Mikey Smith, Mirror, January 9, 2017
The Russian Embassy today tweeted a racist frog meme to Theresa May , seemingly mocking her over relations with Donald Trump.
The official Twitter account of the Embassy in the UK tweeted a picture of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character declared a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.
The character was increasingly used by the so-called ‘alt-right’ segment of the white supremacist movement – particularly in support of Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 Presidential election.
The Russian Embassy’s tweet was accompanied by the message: “In today’s papers: pundits call on @theresa_may to disrupt possible Russia-US thaw. No trust in Britain’s best friend and ally?”
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) January 9, 2017
The character of Pepe the Frog originally appeared in Boy’s Club – an online comic written by Matt Furie.
But in recent years it has been claimed by racist elements online, and increasingly used as a ‘dog whistle’ for white supremacy and anti-semitism.
Last year, the Anti-Defamation League teamed up with Furie in an effort to “reclaim” Pepe for his original purpose, creating the #SavePepe online campaign and encouraging people to tweet images of Pepe in a positive context.
Ahead of the election, Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr, posted an image which included a picture of Pepe to his Instagram account, but claimed to be unaware of its racist connotations.
Despite his being made aware of the cartoon’s racist connotations, the post remains on Donald Jr’s Instagram account.