Anti-Defamation League says 'OK' hand signal is a racist symbol

The gesture made to signal "OK" is now considered a racist hand gesture, according to the Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish nongovernmental organization.

CNN reported that the ADL added the symbol, along with 35 others, to its ongoing Hate on Display Hate Symbols Database.

According to the ADL, the gesture, in which the index finger and thumb connect to form a circle and the pinky, ring and middle finger stick straight out, was labeled a white power symbol as a hoax.

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"The 'okay' gesture hoax was merely the latest in a series of similar 4chan hoaxes using various innocuous symbols; in each case, the hoaxers hoped that the media and liberals would overreact by condemning a common image as white supremacist," according to the organization.

"In the case of the 'okay' gesture, the hoax was so successful the symbol became a popular trolling tactic on the part of right-leaning individuals, who would often post photos to social media of themselves posing while making the 'okay' gesture."

The ADL said some white supremacists took part in what was initially an ironic gesture, which has since been used by some as a "sincere expression of white supremacy," according to the organization.

ADL cited Brenton Tarrant, the Australian white supremacist who allegedly went on a shooting spree at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and killed 50 people, as a real-life example of someone using the hate symbol.

"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 Chief Executive Officer 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."

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