“OK”, the Dylann Roof Bowlcut, the ”Moon Man,” the “Happy Merchant” are among 36 new white supremacist hate symbols, memes, and slogans the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has added to its database.
Founded in 2000, the “Hate on Display,” ADL’s online database provides explanations for many of the most frequently used by white supremacist and other hate groups. This activity is part of the group effort to not only track hate groups but to help law enforcement, educators and the public recognize warning symbols of the presence of alt-right and anti-Semites.
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We believe law enforcement and the public needs to be fully informed about the meaning of these images, which can serve as a first warning sign to the presence of haters in a community or school,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release.
Many of the new symbols are being used
Many of the newly registered symbols are have appeared at white supremacist events such as the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville and were painted on the guns used by white supremacist mass killer Brenton Tarrant.
These slogans and symbols also frequently appear heavily on popular mainstream social media, including Facebook and Twitter or gaming platforms, 4chan, 8chan, and Reddit.
A July 2019 ADL survey found that 23 % of all online gamers have been exposed to white supremacist ideology while gaming. 9% are exposed to discussions about Holocaust denial in online multi-player games. that about more than 30% of the online gamers.
“These are the latest calling cards of hate,” said Mark Pitcavage, Senior Fellow in ADL’s Center on Extremism and an expert on hate symbology. “While some hate symbols are short-lived, others take on a life of their own and become tools for online trolling. We pay special attention to those symbols that exhibit staying power as well as those that move from online usage into the real world.”
Slogans, and phrases such as, “It’s Okay to be White,” have recently appeared both on and off campus in white supremacist fliering campaigns.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, ADL documented 313 cases of white supremacist propaganda on campus, a 7 percent increase from the prior year.
Newly added to ADL’s “Hate on Display” include:
- The “OK” hand symbol – Begun as a hoax by members of the website 4chan, the OK symbol became a popular trolling tactic. By 2019, the symbol was being used in some circles as a sincere expression of white supremacy. Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant flashed the symbol during his March 2019 courtroom appearance soon after his arrest for allegedly murdering 50 people in mosques in Christchurch.
- Burning Neo-Nazi symbols – Neo-Nazis have adopted the Ku Klux Klan practice of symbolic burnings, substituting swastikas and other neo-Nazi symbols such as othala and life runes, for crosses.
- Dylann Roof’s “Bowlcut” – The “Bowlcut” is an image of a bowl-shaped haircut resembling the one worn by white supremacist mass killer Dylann Roof. Those who use the bowlcut image or other “bowl” references admire Roof and call for others to emulate his 2015 mass shooting attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
- Happy Merchant – An anti-Semitic meme depicting a drawing of a Jewish man with heavily stereotyped facial features who is greedily rubbing his hands together. The meme is by far the most popular anti-Semitic meme among white supremacists.
- “Anudda Shoah” – An anti-Semitic phrase that first became popular among white supremacists in 2014 to mock Jews, whom they claim bring up the Holocaust (“Shoah” is the Hebrew term for Holocaust) when confronted with anything they don’t like.
- Diversity = White Genocide – A white supremacist slogan intended to suggest multiculturalism will mean the demise of the white race.
- Logos of various hate groups, including the neo-Confederate white supremacist League of the South; the neo-Nazi National Socialist Legion; the white supremacist Rise Above Movement (RAM); the white supremacist group Patriot Front; and the American Identity Movement, the white supremacist group that is successor to Identity Evropa.