This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

A New Alt-Right Children's Book Echoes Nazi Youth Propaganda

The book, titled 'The Adventures of Pepe and Pede,' is a thinly-veiled repackaging of white nationalist values. 

An assistant principal at a Texan middle school lost his job this week after a children’s book he penned (and peppered with alt-right imagery) generated controversy online.

The protagonists of The Adventures of Pepe and Pede are freedom-loving farm inhabitants of Wishington Farm (nice!) tasked with reclaiming the pond on their farm from the clutches of an evil, white overall-clad alligator named Alkah. Alkah’s minions are apparently designed to implicitly show women dressed in niqabs, and Alkah himself looks like an imam.

The author, Eric Hauser, received criticism from both his coworkers at Rodriguez Middle School and parents of children attending the school where he worked, according to sources interviewed by Motherboard.

Alkah the alligator and his minions, as illustrated in 'The Adventures of Pepe and Pede.'

“The story itself is despicable, racist, and xenophobic. I was disgusted by it,” Chad Withers, a drama teacher at the school where Hauser worked, said. “I’ve never seen anything before that was so obviously targeted propaganda to children.”

Pepe became a mascot for the white nationalist movement, as one of the alt-right’s most prominent recruitment tactics involves indoctrination via memes. And Trump supporters refer to themselves and one another as ‘pedes’ on forums like r/The_Donald in reference to a bad dubstep song by Knife Party that appeared in many pro-Trump videos during his campaign.


Article continues below

What's next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Subscribe for free to Multiverse and get the latest updates delivered to your email every Tuesday and Thursday.

“Pepe has been around a long time,” Hauser said. “He’s been around a lot longer than, I think, that label has.” Though this is technically true, Pepe was not generally associated with conservative values until he was repurposed by the alt-right, unless completely removing your pants when you urinate is considered a conservative value.

Youth propaganda

The insidious, anti-Islam message behind The Adventures of Pepe and Pede recalls the anti-semitic propaganda fed to German children through books commissioned by the Third Reich.

Though German propaganda was state-commissioned, while Hauser’s book was initially published independently, and often more explicit in naming the Jews, Hauser and German propaganda writers both employed thin metaphors and adopted the trappings of a fairytale in order to convey the same message: A certain small but powerful minority group presents a threat to the security of the masses.

Fuck these facists

The most famous piece of German children’s propaganda was called The Poisonous Mushroom. It was written and published by Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, who also began his career as a schoolteacher and administrator.

In The Poisonous Mushroom, a mother and son pick mushrooms in a forest and say really awful shit about Jewish people, like, “Just as a single poisonous mushroom can kill a whole family, so a solitary Jew can destroy a whole village, a whole city, even an entire folk.” It is a heavy-handed, artless mess, and like the pond-cleansing that takes place in The Adventures of Pepe and Pede, Streicher uses environmental contamination as a metaphor for undesirable culture-mixing.

Trust No Fox on Green Heath and No Jew on His Oath, another piece of Nazi propaganda, was written by Elvira Bauer but became more famous for the offensive caricatures of Jewish people that comprised its illustrations. The pictures, according to Mary Mills, were meant to highlight “a pre-conceived contrast between the German and the Jew, their history of animosity, and the establishment of a justification for the German war against the Jews.”

The cover of 'Trust No Fox on Green Heath and No Jew on His Oath'

The illustrations for The Adventures of Pepe and Pede were, according to the artist who Hauser commissioned to draw them, based on a web comic’s depiction of Muslim women in niqab, and Alkah the alligator was supposed to be wearing a long white robe until his character design was altered, according to Motherboard’s interview with the illustrator.

The indoctrination of children is one of the first steps towards altering the perspective and tolerance level of society as a whole. The backlash against Hauser’s book was fast and powerful enough to remove him from a position where he’d have access to young minds, but The Adventures of Pepe and Pede is yet another parallel between German’s descent into fascism and our current political climate, and that fucking blows.

'The Eternals' Movie Cast, Characters, Release Date, Trailer, and Plot

Everything we know about what could be Marvel's weirdest movie yet.

Now that Avengers: Endgame has finally hit theaters, MCU fans are looking ahead to Phase 4 and what the future holds. Among the handful of already confirmed Phase 4 films — which includes the upcoming, Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3— is The Eternals. Endgame did a good job of setting the stage for the former confirmed films. In the case of The Eternals, which have not been explicitly name-checked in the MCU thus far, this is completely new and exciting territory.

'Cyberpunk 2077' Release Date, E3 Trailer, Gameplay for the Keanu Simulator

Are you ready to go into the gritty neon world of Cyberpunk 2077? The latest trailer premiered during Xbox for Microsoft’s E3 2019 presentation, giving potential players a look at a new part of the game, a different version of main character V, and a big reveal: Keanu Reeves will go full Keanu as one of the characters here to help V accomplish their quests. It was a stunningly good preview for a game that we’ve been waiting on for years.

'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Release Date, Trailer, and Production Updates

Here are all the facts and plenty of speculation about Season 4.

It’s been more than a year and a half since Rick and Morty Season 3 ended in October 2017, but since we reached the week of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, promotion for Season 4 is finally in full swing. A May 2019 announcement confirmed that Rick and Morty Season 4 would premiere in November, and even though we don’t have a firm release date just yet, images and limited information about the new season have been revealed.

'Westworld' Season 3: Trailer, Release Date, Cast, Spoilers, More

Something ominous is on the horizon over at HBO and it’s in the shape of Westworld Season 3. The next season of Westworld won’t return until 2020 but as of May 2019, we’re already getting our first look at the next installment in this futuristic, complex series.

Seasons 1 and 2 of Westworld took us into the near future, where a Wild West theme park called Westworld was built with Turing test-passing robots that look, act, and feel like actual humans. Guests went there to do whatever it was that their hearts desired, be it participate in a dual, go on a raid with rogue Confederate soldiers, or spend the night gambling their cares away at the local tavern. But over the course of two seasons, Westworld became a show dedicated to exploring the nature of consciousness, what it means to be a sentient human, and the nature of evolution. In this way, the hedonistic set-up the show was built on gave way to a story that tracked the battle between the humans who run the park and the robotic hosts who want to escape.