As you might already know, the left has dominated the conversation on race and racism in America for decades. Since right-leaning Americans have refused to give a conservative perspective on race issues, they have allowed the left to become the arbiters of what constitutes racism. Even worse, conservatives allowed themselves to be smeared as racists without fighting back.
This is changing, but it is an uphill battle. The left uses all types of tactics to control the narrative on race. In this post, I will use an example that has appeared in the news twice over the past few weeks. It is the supposed “white supremacy” hand signal that was formerly known as the “OK” sign.
White Supremacy Hand Signal?
During Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearing, Zina Bash, a former clerk for the nominee was slammed on social media. Why? Because at one point during the proceedings, she rested her hand on her arm in a way that resembled the “OK” sign. Apparently, this hand signal is meant to represent “white power.”
Amy Siskind, president of female advocacy group New Agenda, posted a hysterical tweet about the apparent display of racism:
“What fresh hell is this!!!??? Kavanaugh’s assistant Zina Bash giving the white power sign right behind him during the hearing? This alone should be disqualify!!!”
Many other gullible leftists on Twitter followed suit, excoriating Bash for the hand signal. It was a valiant attempt to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but it fell short.
For starters, the hand signal has nothing to do with white supremacy. The notion that the “OK” gesture is associated with racism comes from an internet prank from 4Chan. Individuals decided to create an online hoax by claiming that this signal somehow meant “white power.” Many fell for the trick, and even some members of the alt-right posted pictures of themselves using the gesture to troll leftists on social media.
The Anti-Defamation League — a leftist institution — has affirmed that the hand signal is not related to the white nationalist movement. Moreover, Bash is half Mexican and half Jewish — not exactly the type of pedigree that is popular amongst actual white racists.
A few weeks later, a member of the United States Coast Guard came under fire for flashing the gesture during an MSNBC update on Hurricane Florence. The individual was later reassigned. Nevertheless, the outrage persisted.
The Left creates opportunities To Label Opponents As Racist
Despite the fact that the “OK” gesture has nothing to do with white supremacy, the left is still pushing the narrative — not because they actually believe it represents racism, but because it allows them to label their opponents as racists. Their fake outrage is nothing more than a political tactic to smear those with whom they disagree.
In a piece for The Root, which is the premier online platform for race-baiting, Michael Harriot writes:
“NBC reports that a Coast Guard member flashed the white power hand gesture that was originally an alt-right, online troll but has increasingly become a low-key way for white supremacists to silently let people know that they, too, prefer a melanin-less world without seasoning salt.”
Even though he acknowledges that the whole thing was a prank, he STILL manages to make it sound as if it’s a legitimate white power sign. Now, if anyone makes the signal — either on purpose or by accident — people like Harriot will pounce on them and slander them as racist. It is the same type of tactic that they have been using for decades.
One of the ways that the left controls the conversation on race is by manufacturing racism in areas where it doesn’t exist. However, since conservatives are more willing to push back against this strategy, it is important that we know how to debunk these tactics.
How Do Conservatives Counter This Tactic?
To push back against the left’s tendency to pretend racism is present in stories where it doesn’t exist, conservatives should first debunk their claims with the facts. In this case, we would point out that the “white power” meaning of the gesture came from an internet prank. Then, we bring up Bash’s ethnicity. Most conservative outlets have already done that, but it doesn’t go far enough.
The next step is to attack the left’s cynical attempt to race bait. Mockery is usually a good strategy here. Remember, one of Alinsky’s rules is “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” We can point to the fact that even left-leaning sources have debunked their claims. Both CNN and Politico railed against people like Siskind for their misplaced outrage.
We should focus on drawing attention to the fact that the left essentially lied to their audience just to score cheap political points. The more we expose the left’s nasty behavior, the better. It will cause reasonable people to doubt the left when they cry racism, and this is exactly what we want. The best way that conservatives can free themselves from the bigotry label is to constantly show that the left is lying to the American public about racism.