There used to be a day, not too long ago, where memes were generally made for fun. They were relatable pictures with words on them that people would share and laugh at. However, just like any form of communication, inside joke or humor – it inevitably turns into a weaponized asset use at someone else’s expense.
Memes now are used to attack people and groups – more specifically, women and people of color. Because of this, suicide rates among people of color and women have increased dramatically with direct links to the effects of memes. “But they’re just jokes, right? They’re completely harmless!” They used to be. However, over the past few years, they have become more aggressive. As we know, hate speech is a form of violence. Memes are a form of indirect hate speech which in turn, is interpreted as physical violence against marginalized groups. It’s not too far of a stretch to see the act of making memes as a hate crime in an of itself.
This is evidenced by the fact that right wingers and conservatives tend to use memes on social media. They pride themselves in it. In fact, they degrade and dehumanize the racist conservatives by touting tautologies like “the left can’t meme,” as if that is inherently a bad thing.
First of all, this assumes two things. It assumes that the left does not have a sense of humor. We in fact do, and we explain it perfectly well in our articulated response The left CAN meme and the right needs to take a seat. However, just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
Secondly, the right assumes that just because they can make jokes at another’s expense, that this somehow makes them superior to us. Sorry, but unlike you, we don’t judge people simply by their political views. We know full well that when someone is a conservative, they are a bigoted xenophobic racist sexist who hates women and people who aren’t white. You really want us to take criticism of our “meme making abilities” from you? Give us a break!
That’s why memes should be classified as hate speech and outlawed entirely. The constitution was drafted before any of these new ideas were thought of. Just like the 2nd amendment was written before full semi-automatic assault rifles were invented, the 1st amendment was written before memes were a thing. Europe is not wrong in their efforts to ban memes. America should follow suit.
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