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A-Ok Hand Gesture "Symbol of White Supremacy"- Say What?????


Crimson Wife
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Well, I just lost the link, but I Snopes'ed it...turns out the white power gang sign is not strictly an A-OK sign. It's similar, but the forefinger and thumb are not connected. The forefinger is curled down onto the base of the thumb (kinda?) to make the letter "P," while the 2nd, ring, and pinky fingers are making a "W."

 

And if I ever see some loser making this sign, I will certainly lose my mind (and probably misbehave) because it infuriates me that these people have a hand sign. This is 2017. What is this white power hand sign.

 

The rest of us can keep going "A-OK" if we want to.

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I have heard this... as I understand it, it's a newish usage of the gesture, meant to be a sort of secret sign from one person to another. When something has a racist history in and of itself, it's easy to say, okay, let's not do that. Maybe you didn't know that "gypped" was offensive, but the roots clearly are. I'm not sure what to do with something like this - when a few people take a common gesture and assign it a new meaning. It almost feels like letting them have it to decide it has the offensive meaning. The history of this gesture is not rooted in racism as I understand it. It's a newer meaning that some people have adopted. So I'm not sure what I think, honestly.

 

It's not a gesture I make hardly ever so it's not an issue that's come up for me.

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The ones labeling things as white priviledge or supremacy are currently on a roll. Most people have stopped listening because it crossed over into the absurd a long time ago.

 

I don't think this is labeling an old gesture as white supremacy. As I understand this, actual white supremacists have taken on this gesture to use themselves as a sort of sign to flash in photos and so forth. So this isn't "social justice" people calling it that - it's actual racists embracing it as that.

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Well, I just lost the link, but I Snopes'ed it...turns out the white power gang sign is not strictly an A-OK sign. It's similar, but the forefinger and thumb are not connected. The forefinger is curled down onto the base of the thumb (kinda?) to make the letter "P," while the 2nd, ring, and pinky fingers are making a "W."

 

And if I ever see some loser making this sign, I will certainly lose my mind (and probably misbehave) because it infuriates me that these people have a hand sign. This is 2017. What is this white power hand sign.

 

The rest of us can keep going "A-OK" if we want to.

 

Originated with a white supremacist prison gang (Aryan Circle) I believe.

 

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people twist things.

 

Like the girl who survived her uncle's assault on her family by playing dead.  she was the only one to survive.  she flashed some type of handsign that I and most others took to mean she was hanging in there and was going to be ok.  some people started yelling she was flashing a gang sign.  she was 14? and her entire family had just been murdered.  because she survived and called the police - they were able to arrest him before her murdered her grandparents too.   and people were saying she was flashing a gang sign . . .or something.

 

eta: as for the a-ok gesture - I haven't made it in years becasue I use words.  I might do a thumbs up though - usually if there is distance and it's harder to hear.

Edited by gardenmom5
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I don't think this is labeling an old gesture as white supremacy. As I understand this, actual white supremacists have taken on this gesture to use themselves as a sort of sign to flash in photos and so forth. So this isn't "social justice" people calling it that - it's actual racists embracing it as that.

Or just trolling people because they think it's funny.

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I saw posts on twitter that it was trolling to see how gullible people are.

This is a common tactic -

 

I say something racist

You object

I say I just proved how gullible you are

 

This doesn't change the fact that I said something unacceptable, it just shuts down criticism.

 

It's like in middle school where the bully says "I was only joking" and all the weaker kids suddenly go oh yeah and get the joke. Except that our social discourse is filling with poison

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I have been attacked for posting ((((hugs))) because apparently that stands for Nazi/white supremacist.

 

Neo-nazis and their ilk have taken to using (((triple parens))) to indicate that a (((named person))) is Jewish and thus "fair game" for harassment.

 

And this is why we can't have nice things.

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So this isn't "social justice" people calling it that - it's actual racists embracing it as that.

 

The challenge is telling the difference between who is actually using it for racist reasons and who is just using it to mean "a-ok".

 

The danger is accusing people of being racists and/or using the gesture for some ulterior purpose when they're not.

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Neo-nazis and their ilk have taken to using (((triple parens))) to indicate that a (((named person))) is Jewish and thus "fair game" for harassment.

 

And this is why we can't have nice things.

How do you people know these things? I have never caught that or heard of that before and I don't think I live under a rock? I must just stick to nicer corners of the web or something, because I've never run into a white supremacist (that I know of anyway) in my life! Some random trolls, sure, but none of the obviously racist kind. Edited by Arctic Mama
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Or, we could just keep using parentheses and hand symbols the way they've always been used, because who gives a flying flip about how a bunch of racist internet kooks want to appropriate things? Why defer to them in these matters? Why make them the deciders? How about we have the nice things and ignore the insanity instead of propagating it for them?

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Or, we could just keep using parentheses and hand symbols the way they've always been used, because who gives a flying flip about how a bunch of racist internet kooks want to appropriate things? Why defer to them in these matters? Why make them the deciders? How about we have the nice things and ignore the insanity instead of propagating it for them?

YEAH!

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Or, we could just keep using parentheses and hand symbols the way they've always been used, because who gives a flying flip about how a bunch of racist internet kooks want to appropriate things? Why defer to them in these matters? Why make them the deciders? How about we have the nice things and ignore the insanity instead of propagating it for them?

Except the origin isn't online.

 

It is true that the actual hand signal isn't the A-okay sign, it just is similar.

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The challenge is telling the difference between who is actually using it for racist reasons and who is just using it to mean "a-ok".

 

The danger is accusing people of being racists and/or using the gesture for some ulterior purpose when they're not.

 

I don't know how the original conversation happened, but I'd like to be told if I was accidentally saying something with a double meaning!

I've told the girls that "friends with benefits" does not just mean "close friends". I wasn't accusing them of talking about sex, just informing them that this is what it means. I've told casual commenters on linguistics forums that "ebonics" is a term nowadays mostly used by racists. I wasn't accusing them of being racist, I was informing them that the more neutral term is AAVE or AAE. It's like having toilet paper stuck to your shoe - I really want to know these things before I embarrass myself.

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Well, and the other reason to get caught up on developments like this, instead of just hoping that ignoring will magically make bad stuff go away...I told my kids about the white power hand sign because I want to know if they SEE it. Those of us who live in locales with some history of white supremacist activity, need to be alert. If it's in my community to the point where my kids are seeing it in broad daylight, like it's suddenly OK to express racism, I want to know.

 

The conversation is not just about, "Oh, we can't say or do anything anymore, watch out for the politically correct liberals censoring our lives." If there's a shift, whether in numbers of people who are ready to organize and activate toward hate crimes, or whether it's increased boldness on the part of just a few, somebody should pay attention.

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Well, and the other reason to get caught up on developments like this, instead of just hoping that ignoring will magically make bad stuff go away...I told my kids about the white power hand sign because I want to know if they SEE it. Those of us who live in locales with some history of white supremacist activity, need to be alert. If it's in my community to the point where my kids are seeing it in broad daylight, like it's suddenly OK to express racism, I want to know.

 

The conversation is not just about, "Oh, we can't say or do anything anymore, watch out for the politically correct liberals censoring our lives." If there's a shift, whether in numbers of people who are ready to organize and activate toward hate crimes, or whether it's increased boldness on the part of just a few, somebody should pay attention.

 

Totally in agreement. Hate groups often try to make their ideology more acceptable by making their less obvious symbols and rhetoric more common and move people step by step into their worldview like the Overton Window in media. I grew up in a rather racist area and where I live now has active EDL and known fascist groups and I want to be aware and want my kids to be aware of the current red flags for these groups just as much as the red flags for any other behaviour or relationships as relationship building is one of the main recruiting tools they use. The one similar to OK may not get the traction to pull people in, but it's only one of many currently in use. People using as they are may help drown it out but knowing it is there can help people keep an eye out. 

 

The ones online are more insidious and even more important I think for young people who are online to know. Stormfront and other White supremacist group are actively targeting forums known for young people with tactics to recruit them in the step by step manner with things few suspect is connected with them -- like cuck having becoming a frequently seen insult online in comments originates from its usage by White supremacists and is now mainstream popular. The window of acceptability is moving towards them. Knowing their online codes and tactics makes it easier to deal with them. 

 

Another example, also seen in comment threads, many seemingly ridiculous illogical arguments about racism/sexism/ableism and so on are often started by members of hate groups not with the intention to directly argue with people at that point but to get people to argue with them and get more attention from bystanders reading the thread -- knowing they just want to argue with people in hopes the attention will make someone google their way to their websites and knowing phrases and such flags to alert between actual conversations and these hate group threads means we don't waste our efforts to do their work for them and our kids knowing what those phrases actually mean and why they're hateful makes them less susceptible to the recruitment that is how many get into these groups. 

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Thing is....I think it is wrong to change how we live to appease the bullies. The bullies want us to stop ((((hugs)))) and to stop giving an ok sign and whatever and they have claimed ownership of things that are ours and that belong to everyone.

 

I think what we need to do is ignore them, like all bullies should be, and live our lives. It takes away meaning to their symbols and from their control when we refuse to bend to it. 

 

OK, if you are walking down the sidewalk and a thug stands in your way and says you cannot walk here unless you hate all Jewish people. You say, ok, fine, there are many other sidewalks, I will just take a different one. The next week, you are walking down the next one and same thing. You cannot walk down that sidewalk because now, that one too is just for anti-semetic people. So, you avoid that one too. Then a week later, another one....That is how bullies are. No one should fold to them the first time. I refuse to change how I type or how I wave or otherwise to appease them. I am sure they get a good laugh feeling like they get to control everyone right down to , everything, but, no..I think everyone needs to continue to walk and talk and gesture how they always have and not allow these bad people do control us or run our lives.

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No, it's not a racist hand gesture ( if you're speaking of the recent hand gesture in the news). Anytime a social justice warrior needs attention they come up with some new thing that's offensive and racist.

Edited by reefgazer
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No, it's not a racist hand gesture ( if you're speaking of the recent hand gesture in the news). Anytime a social justice warrior needs attention they come up with some new thing that's offensive and racist.

 

And some people actually care about racism and things that might flare up from that mindset.

 

Other people just want to score political points by dissing any such concern with name calling and rhetoric. 

 

 

Edited by Happy2BaMom
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To continue your analogy, you leave the Jewish person wondering if you are joining the anti-Semitic movement by walking on that sidewalk or if you are just there because it was on the way to the grocery store and you refuse to let the racist tell you where you can walk.

 

Your marginalized neighbors no longer know if you are a safe person in the community. Even your non-racist neighbors may get the wrong impression of you.

 

"Ignore it and do what you want" is a position of privilege. The people actually threatened by the increase in racism and nationalism in America don't have that privilege. The black person trying to use that sidewalk would be putting their life in danger. You can't use that sidewalk despite the bully and pretend that you're doing something noble. You would have to actually take a stand and say either that bully goes or I do.

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To continue your analogy, you leave the Jewish person wondering if you are joining the anti-Semitic movement by walking on that sidewalk or if you are just there because it was on the way to the grocery store and you refuse to let the racist tell you where you can walk.

 

Your marginalized neighbors no longer know if you are a safe person in the community. Even your non-racist neighbors may get the wrong impression of you.

 

"Ignore it and do what you want" is a position of privilege. The people actually threatened by the increase in racism and nationalism in America don't have that privilege. The black person trying to use that sidewalk would be putting their life in danger. You can't use that sidewalk despite the bully and pretend that you're doing something noble. You would have to actually take a stand and say either that bully goes or I do.

Cowering in fear and moving out of the way did not work during the Holocaust. And when people pay attention to the racists and allow everything to become a symbol for hate, then there is nothing left and it gives the racists control. 

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No, it's not a racist hand gesture ( if you're speaking of the recent hand gesture in the news). Anytime a social justice warrior needs attention they come up with some new thing that's offensive and racist.

 

It says something about our society that people use those words as a slur.  Social justice is "the fair and just relation between the individual and society" or "the fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc. are to be treated equally and without prejudice."    Every time I hear someone use it as a slur, I think wow, you really want to announce that you are NOT in favor of that? But people take it too far!  People do this or that bad thing that I don't like!  Yeah, but that doesn't change what it *is*. 

 

Same thing with feminism, the definition of which is "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities" 

 

Because there are some people who take a thing too far, does not negate what the thing is. "Religion is bad because some people get all crazy and in your face about it." Um, nope.

 

Also not missing the significance of those words being used like that in a conversation about people "appropriating" terms or symbols that are not inherently wrong and how that should be resisted.

Edited by goldberry
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Cowering in fear and moving out of the way did not work during the Holocaust. And when people pay attention to the racists and allow everything to become a symbol for hate, then there is nothing left and it gives the racists control.

Where did I suggest cowering in fear? "You would actually have to take a stand..." is rather the opposite of cowering.

 

Pretending nothing all that bad was happening didn't work during the holocaust either.

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The way to deal with this is to endeavor to live in such a way that when someone tells you something you did/said has been co-opted by crazy ppl, and you say, "oh geez I didn't mean it like that," they'll believe you.

 

It wont always work of course, because sometimes people have an ax to grind, but I think some ppl would be surprised how far good-living, as it were, can get them with folks.

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No, it's not a racist hand gesture ( if you're speaking of the recent hand gesture in the news). Anytime a social justice warrior needs attention they come up with some new thing that's offensive and racist.

 

Can you understand the distinction that actual neo-Nazis have tried to co-opt a version of this gesture to use as a signal and not that this is something that people concerned with social justice have brought to the attention of the world?

 

Since it's a relatively obscure use and because it's not a gesture with any history of racism behind it, unless there's some specific reason to think otherwise, I wouldn't call someone out on it by any means. I would assume they didn't know about it. And if anyone wants to keep using it because it's one of their common gestures, I actually have no real objection. But, on the other hand, I would want to know that a group of people have added this meaning. I liked the analogy above about how you probably want to know if it's something you do... it's like when your elderly auntie says "Netflix and chill" thinking she's hip. She might want to know it has another meaning.

 

The attitude above just makes me sad too though. Some things are offensive and when people tell us they're offended, it doesn't hurt us to listen.

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The way to deal with this is to endeavor to live in such a way that when someone tells you something you did/said has been co-opted by crazy ppl, and you say, "oh geez I didn't mean it like that," they'll believe you.

 

That's what happened but the experience left me wondering if this was just some whackadoodle political-correctness-run-amok thing in my social circle or whether people living outside the coastal cities "bubble" had heard of it too.

 

ETA: Another example of this is when an acquaintance tried to tell me that wearing hoop earrings (which I've been doing since high school) is "cultural appropriation". That one I shot down by pointing out that women in Ancient Greece and Rome wore hoop earrings thousands of years ago.

Edited by Crimson Wife
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That's what happened but the experience left me wondering if this was just some whackadoodle political-correctness-run-amok thing in my social circle or whether people living outside the coastal cities "bubble" had heard of it too.

Oh sorry I meant you, in general.

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Cowering in fear and moving out of the way did not work during the Holocaust. And when people pay attention to the racists and allow everything to become a symbol for hate, then there is nothing left and it gives the racists control. 

 

Putting aside Godwin's Law and the mischaracterization of what she said here... I want to point out that ignoring racism *also* does not solve racism.

 

In terms of this gesture, I wouldn't assume that anyone doing it was doing it for racist reasons... because it's an old commonly used gesture, without a racist history, that a tiny number of people have tried to co-opt (in a slightly altered form), that most people aren't even aware of. I think if someone uses it, they probably want to know, but honestly, there are soooo many better things to be concerned about in the world... If someone wants to put it on ignore, I say go ahead. But maybe while doing so, it's not necessary to imply that pausing to think about it is somehow enabling racism or the Holocaust or whatever.

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How do you people know these things? I have never caught that or heard of that before and I don't think I live under a rock? I must just stick to nicer corners of the web or something, because I've never run into a white supremacist (that I know of anyway) in my life! Some random trolls, sure, but none of the obviously racist kind.

It's something they use among themselves. They use (d) it specifically because no one else would know.

 

So it's not like even if you DO meet a white supremacist, they're going to be like "bee tee dub, this is our club hand signal."

 

ETA so that also means that just randomly doing it in a conversation with other non white supremacists won't get anyone in trouble.... As long as your friends and aquaintances remain otherwise unconvinced that you are a racist pos.

Edited by OKBud
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I don't know how the original conversation happened, but I'd like to be told if I was accidentally saying something with a double meaning!

I've told the girls that "friends with benefits" does not just mean "close friends". I wasn't accusing them of talking about sex, just informing them that this is what it means. I've told casual commenters on linguistics forums that "ebonics" is a term nowadays mostly used by racists. I wasn't accusing them of being racist, I was informing them that the more neutral term is AAVE or AAE. It's like having toilet paper stuck to your shoe - I really want to know these things before I embarrass myself.

 

I would want to be told too. In my example, hooking up used to just mean getting together (in my circle and my age group). Now it means having (sometimes casual) sex. Ds corrected me when I was using it the way it used mean, and I'm certainly glad he did. 

 

It says something about our society that people use those words as a slur.  Social justice is "the fair and just relation between the individual and society" or "the fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc. are to be treated equally and without prejudice."    Every time I hear someone use it as a slur, I think wow, you really want to announce that you are NOT in favor of that? But people take it too far!  People do this or that bad thing that I don't like!  Yeah, but that doesn't change what it *is*. 

 

 

 

 

This ^^ I wondered why social justice warrior was put in quotation marks, then realized it's meant as a slur. SJWs have to take it back. At the end of the 20th century the word liberal (in the U.S.) was used as an insult. Liberals finally took back the word and are proud to say they are liberal. Based on the actual definition above, social justice warrior should be a label proudly worn.

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Thing is....I think it is wrong to change how we live to appease the bullies. The bullies want us to stop ((((hugs)))) and to stop giving an ok sign and whatever and they have claimed ownership of things that are ours and that belong to everyone.

 

Random tangent, this is about the only forum I've seen people indicate actions with triple parens. I've seen *asterisks* and :colons: and .:this which I always thought was silly:., but, having spent more than half my life on the internet, (((parens))) was new to me.

 

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Random tangent, this is about the only forum I've seen people indicate actions with triple parens. I've seen *asterisks* and :colons: and .:this which I always thought was silly:., but, having spent more than half my life on the internet, (((parens))) was new to me.

I do all those things almost every day.

 

::Chuckles::

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I've seen parens used as hugs, but not to mark an action the way asterisks are used. The parens go around the person's name in most places I've seen them used. They're supposed to look like arms hugging the person. So if I wanted to send you a hug I would either type *hugs* or ((Tanaqui)). Not ((hugs)). That would be hugging a hug, which makes no sense.

 

That's how I've seen it too. And I'll add that I've mostly seen it in the homeschool world... and have assumed (though I don't have any other evidence for this...) that it may come out of Christian message boards and forums and so forth. Which would sort of make sense to me because having a nice old fashioned internet way of hugging seems Christian in the best way to me.

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That's how I've seen it too. And I'll add that I've mostly seen it in the homeschool world... and have assumed (though I don't have any other evidence for this...) that it may come out of Christian message boards and forums and so forth. Which would sort of make sense to me because having a nice old fashioned internet way of hugging seems Christian in the best way to me.

People did this on the 2Ps scrapbooking forum fifteen or more years ago. Some were Christian there, but many not.

 

ETA: I do like your positive association of hugs with Christians.

Edited by Outdoorsy Type
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And some people actually care about racism and things that might flare up from that mindset.

 

Other people just want to score political points by dissing any such concern with name calling and rhetoric. 

 

And some people want hard proof that people are actually appropriating a totally harmless, common hand gesture before they get up in arms.  All I keep hearing from people who "know" this is a racist thing is that we're not going to find any proof, it's not in some white supremacist dictionary--as if that's what I'm asking for--, it's not online and yet I'm still supposed to take their word for it that they've got connections...oh, and why don't I care about racism.  See how this is going?

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If you see or hear people using the term social justice warrior in a derogatory way, that means they've been listening to ( or listening to someone who follows) Limbaugh, Alex Jones, or the other clowns in the alt right.

It's ignorance, pure and simple. It's why we have people believing in PizzaGate and the Newtown Hoax. It's not simply gullible minds, it's uneducated minds run amuck.

Ironically, I would put the pizzagate and Newton hoax people on the other side of the same coin as those who believe that using the a-ok symbol is flashing a white power sign. Tin foil hats seem to cross all political lines.

 

Then again, I think your assertion above is demonstrably false, since I regularly read people that fit into "none of the above" of how you've caricatured them in your post, but would still recognize and use the term SJW. I would say more, but can't without crossing into political philosophy discussion.

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That's how I've seen it too. And I'll add that I've mostly seen it in the homeschool world... and have assumed (though I don't have any other evidence for this...) that it may come out of Christian message boards and forums and so forth. Which would sort of make sense to me because having a nice old fashioned internet way of hugging seems Christian in the best way to me.

LOL, but if it came from Christian boards, then it'd need to be (((hugs to indicate the 1-arm, side-hug.*

https://www.amazon.com/Stuff-Christians-Like-Jonathan-Acuff/dp/0310319943

 

*This post is totally in jest. :p

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And some people want hard proof that people are actually appropriating a totally harmless, common hand gesture before they get up in arms.  All I keep hearing from people who "know" this is a racist thing is that we're not going to find any proof, it's not in some white supremacist dictionary--as if that's what I'm asking for--, it's not online and yet I'm still supposed to take their word for it that they've got connections...oh, and why don't I care about racism.  See how this is going?

 

Except it was linked above that a white supremacist gang DOES use a hand sign that is similar.   There were even pictures included in the link.

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And some people want hard proof that people are actually appropriating a totally harmless, common hand gesture before they get up in arms.  All I keep hearing from people who "know" this is a racist thing is that we're not going to find any proof, it's not in some white supremacist dictionary--as if that's what I'm asking for--, it's not online and yet I'm still supposed to take their word for it that they've got connections...oh, and why don't I care about racism.  See how this is going?

 

For additional evidence, although these codes and gestures change quite a bit and will depend on location and group, would be the ADL's Hate Symbol Database which is online and has a few gestures that could easily be twisted versions of the ok hand gesture [88 looks like one to me though it uses two hands]. As said above, the WP hand symbols which I know of uses ok-like symbols. The ADL's database has a lot in it though which makes it a bit overwhelming and hard to find exactly what someone is talking about unless one knows the common name for the gesture rather than "looks like a-ok gesture" because what looks like one to me might not to someone else and a lot of hand gestures can be twisted into others depending on the angle one is looking at it from. 

 

I don't think anyone is suggesting one get up in arms about this gesture - it's simply something some have heard of and others haven't likely due to usage [much like using it for ok which isn't common near me] - but the idea that those who know and prioritize knowing about these things are 'social justice warriors' who are, by this thread, either attention seeking liars and/or cowardly enablers of racists...or the Holocaust...might be getting a few up in arms as many find that ignoring and being silent on these sorts of things tends to help make such things more acceptable. Yes, some people do put a lot of black and white thinking into these things which damages trying to talk about it but the idea that fighting for social justice should be considered a something for liars and cowards is as likely to get someone upset as saying they don't care about fighting racism. 

 

Most of the evidence that this is happening comes from the groups themselves - they publish their tactics for those they've recruited to use to help recruit others and they talk a lot about how to make their ideas seem banal and fine and code words and phrases to lead people into their way of thinking. It is where the ADL gets much of their information. There is no white supremacist dictionary as all the groups are different even with the global alliances but their own information is as close as we can get - and it's not stuff most people are comfortable to link from even if we work with that information. I mean, do people expect anyone to link to a white supremacist group showing them discussing this? The most I would be comfortable doing beyond the ADL link is in PM sharing a screenshot of tactics given out by one of the largest White Power group in the US that has already been uploaded onto a tumblr for public discussion of their tactics. If anything, beyond not wanting to link to them for ethical reasons is not wanting them to try attacking this site because of a link to their site. It's been known to happen. 

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Pretty soon, picking your nose is going to be a sign of "white supremacy".

 

Said with the privilege of a person who has never been a target of white supremacists.  Who has never worried about being singled out, arrested, denied the ability to fly, etc. simply because of the color of their skin, their name, or their religion.

Edited by umsami
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