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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