In the latest episode of the “OK” hand gesture troll gone wild, a Chicago high school is spending more than $50,000 to replace all of its yearbooks after a photo appeared of students making the symbol.
“Administrators at the Oak Park and River Forest High School announced it will spend a total of $53,794 to replace the 1,750 copies of ‘Tabula’ after staff found 18 photos of students making an upside down OK hand sign,” according to Newsweek.
The “OK” hand gesture started as a 4chan prank during President Donald J. Trump’s presidency. Internet trolls claimed that it was symbol of white supremacy, and the meme – explained fully here – exploded. Even the Anti-Defamation League, a sworn enemy of conservatism, recognizes the symbol as a prank.
But that didn’t stop the administrators at Oak Park and River Forest High School.
Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt-Adams said in a statement:
“I want to be clear that we are not making any presumptions about students’ intent in using the gesture.Regardless of intent, however, there is a real and negative impact. Many students, not only our students of color, experience this gesture as a symbol of white supremacy. Potentially subjecting our students to this trauma is simply not acceptable.
We are concerned that the gesture will become more closely associated with White supremacy in the future. Publishing the photos in question could not only harm students today but could subject students to potentially a lifetime of questions or penalty from colleges, employers, etc.”
This is the latest overreaction to the prank.
Two weeks ago, NBC blurred out the hand gesture when reporting on an incident at Wrigley Field, during which a Chicago Cubs fam made the symbol in the frame of a camera shot of an on-field reporter.
Big League Politics reported:
NBC decided that the “OK” hand gesture was no longer suitable for its audiences, blurring out the symbol in its coverage of a Chicago Cubs fan who flashed the it during a sideline report at a recent game.
The network deemed that the “hand symbol [has] become associated with white supremacy” stemming from a 4chan prank from 2017.
NBC has been hung up on the prank since September, when it harangued a Coast Guard serviceman who flashed the symbol in the background while the network was interviewing his commanding officer.
Of course, the mainstreaming of the idea that the “OK” symbol, which has been used for decades as a signal of approval, is now a white supremacist gesture, is exactly what the 4chan trolls wanted
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Jussie Smollett Charged By Special Prosecutor For Chicago Hate Hoax
Smollett won’t get off the hook after all.
Chicago actor Jussie Smollett was charged by a Cook County special prosecutor with six counts of disorderly conduct related to lying to the police on Tuesday. Dan Webb, a former U.S attorney appointed by Judge Michael Toomin, announced the charges as the result of a grand jury investigation.
Smollett had appeared to escape criminal repercussions for a hoax he orchestrated of January 2019, in which he paid two Nigerian brothers to play the role of Trump supporters and “attack” him in a fake racially charged event. Smollett was originally charged by prosecutors with filing a fake police report, but evaded punishment when a suspect district attorney ordered the charges dropped on the basis of Smollett’s supposed community service.
But he won’t use his ‘get out of jail free’ card after all. Webb was appointed by Judge Toomin six months ago to investigate the circumstances surrounding the suspicious dropping of Smollett’s charges. In a statement, the special prosecutor explained his decision to file new criminal charges against Smollett for his orchestration of the hoax.
““The grand jury’s investigation revealed that Jussie Smollett planned and participated in a staged hate crime attack, and thereafter made numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous hate crime that he, in fact, knew had not occurred.”
A statement from Smollett’s lawyers in light of the new criminal charges goes to show the former Empire actor isn’t thrilled that he’s going back to court to face accountability for his dishonest publicity stunt.
Smollett is set to appear in a Cook County courthouse on February 24th.
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