The Anti-Defamation League has added the “OK” hand sign and the bowl-style haircut to its hate symbol database, which now sports nearly 200 entries. This news was reported by CNN (itself a hate symbol in my humble opinion). The ADL says the long-used symbol for “that’s good!” somehow became linked to white nationalism after a hoax on a website insisted that the sign really stood for white supremacy. The website, 4chan, is an imageboard site whose users are typically anonymous, much like most New York Times reporter’s sources.
The ADL claims that “at least some” white supremacists are now using the symbol/gesture as a “sincere” expression of white supremacy. Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, explained to CNN: “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.”
Yes, it is scary when someone makes the age-old, formerly universally understood symbol for “okay,” “I approve,” or “that’s nice.” Greenblatt told NBC news that gestures such as these, though seemingly innocuous, are easily manipulated into “a force for promoting hate” and “sowing the seeds of division.” I’m sure that CEO Dilrod would be “OK” with throwing kids out of school for making the threatening hand-gesture.
The bowl-cut made the hate list due to the fact that this happened to be the hair “style” racist and mass killer Dylan Roof apparently favored, leading the ADL to assume that anyone else sporting the same cut must admire Roof and be secretly calling for more racism-based mass murders to be carried out. That is a lot to put on a hairdo.
The ADL has updated its list of hate symbols to include those it claims have been adopted-- appropriated?-- by the alt right. ADL’s website labels these “the modern calling cards of hate.”
Sources say the organization will soon expand its hate symbol database yet again to include other symbols of white supremacy such as the pantsuit, the Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel restaurant chains, Mr. Rogers, the “thumbs up” sign, the phrase “you betcha,” milk, and common decency.