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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HOAX: Police Report Alleges Texas A&M Student Faked Racist Letters on Car Dashboard
The suspected hoaxster stopped cooperating with police after being confronted with video evidence.
Texas A&M University police are describing an incident in which a black student claimed racist and anti-Black Lives Matter messages were left on his car windshield as a hate hoax, after investigating Isaih Martin’s claims that he was targeted with the messages.
Martin had claimed that three pieces of paper stating “All Lives Matter,” “You Don’t Belong Here,” and a racial slur were placed on his car windshield when his vehicle was placed in the parking lot of an on-campus apartments. His claims elicited an outpouring of sympathy from the university community, with Texas A&M’s official Twitter even consoling the supposed victim without waiting for any verification of his dubious claims.
However, shortly after police began investigating the incident, Martin’s claim began to unravel. The Texas A&M University police obtained footage from a pool camera revealing that while a few individuals walked within several yards of his car, none of them stopped at the vehicle long enough to place the three piece of paper under the windshield wipers. Instead, Martin was the only individual who interacted with the vehicle long enough to place the notes.
“Martin immediately walks to the passenger side of his vehicle, but does not open any doors. Martin is seen toward the front of his vehicle. A brief white speck is seen from about mid-torso of Martin moving toward his vehicle. Another white speck is seen near his chest area. Martin is then seen stepping back and onto the sidewalk in front of his vehicle, most likely taking photos and videos. He then approaches his vehicle again on the passenger side and remains there for a few moments. He is then seen walking around the front of his vehicle. Martin then enters the driver`s door and drives away a few moments later. The total time spent at his vehicle is 1 minute, 15 seconds.”
An investigating officer accused Martin of placing the notes on his windshield himself, confronting him with video evidence revealing that he was the only person close enough to his vehicle to place them there. Martin stopped cooperating with police on the investigation shortly after an officer confronted him on the video footage. The university senior won’t be charged because he didn’t file a formal police report on the matter.
Martin made his Twitter account private in the hours after the police report became public knowledge.
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