Friday, February 20, 2015

Finland: How A Leftist Meme Became A White Supremacist Comic Strip

Remember, kids.  Though it may look like it, this is NOT anti-semitism.  It's anti-Zionism.  

Via BuzzFeed:
Anti-Semitism makes for unlikely bedfellows, a point you might infer from the strange history of “Jew-bwa-ha-ha.gif” (also known as “Le Happy Merchant”), the derogatory Jewish caricature beloved in equal measure by message board white supremacists and just-for-the-lulz trolls, and in fact created by a 90s version of the latter for a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

And now, to that noxious brew, add another ingredient: the Finnish internet.


Le American Bear seems to have started out as simply a parody of Americans: He’s stupid, he’s addicted to hamburgers, he thinks drinking Diet Coke is good for his health, and he’s willing to protect his freedoms with a gun.

Quickly, however, the main dynamic of the comic was established: “Le Happy Merchant”, who Le American Bear uncritically accepts as his “greatest ally”, repeatedly tricks Le American Bear into acts of violence and self-harm that either enrich Le Happy Merchant, serve Israel, or both. It’s a modern version of a centuries-old trope, a Der Sturmer cartoon run through a chan filter. The fact that the cartoons are funny, in the internet-culture way, is the scariest thing about them.

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