Introducing Pepe Le Pen, the Face of the French ‘Alt-Right’

Image by Reddit

In the hours after Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential elections, bloggers on the white nationalist “alt-right” were exuberant. Their hours of trolling on Twitter for The Donald had paid off. The flood of amateurish viral images — where they recast Trump as a white crusader or a dark Emperor in Star Wars or the smirking anti-Semitic Pepe the Frog — had real power. The message flew around on chat-rooms: “We memed a president into office.”

Now the alt-right wants to launch a similar campaign for another far-right candidate who they see as an ally in their vision of global revolution — Marine Le Pen.

Days after Trump’s win, a Reddit thread dedicated to France’s far-right National Front party leader Le Pen filled with memes. Users recast Le Pen as a green-skinned amphibian in the style of Pepe the Frog. “I understand you require memes,” a user named globalism_sux wrote. “I bring you Pepe Le Pen.”

One commenter wrote: “A meme has been born.”

Some commenters weren’t sure how to dub their new Frog-Le Pen. One user named normieman suggested “LePepe,” and another, SeanSeanstonIreland, suggested: “Le Penpe.”

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

Introducing Pepe Le Pen, the Face of French Nationalism

Introducing Pepe Le Pen, the Face of French Nationalism

Introducing Pepe Le Pen, the Face of the French ‘Alt-Right’

Author

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Introducing Pepe Le Pen, the Face of the French ‘Alt-Right’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close