ADL Adds “OK” Hand Gesture, Bowl Cuts To List Of Hate Symbols

by Jordyn Pair · Sep 26th, 2019 9:59 am

Last Updated Nov 15th, 2019 at 11:47 am

The “OK” hand gesture and the bowl-cut hairstyle are among 36 new symbols of white supremacy recently added to the Anti-Defamation League’s database.

The ADL’s database, which already includes symbols like burning crosses and the confederate flag, provides explanations for a variety of white supremacy symbols.

“Even as extremists continue to use symbols that may be years or decades old, they regularly create new symbols, memes and slogans to express their hateful sentiments,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “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.”

The “OK” hand gesture began its journey to the list as a popular troll move on social site 4chan. Some say it has been co-opted by actual white supremacists as a legitimate hate symbol. Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant flashed the symbol in his courtroom appearance.

The bowl-cut hairstyle is a reference to shooter Dylan Roof, who committed a mass shooting attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

The ADL’s update also includes the “Moon Man,” a symbol adopted from a 1980s McDonald’s restaurant commercial, and the “Happy Merchant,” a depiction of a man with stereotyped Jewish features rubbing his hands together in greed.


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