By Corinne Murdock |
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, members of Congress’ ultra-progressive Squad, and the rest of the Democratic Party took offense to a meme video tweeted Sunday and deleted by Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04), characterizing it as violence. The video was a parody of the intro for a popular anime show, Attack on Titan, superimposing Gosar’s face onto the protagonist, Eren Yeager, with both Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) and President Joe Biden depicted as two villains that Gosar as Yager attacks.
The faces of Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03) were also superimposed onto protagonists, too – the only two other Republicans featured in the video were Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01) and former President Donald Trump. The video also incorporated clips of the border crisis and Border Patrol. Toward the end of the video, there are pictures of Gosar with his enemies: Biden, Pelosi, Vice President Kamala Harris, and NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Pelosi called for the government and police to investigate Gosar for the meme as a threat of violence.
“Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated,” tweeted Pelosi. “@GOPLeader should join in condemning this horrific video and call on the Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate.”
Pelosi’s remarks came the morning after the rallying cry of the Squad, a majority of whom tweeted similar condemnations in near-succession on Monday night.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) demanded that Republicans control Gosar.
“His party must reign him in. Fantasizing about killing a colleague is dangerous, deranged, and promotes violence,” wrote Tlaib.
Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO-01) called the meme “violent bigotry” that endangered people.
“Every day these white supremacists push the limits further and further to see how far they can go without consequences,” asserted Bush. “This puts lives in danger. Enough with the violent bigotry. Expel this white supremacist clown.”
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN-05) insinuated that Gosar should step down or be removed from his seat.
“This man should not serve in Congress. Fantasizing about violently attacking your colleagues has no place in our political discourse and society,” wrote Omar.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that the video was a fantasy of a man who fundraises for Neo-Nazis killing her, and lamented that this was another attack on women of color that wouldn’t face consequences.
“So while I was en route to Glasgow, a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me. And he’ll face no consequences [because] @GOPLeader [Kevin McCarthy] cheers him on with excuses. Fun Monday! Well, back to work [because] institutions don’t protect [women of color.] Remember when [Republican Florida Congressman Ted] Yoho accosted me on the the Capitol and called me a f*****g b***h [?] Remember when Greene ran after me a few months ago screaming and reaching[?] Remember when she stalked my office the first time with insurrectionists & ppl locked inside[?] All at my job and nothing ever happens[.] Anyways, back to business[.] This dude is just a collection of wet toothpicks anyway. White supremacy is for extremely fragile people and sad men like him, whose self concept relies on the myth that he was born superior because deep down he knows he couldn’t open a pickle jar or read a whole book by himself.”
After the majority of the Democratic Party lobbed their condemnations against Gosar, the congressman tweeted another meme Tuesday morning alluding to left-wing reactions over the deleted video.
The meme featured two popular characters, “Crying Wojak” and “Yes Chad,” in a combination template called “Soyboy vs. Yes Chad.” The former character typically represents a frustrated male that is perceived as more woke, liberal, and soft – hence the term “soyboy.” In this meme, it’s supposed to represent the Democrats outraged by the meme.
The latter character typically represents a masculine man comfortable in his beliefs, depicted as more conservative, rational, and strong. In this case, Yes Chad represented Gosar.
“You’re [sic] cartoon scares me with your jet pack[,] flying[,] and light sabers [sic],” says the Soyboy, with the Yes Chad responding: “It’s a cartoon. Relax.”
This week marks a shift in public discourse over the meaning and significance of memes. On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) classified meme culture as “misinformation” that “poses an increasing danger” in newly-published guidance addressing COVID-19 information. The toolkit also alluded to satire as “misinformation.”