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


  • Marcus B.
    11/11/2020 10:56

    dumbasses, you do nazi the salute. the funny thing is , most would end up in Hitlers concentration camps . because you wouldn't the intelligence quota or your incestuous breeding

  • Tognarina-Lane C.
    11/01/2020 15:13

    Oh good grief

  • Jesus A.
    11/01/2020 13:12

    THIS WAS A MEME!!!! Not something to be taken seriously

  • Mark W.
    11/01/2020 04:19


  • Joe S.
    10/31/2020 11:04


  • Jalil B.
    10/30/2020 04:28

    How dare he could look people in the eye and lies that we are "rounding the turn"with highest # of cases today since the pandemic began. My goodness he is nuts.

  • Taylor N.
    10/30/2020 02:27

    It used to be when you saw this, you got punched for looking. I think we should bring that back lmao.

  • Jay B.
    10/30/2020 00:43

    I know a blood when I see one

  • Nya C.
    10/29/2020 22:43

    Interesting 🧐

  • Chas R.
    10/29/2020 19:12

    Are you actually serious? What if someone can’t say okay or can’t talk they can’t give the okay sign? Brut you should rethink your methods of division?

  • Mel O.
    10/29/2020 14:47

    These domestic terrorists existed before. The difference between now and then is, they feel they have a supporter in the white house. And he does support them. The saddest thing is, he(trump) thinks he needs their support. And this is how hitler came to power. Do we need this here in this country? Absolutely not. Then, how do we stop this? Simple, vote trump OUT.

  • JD D.
    10/29/2020 12:58

    More fake bullshite

  • Jim H.
    10/29/2020 12:53

    The most ridiculous assertion I've heard in a long time. People use them now because liberalism attempted to paint others they dont like with a scarlet letter. Liberals don't have the cognitive abilities to realize they are just being trolled. Liberalism blindly accuses EVERYBODY OF RACISM where it doesn't exist to deflect the facts that they are the kkk, the authors of the jim crow laws and all of their political history they are the racist. You cant rewrite history

  • Kyle B.
    10/29/2020 12:48

    this is what he means when he says fake news. When racism is in such high demand and low supply that 👌 means white supremacy 🙄🙄🙄

  • Ivan K.
    10/29/2020 11:59

    the proud kids

  • Diana C.
    10/29/2020 11:24


  • Stephen L.
    10/29/2020 10:12

    Pretty stupid idea I think seems yall are chasing your tails. TRUMP 2020

  • Marco M.
    10/29/2020 09:59

    Not all Trump supporters are racist, but all racists are Trump supporters. Go figure.

  • Ngoro N.
    10/29/2020 09:45

    Exactly as the terrorist of the massacre in New Zealand. see? you can figure it out if just looking what behind the glass

  • MC M.
    10/29/2020 09:24

    Looks like a sign to express openess to rectal experimentation with other like minded racists... Open carry, open annuuuss!

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