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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.

Brut.

10/02/2019 10:19 AM
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698 comments

  • Shacorea D.
    02/01/2020 02:48

    🙄

  • Jacob H.
    02/01/2020 02:32

    👌

  • David H.
    02/01/2020 02:11

    Massive eyeroll. Sorry, tards: not everything is or can be a hate symbol, and us normal people refuse to allow things to be labeled as such all willy nilly like.

  • Taylon T.
    01/31/2020 18:26

    👌👌👌

  • Brandon T.
    01/31/2020 02:50

    Can i get a HONK train goin?

  • Glenn W.
    01/30/2020 21:48

    I don't care,.... This is stupid! The "OK" symbol is just that OK,... And if people think it's more then they have a problem!

  • Eavan W.
    01/30/2020 20:22

    They should have a “boo” button next to the like for stuff like this

  • Tyler A.
    01/30/2020 13:58

    Lot of morons here don't know what "context" is or even whatched the video to know that it was specifically said "in this context, it's a an alt-right symbol". It's like the difference between your mate giving you the finger and a total stranger doing it. Two different contexts 🙄

  • Josh B.
    01/30/2020 04:05

    So dumb

  • Justin M.
    01/30/2020 02:38

    Here's a hand symbol of hate 🖕 not this 👌 enough of this everyone is offended by everything crap. Offended? TOO BAD now F*&^ OFF

  • Juan C.
    01/30/2020 01:46

    can't toss up the 30 no mo 😂

  • Shane C.
    01/30/2020 00:54

    (((Brut)))

  • Tracy A.
    01/30/2020 00:33

    Don't forget the raised closed fist as a symbol of power and hate tooo

  • Scott A.
    01/29/2020 18:23

    The anti defamation league don’t know anything. It is ONLG an “ok” symbol and part of the circle game. Nothing more. And nothing less o

  • Steve M.
    01/29/2020 16:34

    Keep dumbing down the world with BS..

  • Orlando G.
    01/29/2020 15:13

    Lmao we all know what it meant for 👌🏻=OK so just use it as you normally do as for you dickheads....I mean cracked out retards...Or was it skinheads???🤔 either way I got a hand sign for you guys 🖕🏻😂

  • Brandon M.
    01/29/2020 04:49

    you people are idiots. i bet you think pepe the frog is a hate symbol too

  • Keith B.
    01/29/2020 02:19

    Popped in to Count the ok hand emojis. 👌

  • Michael K.
    01/29/2020 01:17

    666.

  • Austin K.
    01/28/2020 23:17

    The adl are idiots