Saturday, February 04, 2023

One Basic Problem with the White Power Symbol Hoax That Nobody Gives a Thought to

In a Bill Maher monologue, the liberal HBO host goes after George Santos, managing to make quite a few interesting points about the Long Island representative as well as about American society at large, although he goes way off base several times, especially when he gets really offended (yes, his laid-back persona is, to some extent at least, just part of his built-up social mask), accusing the Brazilian (at about 3:03) of "making the white power sign (!) in the Halls of Congress (!)".

There is one major problem here — besides the fact that the white power symbol is nothing but a hoax and a scam. (For the reason why, see the ADL's explanation below; and Maher, of all leftists, should know better.)

Santos is using his left hand. 

And so? 

Check out the image to the right: The usual hand shown is attached to an arm on the right side of the body, correct?

As it turns out (upon less than 15 seconds' worth of reflection), the so-called white power symbol, the WP, only applies to one hand — not to the other. Nor does it work if the hand (either left or right) is upside down.

When you use the left hand or either hand upside down, you no longer see a W and a P. The P is gone, while the W may turn into an M. When using the left hand, the circled fingers now represent (insofar as you buy into this ridiculous theory) what? — either an O or a (lowercase) Q — perhaps a "zero" —which is now preceding (not following) the W.

What is it supposed to mean? OW — an expression of pain? What about qW? Does that stand for Quantas Wallabies? Upside down, the right hand becomes — what? — MO? Or is it Mb? And the left hand OM… Can we find sinister meanings for those letters?! (Maybe we can start our own hoax?! qW: Q-Anon Westerners!)

Although most people are right-handed, many a "scandal" in the past half decade involved left hands and/or upside down fingers, not to mention members of minorities. 

For instance, a few years back a San Diego Gas and Electric employee driving a company truck was fired from his job for hanging his arm from the vehicle's open window. Never mind that the driver's "gesture" (or lack thereof) was made with the left hand (necessarily in any country driving on the right), upside down — no Ws or Ps for miles around — and that, besides, the "white supremacist" — one Emmanuel Cafferty — was, is, looks, and sounds Mexican (or, if you prefer, Mexican American).

"Gee…" quips one of the better conservative memes, "look at all these mother f--kin' racists", as it (correctly) shows a plethora of photos showing leftist VIPs, Democrat politicians, and assorted minorities (16 of them altogether) all using the A-OK sign, showing the left's hypocrisy, which is all to the good.

This blog has rarely defended Barack Obama, who we managed during eight years to avoid calling "president" (unless quoting another source) but it turns out that he, like two of his immediate predecessors (Bill Clinton and George H W Bush), is a leftie. Well, just like George Santos upon his swearing-in and close to half he VIPs on the meme, the Apologizer-in-Chief's hand, whose photo is at the center of the aforementioned collage, therefore is not flashing WP. Likewise, a later photo of (a selfie taken by?) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to show her left hand doing the OK sign (admittedly, it may be a mirror image, although that still means that it comes out wrong in that AOC's W and P are not visible). 

This, of course, is only part of some reflections and is not meant, in any way, to excuse either Democrat from their being (firmly) on the side of the Drama Queens who peddle this kind of trash.

Now, speaking of Drama Queens, their many legions might retort (immediately, natch, without taking the time to think about the whole matter) that it doesn't matter, in that the hand sign in any case is a dog whistle to fellow white supremacists. But, as Instapundit points out, taking its cue from the WSJ's James Taranto:

As Mark Steyn wrote, “On the matter of those racist dog whistles all these middle-age white liberals keep hearing, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto put it very well: ‘The thing we adore about these dog-whistle kerfuffles is that the people who react to the whistle always assume it’s intended for somebody else,’ he wrote. ‘The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog.’”

This is like "Mondays". A story sprung up, several years ago, saying that conservatives hide their racism by referring to blacks as Mondays (because everybody hates Mondays). Well, never in my life had I heard anyone, white or black, refer to anybody as Mondays, and I am assuming that it was invented by a member of the permanent outrage machine caucus quite similarly to the fictional way in which the more recent white power symbol was invented.

The Dubious Origins of the White Power Symbol Hoax

In any case, it turns out that the OK sign is a(n elaborate?) prank — or hoax, if you will (in addition to many others)… Via Snopes we learn how it came into being, as Dan MacGuill quotes an Anti-Defamation League page devoted to the subject:

In 2017, the “okay” hand gesture acquired a new and different significance thanks to a hoax by members of the website 4chan to falsely promote the gesture as a hate symbol, claiming that the gesture represented the letters “wp,” for “white power.” The “okay” gesture hoax was merely the latest in a series of similar 4chan hoaxes using various innocuous symbols; in each case, the hoaxers hoped that the media and liberals would overreact by condemning a common image as white supremacist.

In the case of the “okay” gesture, the hoax was so successful the symbol became a popular trolling tactic on the part of right-leaning individuals, who would often post photos to social media of themselves posing while making the “okay” gesture. …

 … The overwhelming usage of the “okay” hand gesture today is still its traditional purpose as a gesture signifying assent or approval. As a result, someone who uses the symbol cannot be assumed to be using the symbol in either a trolling or, especially, white supremacist context unless other contextual evidence exists to support the contention. Since 2017, many people have been falsely accused of being racist or white supremacist for using the “okay” gesture in its traditional and innocuous sense.

 … Because of the traditional meaning of the “okay” hand gesture, as well as other usages unrelated to white supremacy, particular care must be taken not to jump to conclusions about the intent behind someone who has used the gesture.

 … The “OK” hoax was actually just one in a series of hoaxes in which 4channers (and members of other, similar places on the Internet such as 8chan and Reddit) have tried to take innocuous items, symbols or gestures and falsely attribute white supremacist meanings to them in order to fool liberals and get them to spread such false messages. [They include clapping, milk, dabs, the rainbow flag, the iFunny chef, polar bear emojis, and hashtags.]

(Notice how Snopes manages to ignore a more recent ADL page [albeit one that is older, two to three years older, than Dan MacGuill's very Snopes report] that boldly inserts the word "Hoax" in the image of the hand sign purporting to show the alleged letters [an image used in the present post above] in favor — just like NBC's report about the San Diego "white supremacist" [at 1:31] — of linking, tellingly, to an older, archived ADL page that does not use the word "Hoax" with the hand image. Also notice that the Trump campaign did not accuse Jo Biden of being racist; in view of the fact that the Left is constantly suggesting that people on the right are motivated by racism, the @TrumpWarRoom cleverly resorted to asking typical MSM questions — "Did Joe Biden dog whistle with the OK sign during his Wisconsin interview? Will Democrats demand an investigation?" — pointing to the Left's double standards…)

As Instapundit's Ed Driscoll, Gail Heriot, and Glenn Reynolds point out — regularly — the mainstream media (aka Fake News) has taken to cherry-picking when it wants to use the OK sign as innocent and insignificant (when flashed by a Democrat or a Leftist) and when it wants to use the dubious hoax version (when flashed by a Republican or a conservative).

So evidently, using the “Okay” hand gesture to indicate zero is not racist, but using the “Okay” hand gesture to indicate, err, “Okay” is?

As Nick Arama writes at Red State,

to try to pick apart this gesture that gives no evidence at all of being any kind of intentional racist movement is just nonsensical and continues to show how easily people will fall for anything if it fits their political biases. Told the truth they still don’t care, they would rather their fiction. I suppose I could point out to them that [George Santos] isn’t white, that he’s from Brazil and is Latino (at least allegedly). But that wouldn’t stop people who believe in things like “black white supremacists.” 

However, it’s funny that the same people getting upset with him for making up things about himself have no problem pushing a conspiracy theory about how he’s holding his hands in a millisecond in time. It’s all about confirming their bias. It’s why some on the left will go after Santos for lying but not Joe Biden for the mountain of lies he’s told about his background.

Indeed — Joe Biden's mountain of lies (where is your monologue about that, Bill Maher?!), not to mention those of "Lyin' Clyde" Shavers, the Democrat "George Santos". Victoria Taft:

Americans are shocked, shocked that there are liars in politics. The most gobsmacked of all are politicians – especially Democrats – who can’t believe that the likes of that evil Republican, George Santos, a gay-ish, Jew-ish, Catholic, non-college graduate was elected to a Long Island, N.Y., congressional seat after lying about his resume. Strangely, Democrats have been nothing but ebullient about the successful campaign of a newly elected Washington State legislator known locally as Lyin’ Clyde Shavers.

‘Lyin’ Clyde’s story is one for the books. Clyde wants to be your president someday and he’s willing to go the Joe Biden route to do it. If Joe Biden can be president after co-opting the life story of a UK politician; lying about law school and how many degrees he has; lying about being right about any foreign policy opinion he’s ever had (see Afghanistan); lying about being Jewish, Puerto Rican, Italian, a truck driver, sexually assaulting a staffer, jobs numbers, infrastructure, his role as The Big Guy, Chinese and Ukraine payoffs, and his dad, Corn Pop, all while swearing he’s telling the truth “on his word as a Biden,” then so can Lyin’ Clyde.

 … The newly elected state legislator who just took his seat this week was outed as a liar by his own father, who, during the campaign, wrote an extraordinary letter to The Lynwood Times, a local newspaper.

Try raising a fist towards the sky: now stick out your index and your pinky, raising them above your head. If you see this sign in the Lone Star State, it's the fans of the Texas Longhorns (if not the team members themselves) displaying enthusiastic support for UT's football team. 

If somebody gives this sign to you in Italy, however, it's one of the worst insults a man can receive (I've never heard of the gesture given to a woman nor, for that matter, flashed by una donna). It is saying you have horns — you are horned or cornuto — i.e., a cuckold.

Imagine a furious Italian giving this sign to an American, either in the USA or in Europe. Now imagine his utter bewilderment if il Americano turns out to be a UT student who, as a result, responds by shining a toothy grin and proceeding to give the Italian an enthusiastic high five or a bear hug. (If the Yank turns out to be an Oklahoma Sooner, on the other hand, the latter might be — who knows? — even more insulted then if he properly understands the real meaning of the Italian gesture.) Incidentally, I have always wondered how an Italian (male or female) in the stadium of a UT game would react as hundreds, nay, thousands of Cornutos were raised, amongst an outbreak of cheers, to the skies. Alternatively, how perplexed would an American be upon noticing the seemingly vast number of University of Texas at Austin fans (all of them in an irate mood, at that) during a visit to the Italian boot?

This is why it is necessary to give people breathing space and show tolerance to one another — even if a Neapolitan meets a Longhorns fan — something the "tolerant" leftists — including media types and comedy talk show hosts — prove again and again they have none of (being the Drama Queens they are).

As we have seen, there is virtually nobody who uses the ubiquitous A-OK sign to mean "White Power" or racism of any kind — with the possible exception of the pranksters/hoaxsters themselves.

Incidentally, in case you're interested, I usually take insults quite coolly — although I do not refrain from firing back. Indeed, I try not to exacerbate the situation and (but?), at the same time, I try to hit back stronger.

Usually, somebody who is given the finger will simply flash the finger back at the perpetrator, which may start a shouting match ("F--- you!" "F--- YOU!"), or worse. If somebody gives me the finger, say, I usually respond by pulling my glasses down my nose and calmly wagging my finger slowly back and forth at him, like a professor, as if (s)he were an unruly or naughty child. 

My favorite retort (if we are withing hearing distance, which may not be the case in cases of, say, road rage), however, does not contain sarcasm. It is: "If the roles were reversed, I would not do that to you!"

As one long Los Angeles avenue veered to the left during a drive in a rental car to Malibu, the three lanes suddenly merged into two, and I had to rapidly change lanes unless I wanted to brake to an abrupt stop.

Seconds afterwards, a young Asian guy in a convertible sped up to come side by side and shouted "cocksucker!"

You would expect a middle finger in the air as a response. But this was the moment I had been waiting for. For years. I had figured out the best response to this particular insult eons ago, and I actually got all giddy.  

I shot back: "You wish!"

He laughed so hard, he almost had an accident.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

George Santos has Brizilian least if he's telling the truth about that. It's hard to keep track.

In Brazil, the "OK" gesture means something significantly worse than "White Power".