Coast Guard removes employee from Florence duty over alleged "white power" gesture

The US Coast Guard man flashed a 'white power' hand gesture

The US Coast Guard man flashed a 'white power' hand gesture

John Reed was in the process of giving a live MSNBC interview on Live with Ali Velshi to provide an update on the Coast Guard response to the storm, when-unbeknownst to him-one of his men sitting behind him chose to make a not-so-subtle "OK" gesture in front of the rolling cameras. Seems it all started on a February 28 thread on 4chan's /pol/ board, where commenters invented the notion that the thumb-finger circle sign means white power, Buzzfeed reported in April. "His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard", the agency tweeted.

Not long after, the Coast Guard sent the unidentified member packing: "The Coast Guard has. removed him from the response", the organization tweeted.

The man in the clip has not yet been identified.

The issue was also raised last week when Twitter users accused a former clerk to Judge Brett Kanavaugh of making the hand sign intentionally during his Supreme Court nomination hearings, claims that were quickly debunked.

The OK hand sign is now a gesture that some view as offensive.

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The idea that the hand sign is a secret symbol for white power owes its mainstream spread to a viral troll campaign aimed at making liberals and the media look gullible. Others, like Bash's husband, Western Texas US Attorney John Bash, dismissed it is as a conspiracy theory, saying she was just resting her hand.

"According to the Anti-Defamation League, the gesture isn't actually a white power symbol, but has become a popular gesture used by people across several segments of the right and far right-including some actual white supremacists-who generally use it to trigger reactions, or what they would describe as 'trolling the libs'".

As BuzzFeed has reported, /pol/ was gleeful when the OK hand sign started to get mainstream traction.

Some who use the symbol believe that many politically liberal people are quick to label conservatives as white supremacists; some use the common symbol to "exploit" that perceived tendency, the organization says.

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