Is The Ugandan Knuckles Meme Racist?

Is The Ugandan Knuckles Meme Racist?

It might have a heavier cultural impact than you think.

2018 has been the start of some interesting memes so far including the dangerous tide pod challenge which has sparked some controversy, but one meme has sparked less controversy in journalistic media but more so in social media and that is the Ugandan Knuckles meme.

For those who are unfamiliar with this meme, Ugandan Knuckles is based off of a parody animation of Knuckles the Echidna from Sonic by YouTuber Gregzilla. Then Deviantartist tidestflyer created a 3-D animation version of Gregzilla’s parody animation. The animation was then reused by viewers of a Twitch streamer named Forsen who’s viewers often make flurries of Ugandan jokes and referencing Ugandan warriors on his steams, a lot of them referencing the movie "Who Killed Captain Alex" as well as the video created by Forsen "Zulul", a variation of the internet word “lul.” The video that popularized the meme was a twitch stream where people in VRchat trolled a people online while storming servers with their avatars as the 3-D animation of Knuckles, while making clicking noises and saying “Do you know the wey?” in exaggerated African accents. I have linked a video of FBE's video "Elder's React to Ugandan Knuckles" to help give a visual explanation. It can be viewed here.

Many people feel the meme is racist because it fits a narrow stereotype of Ugandan people. The meme dehumanizes the people of Uganda as people who click their tongues, a language based stereotype that is applied to a lot of African countries. The big issue people have is that the people who are doing it and have popularized it are white. The Twitch streamer is Swedish and most of his followers are from countries that are predominantly white.

However, there are some that feel the meme isn't racist at all and feel people are overreacting. They feel the meme is fine because it's referencing a movie. They feel it's fine because we've mocked stereotypes before from countries like France and Germany. Why is this any different? Another argument against is that Ugandans have seen these videos about this meme and have found it hilarious. Even the director of the movie gave the meme a stamp of approval. And one last argument for the meme: Uganda has so much more to worry about than a meme. Why would they be offended?

Here’s the thing. Uganda can't be simplified by what you see on the news. It can't be minimalized by the opinions of a couple people. It is an entire country with a rich culture. To assume that because a few people from Uganda were okay with the meme debunks decades of westerners mistreating this country and viewing people with dark skin as unhuman or low intelligence or tribal even is proof of ignorance.

And while sure, it's a movie reference, it's really not a matter of who or where it's from but rather how it's being depicted and why it's become so popular. Sure the famous line “Do you know deh wey” is from the movie, but is the clicking.

As far as stereotypes, French stereotypes and Ugandan stereotypes are apples and oranges, my friend. How the stereotypes affect the country isn't on the same level. If a French person is stereotyped, it's funny. Maybe a tourist goes to France and annoys everyone and the most that happens is the French people ignore him or tell him he is an idiot. If someone perpetuates a Ugandan or even just African stereotype because honestly that's what it is because while Africa is an entire continent, westerners throw it in one box, it adds to the horrible way Uganda is portrayed by the media and how people from African countries are treated by predominantly white countries.

As a White person and can't say whether or not something is racist or whether or not other people find it racist or offensive because I don't speak for them. I personally agree that this meme is racist and has a very racist origin. If you don't agree with me or don't know how you feel, I advise you to take the time and think about this meme and how it affects your society. While it might seem like just a silly meme, keep in mind memes are actually really important. They shape our society and tell a lot about us as a whole, about how our generation feels about an issue or how we feel about an event. It can also say a lot about how we feel socially and how we perceive others. What is this meme saying?

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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