Amid controversies involving the OK sign, which has been linked by some to white nationalist and white supremacist movements, conservatives on social media have resurfaced photos of Rep. Adam Schiff performing the gesture.
Schiff flashed the symbol while arguing for the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Dec. 18.
The House Intelligence Committee Chairman is seen in a video making the OK gesture while chastising Republicans for pushing back against impeaching Trump.
“They don’t want to defend that conduct,” Schiff said. “So instead they say, ‘oh Democrats really want to impeach the president,’ or ‘Democrats don’t like the president.'”
“But what they can’t say is that this president’s conduct was ethical.”
Users on Twitter wondered why Schiff’s OK sign hadn’t garnered anywhere near the amount of attention the media devoted to the same gesture made by military students during a football game in mid-December.
Grabien Media founder Tom Elliot uploaded a super-cut to Twitter last week showing media pundits, experts and cable news hosts hyperventilating over the alleged “white power” symbols thrown up by West Point cadets and Annapolis midshipmen at an Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.
They gonna comment on this? pic.twitter.com/Jowbm5kS2e
— βrαδ (@B2daC2da128) December 20, 2019
Separate investigations conducted by the the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy at West Point later determined the military students did not make “white power” hand signs and were instead making gestures associated with the “circle game.”
In response to Elliot’s clip, one social media user replied with photos of Schiff making the OK sign.
“They gonna comment on this?” the commenter tweeted.
A contentious debate has emerged over whether those who use the hand signal are doing so to announce their support for white supremacy or whether they’re doing it because they know it angers liberals.
Complicating the matter is a hoax campaign launched by users of the controversial imageboard site 4chan in 2017 to troll leftists by popularizing the association of the gesture with the white power movement.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, white nationalists’ adoption of the signal preceded 4chan’s hoax. The SPLC cited the use of the gesture by alt-right figures, such as Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos, prior to 2017.
At a time when many on the left see signs of Trump-fueled white supremacy everywhere, OK-hand-symbol hysteria has become routine.
A similar controversy broke out in May when a Chicago Cubs fan displayed an OK sign during an NBC Sports broadcast at Wrigley Field. Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney called the action “ignorant and repulsive,” and the organization indefinitely banned the fan from the ballpark.
In October, Universal Studios Resort fired an actor dressed as a “Despicable Me” character after the person was accused of using the symbol in a photo with a young fan.