Pages

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

DC police investigate vandalism of Bernie Sanders mural as a 'hate crime' after it was defaced with 'alt-right' Pepe the Frog

The vandalism of a mural of Bernie Sanders in Washington DC that was defaced with a picture of Pepe the Frog is being investigated as a hate crime, police have said.

D.C. police confirmed their investigation into the vandalism of the mural in the Navy Yard area.

They said that it was not clear exactly when the mural was defaced, with a police report listing December 15, 2020 to January 14, 2021 as a possible time period.

Before: Mural artists Monolith (left) and Shani Shih work on their piece "Bern the System," which was completed in Feb. 2020 at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C

Before: Mural artists Monolith (left) and Shani Shih work on their piece 'Bern the System,' which was completed in Feb. 2020 at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C

After: The mural was vandalized with a Pepe the frog head, which has risen the digital ranks via the alt-right as a symbol of white supremacy and white nationalist hate

After: The mural was vandalized with a Pepe the frog head, which has risen the digital ranks via the alt-right as a symbol of white supremacy and white nationalist hate


Police were called to investigate the vandalism on Sunday by one of the artists, who felt 'that the defacement may be motivated by hate or bias of political or religious affiliation', according to a report in Fox 5

In recent years, the cartoon image of a frog known as Pepe has become associated with the 'Alt-right' or white supremacist groups.

Members of such groups co-opted the image as an expression of their views, spreading it on internet forums such as 8chan and Reddit.

Mural artist Shani Shih shares photos on Instagram of her work with fellow artist Moniolith, titled 'Bern the System,' completed in Feb. 2020 at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. The mural was recently defaced and the head of Bernie Sanders was replaced with that of Pepe the Frog

Mural artist Shani Shih shares photos on Instagram of her work with fellow artist Moniolith, titled 'Bern the System,' completed in Feb. 2020 at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. The mural was recently defaced and the head of Bernie Sanders was replaced with that of Pepe the Frog

'Obviously Pepe was created in a very innocent way,' Anti-Defamation League Vice President and head of Washington ADL office Doron Ezickson told the news outlet. 

However, he said that the cartoon has become synonymous with the rise of the 'Alt-right' and other hate groups.

'The appropriation of that symbol somehow became an expression of power by the individuals that were doing it and then it spread over the internet and different chat rooms and 8chan and Reddit and some of the places where 'Alt-Right' and white supremacists folks find each other and share ideas and share strategies,' Ezickson said. 

The mural has since been fixed by its artists, who also added a new phrase: 'Hate has no home here.' 

No comments:

Post a comment