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Cat in blanket meme
"Cat in blanket" memes are a form of humor based on an often photoshopped image, sometimes with a "cat" and "blanket", which is intended to represent a "lazy", "unhappy", or "grumpy" individual. Examples of such images can be found on the Internet, with their origins typically being traced to an entry in the popular imageboard, 4chan.
The Internet meme was first spotted on 4chan, a popular imageboard website, in a board called /pol/, which is commonly known as the alt-right board. In 2013, /pol/ was a popular site for racist and misogynist content, including racist dog-whistles. In October 2014, after the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer, /pol/ was used to organize what became known as the "alt-right rallies" on the same day.
The board /pol/ is known for its culture of creating memes, and 4chan is credited as the birthplace of the Internet meme. Although /pol/ users usually create text-based memes, users are also credited with the creation of other Internet memes such as "Racially ambiguous person in racist context" (RAPAC). On 4chan's sister board, /mu/, an imageboard based around animal and nature topics, the concept of /cat/ or "catastrophe" first appeared.
In 2015, it is estimated that 10% of Internet users were exposed to /pol/ culture. While the meme was initially a joke or social commentary to some of its users, it has subsequently spread more widely and become associated with, among other things, the alt-right and white supremacists, despite the fact that "cat in blanket" is not intended to invoke white supremacist ideology. As a result of this controversy, the phrase "cat in a blanket, don't care if you're black, white, or gray" became part of the cultural lexicon.
The phrase is generally seen as a reference to "white supremacist beliefs", and as a way to convey a white supremacist mentality or culture to users without actually expressing those beliefs. It is also regarded by some as similar to the term "cuck", a phrase describing a male who is "feminine, weak, or even sexually submissive" used in the alt-right. White nationalist and far-right figure Richard Spencer has referred to the phrase as the "cure for the future".
However, the phrase is often used outside of white supremacist culture, and some clm it is a reference to the original intent of the users who first came up with it in 2005: as a reference to the color of the blanket and the fact that the cat is asleep.
Originally created on an anonymous Internet Relay Chat channel called /sporadic/, the term was a reference to the fact that the image was posted by a regular user of the channel.
A version of the image was first posted to a white supremacist Web forum called Stormfront in 2005, shortly after a white supremacist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia. The image was originally created by user s1m0ny, who had joined the website for the first time about a month earlier, but who had already gned a reputation for posting controversial images and messages on the site. Within the context of the forum, s1m0ny's image, called a "fearless cat in a blanket", became the "catchphrase" of the website for a number of years.
The image was subsequently posted on multiple other white supremacist websites, including Stormfront's sister site Vanguard News Network and the white supremacist message board Stormfront.org. Vanguard itself was one of the primary sources for the phrase, and Vanguard contributor and founder Don Black, who had posted the image to Stormfront, would clm that it had been his idea.
In 2013, an alt-right website called Zero Hedge posted the image on its home page, in the context of a message condemning liberal bias in media coverage. The image would subsequently spread to other Internet forums associated with the alt-right, including Breitbart News and Liberty Blitzkrieg. In 2014, the image was shared by the New York Dly News in an article discussing the growing trend of racist and hateful symbols on clothing sold to students in public schools. In 2015, The Atlantic published a story about the trend of schoolchildren wearing swastikas on their clothing.
In May 2016, journalist and author Malcolm Nance published an article in NBC News discussing the rise of neo-Nazism in the United States, and clming that Donald Trump was directly responsible for its popularity. In response, the Twitter account of Nance's employer, NBC News, posted the Zero Hedge image to their home page, clming that it showed how anti-Semitic content on the Internet was directly related to the political beliefs of Donald Trump and his supporters.
A look at how the neo-Nazi's “okay” hand sign appeared in mnstream media in 2013
Category:Anti-black racism in the United States
Category:Symbols of the American far-right
Category:White supremacist symbols
Category:2010s in the United States
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