The finger-and-thumb OK sign, once an international gesture of approval, has been declared to be a racist gesture by the Anti-Defamation League.
As CNN wrote in its September 26 coverage, “The ADL added that symbol along with several others on Thursday to its long-standing database of slogans and symbols used by extremists.”
While the ADL has said that not everybody necessarily intends it to be a signal to fellow racists, the sign has been co-opted by the alt-right.
Equating the gesture with white nationalism “began as a hoax cooked up by users of the website 4chan,” and was “meant to bait the media or people with liberal ideals to overreact, ADL experts say, and therefore look ridiculous for condemning such an innocuous sign.”
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement that his organization believes “law enforcement and the public needs to be fully informed about the meaning of these images, which can serve as a first warning sign to the presence of haters in a community or school.”
The article noted further that some political radicals have adopted the sign with sincerity. The article cited how Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant made the gesture in court.
However, the article failed to give context in that his entire manifesto was written with troll tactics to bait the media including how he claimed black conservative Candace Owens helped radicalize him, “though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for me are too much, even for my tastes.”
The idiocy of this is that people making the gesture in completely unrelated contexts can still be accused of being racists and have their lives ruined.
Attorney Zina Gelman Bash was accused of making this gesture as a racist dog-whistle when she rested her hand on her arm in a strange way during Kavanaugh hearings. The Washington Post recounted how a doctor named Eugene Gu with a large #Resistance Twitter following tweeted that she was flashing the symbol as a gesture of “white power.”
He tweeted that “flashing a white power sign” behind Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation hearing was a sign that conservatives “literally want to bring white supremacy to the Supreme Court. What a national outrage and a disgrace to the rule of law.”
CBS news reported that her husband “John Bash defended his wife, who was born in Mexico and is Jewish on her father's side. Her grandparents are Holocaust survivors.”
She was still removed from her seat in the hearings, however, to avoid controversy.
A similar incident was reported by ABC3340’s Stephen Quinn, when four police officers were “suspended w/o pay for the gesture” for a picture in the Daily Mountain Eagle. The officers were playing a variant of the “Circle Game,” where men will place that gesture on their leg and trick a coworker into looking at it, which entitles them to playfully give the victim a dead-arm swat.
The ADL, much like the disgraced Southern Poverty Law Center, is an increasingly left-wing, anti-conservative organization that seeks to use its once honorable reputation to target conservative speech online.
Greenblatt has cited phrases like “caravan” and “open borders,” as “literally white supremacist phrases that have worked their way through the system.”
He also has smeared online conservatives as being “anti-Semitic” for their criticism of liberal billionaire George Soros. He claimed “George Soros is patient zero for the anti-Semites.”
Soros has been critiqued because he is a premier liberal donor who has given hundreds of millions of dollars to liberal causes and candidates. He’s ranked No. 8 among “Top Individual Contributors” for the 2018 election, according to Open Secrets. He donated roughly $19 million to Democrats that election.
Greenblatt himself served as “special assistant to President Obama” and, according to the New York Post’s reporting, and has even “directed an initiative at the Aspen Institute, a George Soros-financed, left-leaning nonprofit.”