The Okay Hand-Gesture is Now A Hate Symbol?

okay hand-gestureThe “okay” hand-gesture is now considered a hate symbol. Yes, you read that correctly. The innocent gesture that meant a friendly and non-verbal okay is now a sign of hate.

Controversy over the Okay Hand-Gesture

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish anti-hate organization, white supremacists and alt-right trolls are using the hand-gesture to signify “white power.” As a result, it has been added to their online database entitled, “Hate on Display,” along-side the swastika and other symbols of hate.

The okay hand-gesture is made when the thumb and index finger touch at the tips while the remaining three fingers are outstretched. The three outstretched fingers form the letter “w” for “white” while the thumb and index finger form the letter “p” for “power”.

People Seen Using the Symbol

In March, the Australian suspect in the New Zealand massacre, which killed 51 people at two Christchurch mosques, was seen flashing an upside-down okay symbol in court.

President Donald Trump and people associated with him or the alt-right like Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos have also flashed the symbol.

In December 2017, a White House intern, who worked for Stephen Miller, the President’s senior advisor, flashed the okay hand-gesture while taking an official photograph with President Donald Trump. He later denied claims of a racist connotation and said he was trying to emulate the President.

okay hand-gesture
A White House intern flashes the okay hand-gesture.


Look — hate is real, and it does seem prevalent these days, unfortunately. I believe it is essential to identify hate symbols. However, I question if we are giving those with bad intentions power over our lives by acknowledging their non-sense. I wouldn’t even doubt that some people may have used the okay hand-gesture for political attention or as a way to taunt political correctness.

In any case, while I composed this article, I couldn’t help but think of the okay hand-gesture emoji on my smartphone. Will Apple and Google remove the emoji due to an outcry? Will people be called racist for innocently using the symbol? I hope not, but time will tell.

Video credit: TIME  | YouTube

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