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-   -   "Okay" sign NOT? High School Year book pulled (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=875692)

DSeid 05-17-2019 09:50 AM

"Okay" sign NOT? High School Year book pulled
 
Background.
Quote:

The entire saga started out as an online joke - taking an innocent and widely-used gesture and pretending there was a sinister hidden meaning behind it, hoping to trick the media and left-leaning people into outrage.

But the joke was so successful, and the gesture so widespread among the far-right and white nationalists, that many believe the OK sign is changing meaning.

It was even used in court by the suspect in the Christchurch killings, after he killed 51 people after opening fire on two mosques - bringing it to international attention as a genuine white power symbol.

It all began in 2017 on the infamous internet message boards 4Chan. Through its long and controversial lifespan, the site has been the source of many internet memes and jokes but also has a strong right-leaning political audience.

The hoax planned on 4Chan was simple - to ridicule media by convincing reporters of a fake white power symbol. The preposterous reasoning to be given was that in a hand making the OK sign, the three straight fingers make a "W" shape, while the closed thumb and forefinger symbolise the letter "P".

It was wildly successful, and the popularity of the gesture used to mock left-leaning people or "troll" viewers exploded.

In the two years since, however, its constant use by right-wing or extremist individuals has turned the hidden meaning into a genuine connotation. ...

... Around most of the world, the OK sign still means what it always has - that everything is fine.

In some countries, however, the gesture is considered vulgar. It can also have other meanings - among young men, it is frequently used in the "circle game", where making the sign below the waist and getting a friend to look at it entitles the prankster to thump said friend on the arm.
So the tradition hand sign for okay is now used by a few as a white nationalist signifier, and by most of the rest happily ignorant of that, as its usual meaning of "okay" and as part of a teen's goofy game.

Eve before planned distribution of our community's High School yearbook's to the student's, it is noted that a few of the photos have kids photographed presumably using the hand sign in its usual benign intent, ignorant of its recent hijack by the alt-right.
Quote:

Originally Posted by email to parent
... Regardless of intent, the potential negative impact of this gesture has led us to decide that we cannot distribute the yearbook as is ...

Seniors are not getting their yearbooks, not getting the tradition of wishing each other wishes in it, because of the possibility that some may take offense at something that there is no reason to believe was meant to offend and which does not have any offensive meaning to most, especially High Schoolers. (My High School senior at least was completely unaware of any negative meaning to the "okay" sign, as was I, and is a bit upset at not getting her yearbook.) Many kids put lots of work into the yearbook and its meaning is further magnified this year as the student who designed the cover had recently died in a car crash.

Should sensitivity to the possibility of offense go to this point?

Further context. Our community is considered quite liberal, is mixed both in SES and racially, and recently has controversies over whether or not it is adequately addressing racial equity and bias issues. (Focused on Black White and not paying much attention to other less populous minority groups' issues.)

bobot 05-17-2019 09:58 AM

An extended middle finger doesn't really mean anything, either. Until people agree about it's meaning, and it is used to express that meaning. Flip off the next traffic court judge you face, then explain that it doesn't mean what he thinks it means.

Cheesesteak 05-17-2019 10:08 AM

If they're making a traditional up high OK sign like in the OK emoji, or the first picture in your linkI think folks are being overly sensitive.

If they're making the upside down at the waist "secret symbol" style OK sign that the Christchurch killer used in your link, then no, you don't get to argue that it's just an OK sign.

The Swastika was a traditional symbol long before the Nazi's co-opted it, but co-opt it they did, they ruined the symbol with their hatred. Other hate groups have ruined the upside down-at the waist OK symbol that some kids used for the "circle game". So, find a new way to fool your friends into letting you punch them, because some shitheads have ruined the circle.

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheesesteak (Post 21647772)
If they're making a traditional up high OK sign like in the OK emoji, or the first picture in your linkI think folks are being overly sensitive.

If they're making the upside down at the waist "secret symbol" style OK sign that the Christchurch killer used in your link, then no, you don't get to argue that it's just an OK sign.

The Swastika was a traditional symbol long before the Nazi's co-opted it, but co-opt it they did, they ruined the symbol with their hatred. Other hate groups have ruined the upside down-at the waist OK symbol that some kids used for the "circle game". So, find a new way to fool your friends into letting you punch them, because some shitheads have ruined the circle.

I didn't realize, until this post, that some people perceive the location of the circle to be the difference between mundane "OK" meaning and sinister "White Power" meaning.

Velocity 05-17-2019 10:21 AM

This is very worrisome logic - 4chan started the "Okay hand sign is racist" joke with the precise intent of getting people to overreact to it, and that's exactly what society is doing. It's basically giving free license to people to distort something until we can't even enjoy normal mundane things anymore.

What if 4chan decides that it wants to pretend that "Hello" is a racist codeterm? Would we get banned from saying "hello?"

KneadToKnow 05-17-2019 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21647805)
What if 4chan decides that it wants to pretend that "Hello" is a racist codeterm? Would we get banned from saying "hello?"

FWIW, there are already morons who won't say "hello" because it has "hell" in it.

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 10:31 AM

This and "it's OK to be white" are perhaps 4chan's most epic troll campaigns ever.

Cheesesteak 05-17-2019 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21647794)
I didn't realize, until this post, that some people perceive the location of the circle to be the difference between mundane "OK" meaning and sinister "White Power" meaning.

If someone asks you "can you do X for me?" and you say OK from across the room and flash an OK symbol, do you put it upside down at at your waist?

I don't. Because I want it to be obvious that I'm saying OK, I'm signaling OK and trying to make it seen. The people who put it down at the waist are doing for the same reason kid's play the circle game. It's not obvious, you have to be looking for it, and it's far more likely that someone won't notice it when doing things like publishing a yearbook.

It's not necessarily true that these kids are white supremecists, it's more likely they're just asshole kids who are trying to get something over on the yearbook publishing committee by sneaking in a rude gesture.

kayaker 05-17-2019 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21647805)
This is very worrisome logic - 4chan started the "Okay hand sign is racist" joke with the precise intent of getting people to overreact to it, and that's exactly what society is doing. It's basically giving free license to people to distort something until we can't even enjoy normal mundane things anymore.

There was an employee of a local ad agency who furtively flashed the sign in a self promotional picture the agency had taken. Once somebody noticed, a search eventually showed that the guy had a white-power online persona. He was fired. No distortion needed.

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheesesteak (Post 21647818)
If someone asks you "can you do X for me?" and you say OK from across the room and flash an OK symbol, do you put it upside down at at your waist? ...

No, I hold it up at perhaps chest or shoulder height typically, and it's "right-side up" FWIW. If the Christchurch shooter were to flash it right-side up and up by his shoulder, would you still think "hey, it's elevated, and oriented correctly, so he probably just means 'OK'" or would you think "that's the asshole that shot a bunch of people because they were foreigners, he probably means 'white power' no matter the location or orientation of the sign"? In other words, do you really think the location / orientation is a good way to determine intent? I don't.

steronz 05-17-2019 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21647814)
This and "it's OK to be white" are perhaps 4chan's most epic troll campaigns ever.

What's your opinion on epic troll campaigns?

Me personally, I think they're obnoxious and I'd prefer to live in a world where people didn't do shit like this. I think we should be nice to each other, and riling fellow humans up for a laugh is anti-social behavior that should be discouraged. Agree?

Covfefe 05-17-2019 10:46 AM

A school in Chicago might be more sensitive to this because Cubs president Theo Epstein recently banned a fan who made the gesture from Wrigley. I've tried digging a little and have no idea if he had good reason to.

Eonwe 05-17-2019 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21647805)
This is very worrisome logic - 4chan started the "Okay hand sign is racist" joke with the precise intent of getting people to overreact to it, and that's exactly what society is doing. It's basically giving free license to people to distort something until we can't even enjoy normal mundane things anymore.

What if 4chan decides that it wants to pretend that "Hello" is a racist codeterm? Would we get banned from saying "hello?"

Well, it's all just arbitrary anyway, isn't it? Everything has culturally ascribed meaning. Sometimes that meaning evolves in an organic fashion and other times those meanings evolve in an orchestrated fashion.

Maybe this sheds a light on the fact that all symbols are malleable and impermanent, but there's nothing odd or unusual about witnessing a symbol undergo a shift in meaning.

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21647839)
What's your opinion on epic troll campaigns?

Me personally, I think they're obnoxious and I'd prefer to live in a world where people didn't do shit like this. I think we should be nice to each other, and riling fellow humans up for a laugh is anti-social behavior that should be discouraged. Agree?

I generally think they're a bit of mostly-harmless fun. "Capture the flag" was entertaining to read about, for example. I don't get particularly annoyed by them. I think the world would be a better place if people didn't get triggered by "It's OK to be white" signs, and if other people didn't troll easily-offended weirdos with said signs.

Velocity 05-17-2019 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eonwe (Post 21647876)
Well, it's all just arbitrary anyway, isn't it? Everything has culturally ascribed meaning. Sometimes that meaning evolves in an organic fashion and other times those meanings evolve in an orchestrated fashion.

Maybe this sheds a light on the fact that all symbols are malleable and impermanent, but there's nothing odd or unusual about witnessing a symbol undergo a shift in meaning.

But this is purposefully engineered meaning, not accidental. The "OK" hand symbol was an intentional troll campaign by 4chan to get the public to consider a harmless gesture to be harmful. By caving in to 4chan on this, society is giving trolls all the power. The lesson 4chan has taken or will take away from this is that they hold the reins and can control society's view of things as they please. They could get society to no longer do handshakes, high fives, clapping in concerts, say "peace out" or whatever on the basis of those suddenly becoming racist or offensive.


We need to stop letting the trolls win.

Shodan 05-17-2019 11:23 AM

Unfortunately, DNFTT doesn't work any better in real life than it does on the Internet. Letting 4chan control the public discourse is a bad idea, but there are always going to be people who fall for it. And catering to the gullible and over-sensitive is a growth industry.

Regards,
Shodan

DigitalC 05-17-2019 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21647805)
This is very worrisome logic - 4chan started the "Okay hand sign is racist" joke with the precise intent of getting people to overreact to it, and that's exactly what society is doing. It's basically giving free license to people to distort something until we can't even enjoy normal mundane things anymore.

What if 4chan decides that it wants to pretend that "Hello" is a racist codeterm? Would we get banned from saying "hello?"

This has nothing to do with 4chan, this has to do with white power supporters actually using it as a white power symbol. It doesn't matter where or why this happened, it just is. Neither 4chan nor "the media" are the ones who made it so. The ease of deniability is a feature, not a bug.

TSBG 05-17-2019 11:37 AM

"I'm pretending this is a racist gesture for fun"="I am making a racist gesture."

bobot 05-17-2019 11:42 AM

Exactly.

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TSBG (Post 21647962)
"I'm pretending this is a racist gesture for fun"="I am making a racist gesture."

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 21647971)
Exactly.

Do either of you think Prince Harry, of nazi-costume-wearing fame, is a racist?

steronz 05-17-2019 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21647981)
Do either of you think Prince Harry, of nazi-costume-wearing fame, is a racist?

Are you making the world a better place right now by continuing to defend trolls who, by your own admission, cause (some) harm and make the world a worse place with their behavior?

Sailboat 05-17-2019 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSeid (Post 21647736)
Eve before planned distribution of our community's High School yearbook's to the student's, it is noted that a few of the photos have kids photographed presumably using the hand sign in its usual benign intent, ignorant of its recent hijack by the alt-right.

Seniors are not getting their yearbooks, not getting the tradition of wishing each other wishes in it, because of the possibility that some may take offense at something that there is no reason to believe was meant to offend and which does not have any offensive meaning to most, especially High Schoolers. (My High School senior at least was completely unaware of any negative meaning to the "okay" sign, as was I, and is a bit upset at not getting her yearbook.)

I guarantee you that, with possible lone exceptions like your kid, high schoolers as a group are keenly aware of the gesture's racist significance.

DrFidelius 05-17-2019 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21647981)
Do either of you think Prince Harry, of nazi-costume-wearing fame, is a racist?

Fifteen years ago, he hasn't done anything similar since then, and he isn't my Prince anyway.
He was a stupid kid.

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21647986)
Are you making the world a better place right now by continuing to defend trolls who, by your own admission, cause (some) harm and make the world a worse place with their behavior?

Well, currently I'm addressing the other type of behavior I described in my post:

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21647882)
... I think the world would be a better place if people didn't get triggered by "It's OK to be white" signs"....

So ... yes, I am making the world a better place.

Cheesesteak 05-17-2019 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21647827)
In other words, do you really think the location / orientation is a good way to determine intent? I don't.

If you make a OK symbol, turn it upside down and put it at your belt, one thing I can be damned sure of is that you don't mean "OK!"

Maybe you mean White Power, maybe you're playing a prank, maybe you're playing the circle game, but you're not saying OK.

Czarcasm 05-17-2019 12:14 PM

One person's "trigger" is another person's recognition of blatant racism that should be called out.

AK84 05-17-2019 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 21647805)
This is very worrisome logic - 4chan started the "Okay hand sign is racist" joke with the precise intent of getting people to overreact to it, and that's exactly what society is doing. It's basically giving free license to people to distort something until we can't even enjoy normal mundane things anymore.

What if 4chan decides that it wants to pretend that "Hello" is a racist codeterm? Would we get banned from saying "hello?"

Part of the “prank” included them trying to spread the word that’s clapping in anti-feminist.

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 21648023)
One person's "trigger" is another person's recognition of blatant racism that should be called out.

Sure, just realize that if you're "calling out" mundane things like "It's OK to be white" or the OK sign, you're doing exactly what 4chan wants you to.

steronz 05-17-2019 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21648048)
Sure, just realize that if you're "calling out" mundane things like "It's OK to be white" or the OK sign, you're doing exactly what 4chan wants you to.

How can we tell if we're playing into 4chan's hands or if we're calling out actual racists who are using the symbol unironically?

Do you have any reason to believe the students in question pictured in this yearbook are the former and not the latter?

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21648057)
How can we tell if we're playing into 4chan's hands or if we're calling out actual racists who are using the symbol unironically?

Do you have any reason to believe the students in question pictured in this yearbook are the former and not the latter?

I try to err on the side of not calling people racists without good evidence to suggest it's the case. I don't consider a picture of someone making the "OK" symbol, by itself, to be "good evidence".

steronz 05-17-2019 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21648064)
I try to err on the side of not calling people racists without good evidence to suggest it's the case. I don't consider a picture of someone making the "OK" symbol, by itself, to be "good evidence".

Do you know that the school is acting only on the OK symbol "by itself?"

DSeid 05-17-2019 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 21647751)
An extended middle finger doesn't really mean anything, either. Until people agree about it's meaning, and it is used to express that meaning. Flip off the next traffic court judge you face, then explain that it doesn't mean what he thinks it means.

Yes.

The sign is mostly agreed to mean "okay" and in the context of High Schoolers also as part of a game. A few have imposed another meaning upon it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheesesteak (Post 21647772)
If they're making a traditional up high OK sign like in the OK emoji, or the first picture in your linkI think folks are being overly sensitive.

If they're making the upside down at the waist "secret symbol" style OK sign that the Christchurch killer used in your link, then no, you don't get to argue that it's just an OK sign.

The Swastika was a traditional symbol long before the Nazi's co-opted it, but co-opt it they did, they ruined the symbol with their hatred. Other hate groups have ruined the upside down-at the waist OK symbol that some kids used for the "circle game". So, find a new way to fool your friends into letting you punch them, because some shitheads have ruined the circle.

Two points here.

One you are simply wrong in your belief about how to interpret some code based on body position. From the linked article:
Quote:

Context, then, is key: which is why Estonia's EKRE, who Marine Le Pen was visiting in May, have come under fire.

The group's two most prominent leaders, father and son Mart and Martin Helme, both made the symbol while being sworn into office as they entered government.

Mr Helme the senior has suggested that indigenous, white Estonians are being "replaced" by immigrants, while his son has previously said "I want Estonia to be a white country".
The pictures of those two both have them making a traditional up high "okay" sign, above the shoulder level. Still, the context is key and in that context the intent was clear: it was a white nationalist signifier.

Do you see a big difference between the first picture in my link that you say is inoffensive, and the third, which are widely agreed to have been racist gestures. (Because context is key.)

Now neither I nor you nor most of the students at this school know where the kid in photograph was holding his hand, caught in a candid playing the game, or giving an okay sign in answer to a question, or in a group photo. The student editors and their teacher mentors do know and at the time of putting the book together saw nothing offensive within the context.

And let's be very clear: there is no accusation being made of any offensive intent. The decision to not distribute the yearbook is explained explicitly stating the decision is independent of, "regardless of intent". No matter what the context and what the intent, no matter how benign, a gesture widely understood by most of the world, and perhaps more importantly, the overwhelming majority of the student community, to be of benign, albeit possibly goofy, meaning, being present in the yearbook means that there is some chance that someone will be offended, so all are to be denied their yearbooks.

White nationalists have claimed the numbers 88 and 14 as signifiers as well and in certain contexts that intent is clear. Should all math and history books in the school be pulled if they contain those numbers because in certain contexts they are of that meaning and someone might be offended?

HurricaneDitka 05-17-2019 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21648074)
Do you know that the school is acting only on the OK symbol "by itself?"

All I have to go on is in the OP, which said that the school emailed the parents:

Quote:

Regardless of intent, the potential negative impact of this gesture has led us to decide that we cannot distribute the yearbook as is.
If the email also contained information that some of the kids making the gesture had also been dressing up in white masks and burning crosses, or were regular contributors to Stormfront or something along those lines, the OP left it out of the explanation, so AFAIK, the school is acting only on the OK symbol "by itself". We're getting all the information we have about it second- or third-hand, so we can't claim certainty about much, but just like my erring on the side of not calling people racists without good evidence, we probably shouldn't assume there's more to the story when we don't have any evidence at all to suggest there might be more, and we do have a snippet from an email from the school saying that it's due to the OK symbol.

steronz 05-17-2019 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21648087)
All I have to go on is in the OP, which said that the school emailed the parents:



If the email also contained information that some of the kids making the gesture had also been dressing up in white masks and burning crosses, or were regular contributors to Stormfront or something along those lines, the OP left it out of the explanation, so AFAIK, the school is acting only on the OK symbol "by itself". We're getting all the information we have about it second- or third-hand, so we can't claim certainty about much, but just like my erring on the side of not calling people racists without good evidence, we probably shouldn't assume there's more to the story when we don't have any evidence at all to suggest there might be more, and we do have a snippet from an email from the school saying that it's due to the OK symbol.

But you've got no problem assuming that people are "triggered."

We've got 3 possibilities --

1) The school administrators are easily triggered liberal snowflakes
2) The school is simply making a slightly difference calculation and erring on the side of not giving racists a platform, even though they don't suspect actual racism and fully understand the history and trollish nature of this "prank"
3) There's more to the story that we don't know and the school is 1000% in the right

In only one of those cases are you making the world a better place by defending the trolls, and that's by your own admission. That's a swell calculus, you've made.

Shodan 05-17-2019 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21648057)
How can we tell if we're playing into 4chan's hands or if we're calling out actual racists who are using the symbol unironically?

You can't. Therefore, you must always assume racism.

We cannot afford to take chances. If some troll tells us something, we have to assume it is the God's honest truth. Because, after all, how can you tell?

Regards,
Shodan

steronz 05-17-2019 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21648100)
You can't. Therefore, you must always assume racism.

We cannot afford to take chances. If some troll tells us something, we have to assume it is the God's honest truth. Because, after all, how can you tell?

Regards,
Shodan

That's a false dichotomy and you're smart enough to know that.

bobot 05-17-2019 12:55 PM

Yeah! Someone might call you "triggered". How could a man face himself in the mirror after such a powerful blow?

Royal Nonesutch 05-17-2019 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21648064)
I try to err on the side of not calling people racists without good evidence to suggest it's the case.

Boy howdy, is this ever the wrong place for you.

The Straight Dope, home of the "Smartest, Hippest", is seemingly chock full of lily-white American people achingly desperate to call other lily-white American people Nazis, White Supremicists, Secret Klansmen, etc., etc., etc., while at the same time knowingly assuring themselves that even though America is a vile, bigoted, savage hellhole, the rest of the world is a peaceful, tranquil, racially-harmonious paradise, all because they once spent two whole weeks on vacation in Munich or Montreal.

It makes this decidedly non lily-white American grateful as Garcia that I am in a position to sit back and laugh at the self-righteousness while living less than 300 miles from 5 different countries, all but one of which actually LIKE America and Americans.

(although I really do like the beer and music threads here...;))

UnwittingAmericans 05-17-2019 12:59 PM

Destination on your left. >bing< You have arrived.

Czarcasm 05-17-2019 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21648102)
That's a false dichotomy and you're smart enough to know that.

Or you think we are dumb enough not to.

Shodan 05-17-2019 01:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21648102)
That's a false dichotomy and you're smart enough to know that.

The school administrators don't seem to know that.
Quote:

Originally Posted by email to parent
... Regardless of intent, the potential negative impact of this gesture has led us to decide that we cannot distribute the yearbook as is ...

Not only can't they tell if the gesture is racist or not, they don't care. They pulled the yearbook anyway.

They were successfully trolled. 4chan is giggling from under their bridge.

If you don't care if you are being trolled or not, you're gonna get trolled.

Next up - no waving. Because that's what they did to the Jews when they were being hauled off in trains!

Regards,
Shodan

steronz 05-17-2019 01:20 PM

I missed where the school called anyone a racist.

DSeid 05-17-2019 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21648092)
... We've got 3 possibilities --

1) The school administrators are easily triggered liberal snowflakes
2) The school is simply making a slightly difference calculation and erring on the side of not giving racists a platform, even though they don't suspect actual racism and fully understand the history and trollish nature of this "prank"
3) There's more to the story that we don't know and the school is 1000% in the right
...

I go by the facts as presented in the email I was sent. There is no accusation of the okay sign having been done as a prank or with bad intent. The issue is exclusively that the in addition to its usually understood meaning "the gesture has more recently become associated with white nationalism", and that association is by itself enough to not risk a "potential negative impact", again, "regardless of intent".

I do not think that means that the school administrators are easily triggered liberal snowflakes, liberal though they may be, but I do think it means that they are excessively worried about not appearing sensitive enough to those who might claim being racially offended, and who tend to be loud. They'd rather the bad press of excessive concern about those issues than any noise about not caring enough about them.

UnwittingAmericans 05-17-2019 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSeid (Post 21648192)
I go by the facts as presented in the email I was sent. There is no accusation of the okay sign having been done as a prank or with bad intent. The issue is exclusively that the in addition to its usually understood meaning "the gesture has more recently become associated with white nationalism", and that association is by itself enough to not risk a "potential negative impact", again, "regardless of intent".

I do not think that means that the school administrators are easily triggered liberal snowflakes, liberal though they may be, but I do think it means that they are excessively worried about not appearing sensitive enough to those who might claim being racially offended, and who tend to be loud. They'd rather the bad press of excessive concern about those issues than any noise about not caring enough about them.

That's correct. They're afraid of SJWs.

muldoonthief 05-17-2019 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSeid (Post 21648192)
I go by the facts as presented in the email I was sent. There is no accusation of the okay sign having been done as a prank or with bad intent. The issue is exclusively that the in addition to its usually understood meaning "the gesture has more recently become associated with white nationalism", and that association is by itself enough to not risk a "potential negative impact", again, "regardless of intent".

I do not think that means that the school administrators are easily triggered liberal snowflakes, liberal though they may be, but I do think it means that they are excessively worried about not appearing sensitive enough to those who might claim being racially offended, and who tend to be loud. They'd rather the bad press of excessive concern about those issues than any noise about not caring enough about them.

Does the email say what they plan to do with the yearbooks? Are they just all going in the dumpster? Is there any thought to obscuring/removing the pictures in question and distributing them anyway? It seems that if it's just one or a few pictures, this should be "fixable" with a sharpie or an exacto knife, though obviously I have no idea how many books we're talking about.

Kent Clark 05-17-2019 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSeid (Post 21647736)
Should sensitivity to the possibility of offense go to this point?

I came from an era where, if they spotted someone making bunny ears behind someone's head in a school photo, it was airbrushed out. So I can't get on board with righteous indignation.

And for the record, this photo of the 1965 St. Louis Cardinals was reshot.

RitterSport 05-17-2019 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21647936)
Unfortunately, DNFTT doesn't work any better in real life than it does on the Internet. Letting 4chan control the public discourse is a bad idea, but there are always going to be people who fall for it. And catering to the gullible and over-sensitive is a growth industry.

Regards,
Shodan

In this case, though, actual white supremacists (such as the NZ shooter, for example, and those politicians mentioned elsewhere in this thread) have adopted the symbol at face value. Is it catering to the gullible and over-sensitive if actual bigots use the symbol un-ironically?

Basically, it has become an actual white power symbol when used in certain contexts, especially when held in certain ways. If someone doesn't want to be mistaken for a racist, they should avoid racist symbolism.

I can try and wear swastikas and claim it's because of some Indian heritage, but I shouldn't be surprised if people take it wrong.

Guinastasia 05-17-2019 02:55 PM

Question -- isn't the "okay" sign ASL? I swear I read that somewhere.

AK84 05-17-2019 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSeid (Post 21648192)

I do not think that means that the school administrators are easily triggered liberal snowflakes, liberal though they may be, but I do think it means that they are excessively worried about not appearing sensitive enough to those who might claim being racially offended, and who tend to be loud. They'd rather the bad press of excessive concern about those issues than any noise about not caring enough about them.

I don’t see how being liberal has anything to do with it. The administrators are a bunch of dumbasses who need to be relieved ASAP from their duties, since they have miserably failed at them, ie the proper education of youth.
Their political persuasion are irrelevant.

Dale Sams 05-17-2019 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RitterSport (Post 21648316)
In this case, though, actual white supremacists (such as the NZ shooter, for example, and those politicians mentioned elsewhere in this thread) have adopted the symbol at face value. Is it catering to the gullible and over-sensitive if actual bigots use the symbol un-ironically?

Basically, it has become an actual white power symbol when used in certain contexts, especially when held in certain ways. If someone doesn't want to be mistaken for a racist, they should avoid racist symbolism.

I can try and wear swastikas and claim it's because of some Indian heritage, but I shouldn't be surprised if people take it wrong.

mmmm...Holocaust....4chan....they seem kinda different


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