|Frogs, clowns, and swastikas|
|Rebuilding the Reich, one meme at a time|
|Buzzwords and dogwhistles|
Clown World (emojified as 🤡🌏, also known as Honkler, Heil Honkler or Honk Honkler) is an alt-right, neo-Nazi propaganda meme and dog whistle. The "Honkler" image first appeared on 4chan in February 2019. Clown World and Honkler have been utilized by the alt-right in an effort to obfuscate racism and hate with seemingly innocuous memes in the form of mockery toward postmodernism.
"Clown World" is composed of "world" refering to the planet Earth and "clown" which refers to colorful looking folks who chuck pies at each other for the amusement of others.
The word "Honkler" is a portmanteau of "Hitler" and "Honk", particularly in the usage "Heil Honkler".
White nationalist usage
“”They will adopt our child, and post Honkler on social media under mainstream memes already in circulation. There will come a time when we must take him back. … Whether of the HONK or not, we must perpetuate this meme to show the world our ideas.
The alt-right uses memes as an online radicalization tool. One of the best-known icons is Pepe the Frog, a meme co-opted by 4chan in 2008. Honkler resembles Pepe, but in a clown outfit. While Pepe has innocent uses, Honkler has explicit racist connotations and is alt-right, often used by neo-Nazis.
"Clown world" was a phrase used in the subculture from about 2015. Its users claim it simply means that the (Western) world is so "crazy" in its embrace of social justice politics (read: not racist) that the only people who could conceivably be running it are
Jews clowns, hence "clown world". Countries without closed borders and which don't allow for the ethnic cleansing or genocide of minorities are considered "clown countries" because they don't embrace the policies of the Third Reich. More plainly, this is a reaction to social change, showing disappointment that the real world doesn't work like Leave It to Beaver. The phrase started being heavily promoted on The Right Stuff's podcast "The Daily Shoah" in 2017.
The "Honkler" meme originated on 4chan board /pol/ in February 2019 in a thread titled "Operation Honk". Referred to as Honk Honk or Honkler, it quickly gained popularity across the internet in far-right groups, where Honkler imagery portrays antisemitic, homophobic, transphobic, and racist tropes.
Honkler is the main figure of the Clown World, though other alt-right imagery is also drawn over by clown features, including images of Adolf Hitler and shock imagery. Honkler was described in Clown World Chronicles as the Clown World equivalent of the Roman god Mercury, the herald of Kek, who is the highest god.
Variants of Honkler showed up in "Frenworld", in which alt-right talking points are stated in the language of a small child. The Frenworld subreddit was banned in June 2019 due to its users inciting violence.
- Vaush, CLOWN WORLD & Nazi Dogwhistling
- Right Wing Watch; Jared Holt, April 4, 2019: White Nationalists Adopt Clowns as Their Next Racist Symbol (Yes, Seriously) by Jared Holt (April 4, 2019 2:54 pm) Right Wing Watch.
- Daniel E. Harper and Jack Graham. I Don't Speak German, Episode 14: The Red Pill and YouTube.
- 4chan; /pol/ OPERATION *HONK* (archived)
- Reddit; OutOfTheLoop: What is going on with this "clown world" thing?
- VJM Publishing: Clown World Chronicles
- Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson has a sad day in Albany by Zach D. Roberts, May 13, 2019, NationofChange
- Know Your Meme: Clown Pepe / Honk Honk / Clown World. (archive snapshot)