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.

Ugh.

Article continues below

Your twice weekly guide through an endless stream of things to watch, see and play.
Sign up for our newsletter:

“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.

Where to Get Every Game of Thrones Season on Blu-Ray and 4K Blu-Ray

Winter, uh, we mean the final season of this show is coming.

Where were you when Game Of Thrones first premiered on HBO in the summer of 2011? I was interning at a comedy website in New York, so naturally I was surrounded by the biggest nerds you have ever seen in your life, so naturally we all got together to watch the show together on Sunday nights. Wild to think that in the eight years prior, Ned Stark is long dead, Arya is now the most feared assassin in Westeros, and Varys… well, he’s still a real dick.

The 50 Best Joe Biden Memes

The internet's favorite Vice President.

It’s been well-established that former Vice President Joe Biden is the most memeable politician of our time. Clad in aviator sunglasses with a folksy smile, the gaffe-prone Biden made for perfect meme fodder as the juvenile foil to President Barack Obama’s elevated demeanor.

Biden’s meme bona fides got a boost on Tuesday after saying that, as a young man, he would’ve fought President Donald Trump because of the way our current President has treated women. “If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,” Biden announced at a University of Miami rally.

'You' Season 2: Netflix Release Date, Spoilers, Cast, Trailer, and Theories

Your latest Netflix obsession could be coming back soon.

It’s been over a month since Lifetime’s You made the jump to Netflix and became an overnight sensation. We’re already as obsessed with this series as Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) was over Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), and we can barely wait for the You Season 2 release date.

Thankfully, there’s already a lot of info out there about You Season 2, including a release date window, plot details, returning cast members, and a few new confirmed characters. Here’s everything you need to know, along with a bit of speculation.

8 Creepy Unsolved Murder Mysteries That Even the Internet Can't Solve

"When the teen’s skeleton was found, his knees reportedly were above his head and a hand was covering his face.”

The internet loves certain things without question: dogs, yodeling kids and memes. But perhaps the most cherished internet fodder are unsolved mysteries. Long after police and private investigators shelve cold cases, real-life murder cases live online for decades, meticulously pored over by Redditors and Facebook-moms alike.

They become especially popular if some curious conspiracy theorist is able to upload photo “evidence” or eyewitness accounts. Sometimes evidence that a jury might take as sufficient cause to convict a killer doesn’t quite satisfy online researchers, and conspiracy theorists will hold tight to creepy, unexplained details, falling deeper down a rabbit hole of independent investigation.

A New Study Disproves Long-Held Beliefs on Both Sides of Cannabis Debate

"We wanted to know what the data would show."

Depending on who’s talking when it comes to weed, it induces psychotic behavior, helps psychotic behavior, kills teen brain cells or doesn’t kill sperm. In other words, whatever your opinions on prohibition, there’s no debating that it has made cannabis, and its effects, harder to study. Case in point: A new data set which disproves long-held beliefs on both sides of the weed debate.