Woman Receives Racist Meme Via Bluetooth, Outs Sender As 'White Supremacist'

Harmless fun or alt-right mascot intended to intimidate?

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Renee Bracey Sherman is a self-proclaimed black feminist who is an award-winning pro-choice activist.

She is also a very active Twitter user and has over 12k followers.

When she was at the airport using her computer, she received an 'AirDrop' message (a way of sending files wirelessly through bluetooth) from someone called Jacob, of the meme character Pepe.

Pepe the frog is a meme that has been adopted by the alt-right community. What began as a harmless, smug-looking frog, was added to The Anti Defamation League's (ADL) online hate symbols database in September of last year, due to its anti-semitic and generally racist use.

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Sherman screenshot the message and captioned the Tweet: 'I have my bluetooth on because I'm using my headphones, and White supremacist Jacob takes the opportunity to try to send me Pepe bullshit.'

She went on in a thread, clearly frustrated by the move, to explain why what appears to be a harmless cartoon, is intended or can be received as offensive and intimidating, particularly due to her own racial identity.

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She said :

This shit isn't about a difference of politics. It's about threats. It's about harassment. It's about making people of color feel unsafe. I'm minding my own business, with my headphones on, and white supremacist Jacob just can't leave me the f*** alone. This is terrorism. I want to wait for my four hour delayed flight in peace. I don't want to look at your stupid f***ing racist meme, white supremacist Jacob.

People immediately started sharing these Tweets which began gathering thousands of likes, replies and shares.

Since clearly Sherman is no pushover, and not content with venting on social media, Renee went looking for Jacob, and she found him:

'UPDATE: I found Jacob and his Mac Book Pro at the airport bar and cussed him out for sending me the Pepe image.'

In a controversial move, Renee started snapping Jacob, despite his clear objection to the photo being taken.

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She posts all these photos with captions explaining their interaction:

This is Jacob. He sends people Pepe memes as threats via AirDrop in the airport. Then when approached about it, doesn't have shit to say. He smiled when I approached asking if he was Jacob who sent the meme. At first he said he sent it to a bunch of people just for fun. When asked why he sent it, he said he didn't know. And he doesn't know what the Pepe meme means. He can't figure out why I was mad. Jacob says he 'randomly has the image on his computer & sent it to people but doesn't know what it means'. I called bulls***. He was silent.

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Jacob denied understanding the cultural importance of Pepe, though Sherman didn't believe him. She went on to call him out in very strong terms:

Jacob, like all white supremacists, is a f***ing coward. His friend tried to save him & say he was trying to send the image to him. Liars. When I talked to Jacob about what he did, he said the airport was not the time & place to talk about why he sends strangers racist memes. Jacob didn't specify when a good time would be so I continued to raise my voice. He never did answer why he sent the image to me. White supremacists like Jacob, you're on notice. It might be giggles with buddies online, but I will cuss you the f*** out like I did Jacob.

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Sherman even went as far as to name and shame him, employing others to recognize him as a white supremacist:

'If you know or work with Jacob, know that your friend is a white supremacist & digital terrorizer. And he got cussed out by me today.'

There was a mixed response in the comments, with some applauding her public outing.

Others suggested that Renee was actually stooping to his level, and maybe even lower, by placing all these photos of him online when he clearly didn't want them up.

Later in the day Sherman continued to respond to Tweets about the interaction, defending her move to out him.

She argued that sending images of this nature are actually counted as terrorism and that they were intended to intimidate her.

We know that Pepe has greater significance than a frog, so Sherman seems pretty within her rights to get angry that someone sent it to her. Though, where is the line when it comes to 'naming and shaming' on Social Media?

Could this be an honest miscommunication that got out of hand, or is Sherman actually helping society by outing a real racist?

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