If you followed the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings you most certainly remember the “controversy” surrounding Republican operative Zina Bash, who was sitting behind Kavanaugh and at one point caused a lot of chatter (not just on social media, but in the media as well) when she seemingly made the OK symbol with her hand. Many #Resistance members have swallowed the conspiracy theory that the OK symbol 👌 is actually a symbol of “white power.” The absurd idea that Bash was flashing the “white power” symbol spread like wildfire.
Eugene Gu, a member of the so-called #resistance with a large following on Twitter, tweeted unequivocally that he believed Bash was flashing a white power sign. 👌
Kavanaugh’s former law clerk Zina Bash is flashing a white power sign behind him during his Senate confirmation hearing. They literally want to bring white supremacy to the Supreme Court. What a national outrage and a disgrace to the rule of law. https://t.co/uQGOpNa6xg
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) September 4, 2018
This tweet has now been retweeted more than 15,000 times and liked more than 20,000 times.
Liberal activist and author Amy Siskind claimed in a now-deleted tweet that Bash’s symbol flashing was enough to disqualify Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court. Other liberal activists promoted this conspiracy. Whether they actually believe the symbol is a white power symbol, or just promoted the conspiracy theory in the hopes of thwarting Kavanaugh’s confirmation, I can’t say, but sadly, the outrage over this symbol has reached yet another absurd turn.
Yesterday, a U.S. Coast Guard member on the Hurricane Florence response team was seen seemingly making the OK hand gesture 👌in the background of a live MSNBC broadcast.
US Coast Guard on hand gesture seen used by a support staff member (bottom left) during an interview on @MSNBC this afternoon:
"The Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard." pic.twitter.com/jjwZmCFFBI
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 15, 2018
The U.S. Coast Guard apparently felt enough pressure to label the 👌 gesture as “offensive” and remove him from his post:
We are aware of the offensive video on twitter – the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard.
— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) September 15, 2018
The U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement, “This is a frustrating distraction for the Coast Guard during our hurricane response. This person has been removed from the response pending an investigation. These types of actions are not reflective of the core values of the Coast Guard.”
The Anti-Defamation League has dismissed the conspiracy theory, pointing out its origins as a hoax started on the 4chan website.
The “OK” hand gesture originated as one of these hoaxes in February 2017 when an anonymous 4channer announced “Operation O-KKK,” telling other members that “we must flood Twitter and other social media websites…claiming that the OK hand sign is a symbol of white supremacy.” The user even provided a helpful graphic showing how the letters WP (for “white power”) could be traced within an “OK” gesture. The originator and others also suggested useful hashtags to help spread the hoax, such as #PowerHandPrivilege and #NotOkay. “Leftists have dug so deep down into their lunacy,” wrote the poster, “We must force [them] to dig more, until the rest of society ain’t going anywhere near that s***.”
According to the ADL, the OK/white power hoax is just one of many hoaxes started by 4channers and other websites “to take innocuous items, symbols or gestures and falsely attribute white supremacist meanings to them in order to fool liberals and get them to spread such false messages.”
Despite the fact the whole white power symbol is a hoax, several media outlets have run with the story, claiming with certainty that the Coast Guard member flashed a white power symbol. NBC News ran a story with the headline: “Coast Guard member flashes white power hand signal on TV,” not acknowledging that the gesture-is-a-hate-symbol thing was part of an online hoax until near the end of the story. Other outlets wrote similar stories.
So congratulations, liberals… your manufactured outrage caused a U.S. Coast Guard member on the Hurricane Florence response team to be reassigned and investigated.
As the author of a couple of anti-Obama books, aside from regularly being accused of being racist, I’ve been asked about my thoughts on such conspiracy theories as “Was Obama born in Kenya?” or “Is Michelle Obama really a man?” and each time I get asked—which isn’t often, but it happens—I dismiss them quickly and try to move on. I care about the facts. Conspiracy theories are beneath the conservative movement, and those who waste time talking about birth certificates and Michael vs. Michelle are just part of the problem. Conspiracy theories make those promoting them look ridiculous. Why? Because they almost always are. Case in point: the OK symbol being a “white power” sign conspiracy theory.