President Biden made a gesture that liberals frequently call a white supremacist dog whistle during Thursday’s CNN town-hall meeting.
Mr. Biden was asked a question about what would count as the “fair share” of the taxation burden for rich people and corporations. As part of his answer he noted that some corporations paid zero.
He dramatized his point by breathing the word “zero” and putting his right hand in a circular form.
The gesture — commonly used to mean “zero” and “OK” — has been called a white supremacist symbol by numerous left-leaning analysts. Those analysts also have piled onto its use by mainstream Republican politicians and nondescript civilians, calling it prima-facie evidence of racism.
For example, longtime Republican legal operative Zina Bash, while sitting behind Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his 2018 confirmation hearings twice had her fingers making the “OK” sign, prompting days of speculation about racist dog-whistling.
Prominent liberal Twitter influencer Amy Siskind stated that the gesture should disqualify Judge Kavanaugh.
In another case, Minnesota state Sen. Roger Chamberlain, during a debate on a school-funding bill, made the same “zero” gesture to emphasize that he opposed any money going to certain ends.
But state Sen. Omar Fateh, a Democrat, said “we know that this is a white power symbol. We know Senator Chamberlain is interested in fascist media, art and literature. We know that Roger Chamberlain knows that this is white power symbol.”
In 2019, the Anti-Defamation League added the “OK” sign to its list of white-supremacist signs.
• Victor Morton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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