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Explaining the Memes Used by Protesting Teens

Protesters at Wednesday’s walkout. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of students up and left their classrooms on Wednesday morning at exactly 10 a.m. as part of a walkout demonstration against gun violence. Scenes from the events were, as expected, quite moving. Seeing hundreds of kids flocking together shouting “enough is enough” and giving speeches imploring their elected officials to give a damn about them is a pretty good way to find yourself tearing up over your computer screen.

But there were also reminders that these kids are, well, kids. Good kids. Kids who protest exactly how kids should protest at their age. With effective political communication tools like, say, memes. But what do they mean? Allow us to explain.

The Meme: Evil Patrick
What it means: Evil Patrick (which comes from the world of SpongeBob SquarePants) is used when you do something, well, evil, or at least not good or helpful. Usually, in the context of this meme, the “something” is, like, making plans knowing you’ll flake on them. But it could also be, say, making bad-faith contributions to a life-or-death debate over gun control. Still works!

The Meme: Unfaithful Guy/Jealous Girlfriend
What it means: Pretty self-explanatory, I think? The guy is Donald Trump, who should be taking a nice walk with the lives and safety of schoolchildren, but is instead staring at the NRA’s ass. It’s not, uh, particularly sophisticated.

Snapchat’s Snap Map — a map that shows you where your friends are in the world — did an excellent job of curating content from protests all across the United States. While we didn’t find any good meme signs highlighted on the map, we did find this gem, a snap from a student in New York City — they appear to have walked out of Stuyvesant High School — of their classmates chanting. We truly do not deserve these teens.

No more guns! Yeah, bitch!

Explaining the Memes Used by Protesting Teens