By: Julia Richmond
I am using both of these memes but strongly focusing on the bottom one, because it was generated furthermore once the first one was released. The photos represent a campus police officer from the University of California, who was photographed pepper-spraying students during a protest. The police officer was found not guilty, and it was said that he was trying to clear a safe pathway to escape as some people were not cooperating. I chose this meme in particular because I remember hearing this story and wanted to find the real meaning of why a photo of Jesus with children was generated to be compared with the pepper-spraying officer.
The relevant aspects of the second meme are that it was made to take a serious controversial issue, and turn it into a more humorous photo. This was done by taking the officer with the pepper-spray and placing him in a photo with Jesus and children, then carelessly spraying a little boy. A simple protest is being compared to Jesus gathering with children in a peaceful setting.
A generated meme is meant to spread ideas from one person to another, and in this case have an underlying religious representation. At first glance, this photo looks as if it is only making fun of the cop for pepper-spraying children who are confiding with Jesus. Although, there is a deeper meaning to this meme religiously, and more specifically what Jesus represents. A portion of a Bible passage referring to Mark 10:13-16 reads, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” The previous quote that goes along with the photo in the meme plays perfectly in comparison with the fact that it was believed that the officer used unnecessary force to stop the students from having a protest. Likewise, arguments say that the students had the right to protest an issue on their campus. Out of all memes related to this topic that I researched the one with Jesus and his children had the deepest relevance due to the similarity of the students’ rights on campus to have a peaceful protest, and Jesus believing that the kingdom of God is there home to allow them to come be with him.