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White House Intern Accused Of Flashing ‘White Power’ Symbol During Group Photo

In today’s world, controversies can arise from the simplest things. We see it happen all the time, and the end result is an endless amount of yammering about whether or not it’s an actual controversy.

For a recent example, we need to look no further than the recent row that developed over a photo of White House interns. It was a group shot, and the interns were instructed to give the thumbs up sign as the photo was snapped. All but one of the interns managed to pull that off, but the one that didn’t stuck out like a sore thumb.

Jack Breuer, who was standing in the back row for the shoot, decided to go against the grain and hold up the universal symbol for the phrase ‘ok.’

While it was certainly a poor choice on the part of Breuer, it wasn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. At least until some observers got a glance at the photo, that is. From that point, Breuer was accused of being a white nationalist. If you’re confused as to how that leap can be made from an intern acting goofy in a group photo, you’re not alone.

As Newsweek shares, the hand gesture that Breuer brandished can also be interpreted as the phrase ‘white power,’ at least according to scores of observers. If you look really hard, the ‘ok’ can possibly be interpreted as a ‘w’ and a ‘p.’ Yes, seriously.

The accusation has been leveled against a number of prominent political commentators, but it’s unclear if this is really a gesture that white nationalists use or if the theory is just a hoax. Breuer offered up some clarification on things when he was questioned about the controversy.

“In some of our intern pictures, I emulated the OK sign the President sometimes makes. That was foolish. I should have listened more closely to the Commander-in-Chief and given the thumbs up,” he explained. “I’m proud of my Jewish heritage and strongly reject the hateful views associated with racist white power organizations. I would never make common cause with them.”

The Anti-Defamation League has previously weighed in on whether or not the ‘ok’ symbol is one to be feared or not, and they came to the conclusion that it was a hoax that was started by the anonymous discussion board 4chan.

“If someone presents you with a symbol and saofit is the big new white supremacist symbol, you should be appropriately skeptical,” noted Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the ADL’s Center on Extremism.

Ryan Lenz, a senior investigative reporter at the Southern Poverty Law Center, isn’t so sure about that.

“I don’t think anybody’s going to accuse any user of Facebook for posting a picture of their wife or husband after giving birth to a child and giving the OK symbol as propagating racist messaging,” he said. “In that context, I think when you see someone like Stephen Miller very clearly adjusting his suit with the hand gesture on both hands, it is very clearly the Pepe OK. You know what that means.”

While the flap over the photo eventually died down to a dull roar, you can be certain that discussion of the hand gesture itself is not going away anytime soon. The hoax - or non-hoax - is out there, and there apparently many that have bought into it wholeheartedly.
Source: Yahoo
Photo: Newsweek, New York Post, The Advocate

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