[ this post has updates below ]

Oh jeez I’ve touched a nerve.

I’m back from summer break and already super-duper done with the latest feigned RW outrage. “Oh FFS you damn libruls is so sensitive it’s just an OK hand sign!” is the nonsense they’ve been yelling to anyone who’ll listen.

No it’s not. The sign—marketed by area racist white-power ambassadors like Richard Spencer & Milo Yiannopoulos—is a Warm Calgon Bath for nazis. Zina Bash was caught doing it at a hearing for noted sexual assaulter SCOTUS nominee Brett Kananaugh; an intern flashed it at a white house* photo shoot; the above Coast Guard dingus got reassigned for it; I could go on.

Keep in mind these guys get super sensitive when you call them out. I spoke up on Twitter with objection to this inane line of “logic” and was instantly blasted by bots and cretins with 7 followers who were super sure I’m the devil.

Generally speaking, if the right believes something is X and the left believes that same thing is Y—reality is somewhere in the middle.

This is not that.

This symbol is so pervasive in the right-wing Nutbag-O-Sphere they’re obviously brandishing it as a weapon—and a shield. They’ll say “But Zina Bash is multi-ethic, how dare you!” or “That white house* intern is Jewish how dare you!” as if they’re suddenly worried about marginalized ethnicities.

‘Not so fast’ says ADL

The Anti-Defamation League has also pooh-poohed the idea, but I sharply disagree with its findings. The symbol has become a fun parlor game to correct uppity progressives *and* a way for white-power assholes to keep their Kool Kids Klub membership. If they troll libs in the process so much the better.

Appropriated hate speech is still hate speech but yes please continue to correct me.

We’re to believe assholes who’ve made it their life’s work to, well, be assholes, are intending something innocuous, kind and benevolent with this hand gesture? If you believe that I’ve got a bridge to sell you with fabulous views of Alaska.

Even if the white power symbol started as a 4Chan fever dream it’s advanted to trolling trophy that gives Skeeter cred with pals and rightful scorn from reason-based carbon life forms. 😡

UPDATE (16 Dec 2019): ADL told Associated Press that “Okay” gesture “has also been appropriated as a signal for white supremacy” but that caution is warranted because the symbol is known to have multiple meanings. As of this writing the “OK” hand sign doesn’t appear on ADL’s website in the section of racist-hand signals. This is a distinction without a difference and ADL should officially add it.

UPDATE (22 Dec 2019): Twitter pal Millennial Politics has “curated” (LOL) a superb collection of White Power ‘OK’ sign images and seeing is believing. Go here to check them out and follow that account immediately.

Will Pollocksideways is a perpetually crabby New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (the award-wining Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.

In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media and journalism ever since he graduated.

Obsessed with good storytelling and journalistic excellence, Will uses snark, humor and reason to distill dumb shit and make it fun. He is a seeker/maker of non-consensus news, and cures his crankies by finding the nut in every story.

As for-profit media continues to fail us, it’s more important than ever to find reliable sources. Authentic storytelling exists—you just have to look for it. On this blog you’ll get ideas, not ideology. Sass with class. Reporting with rapport. Evidence with a touch of evil. You get the idea.

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