(September 27, 2019 / JNS) The OK hand gesture is now a hate symbol, declared the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday.
This development was part of the ADL expanding and updating its list of hateful symbols.
The gesture has been adopted by the far-right, including white supremacists and the website 4chan, where the ADL claimed the gesture began as a hoax. The ADL has claimed that it forms a “W” and a “P,” indicating “white power.”
“Even as extremists continue to use symbols that may be years or decades old, they regularly create new symbols, memes and slogans to express their hateful sentiments,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “We believe 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.”
“These are the latest calling cards of hate,” said Mark Pitcavage, senior fellow at the ADL’s Center on Extremism and an expert on hate symbology. “While some hate symbols are short-lived, others take on a life of their own and become tools for online trolling. We pay special attention to those symbols that exhibit staying power, as well as those that move from online usage into the real world.”
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