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Anti-Defamation League Adds ‘OK’ Hand Gesture to Database of Hate Symbols

ADL OK WP

The Anti-Defamation League added the “OK” hand symbol to its database of hate symbols Thursday, The Hill reports.

The symbol was added to the ADL’s “Hate on Display” database, which includes burning crosses, swastikas, Ku Klux Klan robes, and other hateful 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,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.

“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.”

‘OK’ symbol has been used to signify ‘white power’:

The “OK” symbol has been used by far-right extremists who use it to make the letter shapes for “W” and “P,” representing “white power.”

The ADL noted that the gesture “began as a hoax by members of the site 4chan.”

"At least some white supremacists seem to have abandoned the ironic or satiric intent behind the original trolling campaign and used the symbol as a sincere expression of white supremacy," the ADL said.

"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," Greenblatt said.

ADL also adds Dylann Roof’s bowl cut and ‘Happy Merchant’ meme:

Dylann Roof’s bowl-style haircut and the “Happy Merchant” meme were also added to the database.

“Roof killed nine black churchgoers at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015. The silhouette of his bowl-style haircut has been used to signal admiration for Roof's actions and encourage others to commit mass shootings,” The Hill reported. “The ‘Happy Merchant’ meme depicts a Jewish man with heavily stereotyped facial features rubbing his hands together and is used frequently in anti-Semitic circles.”