How the "OK Hand" Became a Symbol of Hate

The "OK hand" has just been declared a symbol of hate by the Anti-Defamation League. It joins a slew of once innocuous symbols that have been co-opted by the alt-right. Here's how they do it — according to journalist David Neiwert.

Adopted into right-wing culture

The simple, classic OK hand symbol has been officially declared a hate sign by the Anti-Defamation League. It’s the latest example of a seemingly innocuous symbol being slowly adopted by the so-called alt right. Journalist David Neiwart has spent years writing about modern right-wing extremism where symbols like the OK symbol, the triple parenthesis, Pepe the Frog, the flag of Kekistan and even the number 14 are used in lieu of traditional neo-Nazi symbology.

“The classic example, of this is Pepe the Frog who is an innocuous cartoon frog created by a liberal Democrat that spread widely on social media and particularly among young people. But it started getting used widely at 4 chan for creating memes and frequently people who were at 4Chan not in any kind of sort of extremist capacity. After a symbol is appropriated, its users will often say it’s being used ironically or in an attempt to trigger those who come across it. The alt-right really is, in many ways, about mainstreaming white nationalism and they have many ways of going about doing that mainstreaming work. and one of them is to actually appropriate symbols and images and talking points from mainstream rhetoric and mainstream culture that they then claim as their own,” Journalist David Neiwart tells Brut.

But the ADL says extremists also are using it as a sincere expression of white supremacy. Brenton Tarrant, the Australian man charged with killing 51 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, flashed the "OK" symbol during a courtroom appearance after his arrest. The ADL also added the "Dylann Roof Bowlcut," an image of the hairstyle worn by the white supremacist who shot and killed nine black people in 2015 at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Another addition, the "Moon Man" meme, is derived from "Mac Tonight," a character in a McDonald's advertising campaign during the 1980s. Internet trolls transformed the sunglasses-wearing cartoon moon into a vehicle for rap songs with racist and violent lyrics.


10/02/2019 10:19 AMupdated: 01/13/2021 8:37 PM


  • Bryce P.
    01/22/2021 23:58

    Its not racist if we don't acknowledge it as racist......stop making everything racist when it isn't

  • David A.
    01/21/2021 11:34

    Kill me.

  • Pavel W.
    01/20/2021 13:15

    Your 🍩

  • Călin T.
    01/20/2021 10:57


  • Juan S.
    01/20/2021 05:08


  • Mel O.
    01/20/2021 01:24

    Well, as far as I am concerned, the ignorant racists can use my deck as a pole for their flag.And then, they can lick it.

  • Unkown H.
    01/19/2021 18:14

    That is so dumb wtf

  • Frank O.
    01/19/2021 17:18


  • Adalberto V.
    01/19/2021 14:52

    el nene q no sabe hacer ✌😬

  • Lauraine G.
    01/19/2021 14:26

    I had been taught it was used by some who use American Sign Language to mean a$$hole.

  • Cassidy F.
    01/19/2021 13:46

    Stop steal our deaf sign language!!!! Please stop mmm

  • Marcus H.
    01/19/2021 13:21

    👌🏼 Brut

  • Alan T.
    01/19/2021 09:56


  • Azizul A.
    01/19/2021 08:25


  • Rosemary G.
    01/19/2021 08:12

    These guys are demented. How can they possibly feel that they are Better than the rest of us Who knows whom they are related to. Maybe Hitler, Mussolini, Attila the Hun, Kruchev, Pancho Villa ha! what w riot that would cause! We are all God's creations but it would be so boring if we were all alike! He made us as individuals to serve his purposes.?! Accept it you bunch of fruit loops ?& deal with it & Get Over Your Ignorant selves! Now there is the big difference!!!! " IGNORANCE ".

  • Ariff A.
    01/19/2021 07:42


  • Julius B.
    01/19/2021 06:43

    Wow... a secret high sign...just like the little Rascals.

  • Christopher S.
    01/19/2021 06:04

    To me, the three fingers has nothing to with three letters, it’s for the 3%’ers. It has to do with the revolutionary war.

  • Lawrence L.
    01/19/2021 06:00

    what utter rubbish....more propaganda...

  • Mariano L.
    01/19/2021 05:55


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