DC Fire And EMS Recruits Under Investigation For 'Racist' Hand Gesture

Holly Matkin

The District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services has launched an internal investigation into the incident.

Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services has launched an internal investigation after a photo that showed a group of recruits making the “okay” hand gesture surfaced on Facebook.

Three people in the group photo were displaying the gesture, sparking outrage from those who have deemed the sign to be a symbol of “white power,” WRC reported.

The department said that the image included members of the Recruit Class 387 and their instructors. The recruits graduated in April of 2019, and department officials said they believe the picture was taken a month earlier.

"The Department has immediately initiated an internal review of the photograph, which may include interviews with everyone pictured in the photograph,” the DC Fire and EMS said in a statement to WRC.

The department first became aware of the photo on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Stand Up to Anti-Semitism spokesperson A.J. Campbell claimed that the meaning behind the recruits’ gestures is clear.

“The worst part about having anti-Semitism come up in our community would be to have it infiltrate the very structures and organizations that try to protect us,” Campbell told WRC. “Somebody is giving them the information that this is an okay thing to do, and we have to make it clear as a society that it is not.”

The investigation comes approximately one month after multiple West Point and Annapolis service academy students were seen making the “okay” gesture on live television during the 120th annual Army-Navy football game.

Navy and Army investigations determined that the students were actually playing the “circle game,” The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

The goal of the viral trend, which is ingrained in military culture, is to make somebody look at your hand while making the OK sign below waist level. If they look, you can deliver a punch to their shoulder.

The myth that the okay sign actually means "white power" was started by internet trolls on 4chan, an anonymous message board, in February of 2017, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) previously said.

“We must flood twitter and other social media websites with spam, claiming that the OK hand sign is a symbol of white supremacy,” the anonymous poster wrote, according to the civil rights organization. “Leftists have dug so deep down into their lunacy. We must force [them] to dig more, until the rest of society ain’t going anywhere near that s--t.”

Users encouraged people to perpetuate the hoax using hashtags such as #PowerHandPrivilege and #NotOkay, created fake social media and email accounts, and bombarded journalists and civil rights organizations with the misinformation.

In September of 2019, the ADL said that the hand gesture “was being used in some circles as a sincere expression of white supremacy.”

The ADL added the “okay” hand gesture and 35 other images and slogans to its list of hate symbols that month.

“Even as extremists continue to use symbols that may be years or decades old, they regularly create new symbols, memes and slogans to express their hateful sentiments,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release at the time.

"These are the latest calling cards of hate," ADL Center on Extremism Senior Fellow Mark Pitcavage said in the press release. "We pay special attention to those symbols that exhibit staying power as well as those that move from online usage into the real world."

Comments (94)
No. 1-28
Hi_estCommieDenom
Hi_estCommieDenom

The okay symbol is not a white power symbol... okay?

jmaxey1952
jmaxey1952

It's an OK sign and has been forever. Quit looking for racist crap!

jarhead24
jarhead24

The OK sign is just another example of the Trump Derangement Syndrome and a tool for the race baiter slugs that hide in the shadows.

flybynight
flybynight

👌

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Didn't we go through this with the military? it's stupid, it's immature, but it's likely the circle game and not racist, despite the fact that some people are always looking for something to get offended over.

Pull those people who made the gesture into an office, ask them why they did it, tell them they are stupid and immature, and to get back to work.

And if they say it was to support their white supremacist ideas, then terminate them immediately. But we all know that it wasn't, because that's stupid and only idiots fall for the trolling of 4chan......

USMCvet
USMCvet

Ya know? I'm tired of hearing the word, racist! I'm white, from the land of the Cherokee, grew up poor (land of the Cherokee, remember?), and grew up in a black neighborhood BEFORE they were allowed to go to my school! You want to use the word racist around me? Then ask my FRIENDS if I'm racist? Bryan is black, Edwardo is Hispanic, James is Philippineo, Eric and Carlos is Costa Rican, Zak is Puerto Rican, (he and his wife live with me) The only true racists I know? Obama, Jackson, Sharpton, and every other Democrat in every city like Chi town I've ever met! Maybe that's why these cities are so bad, they're full of racists! CNN, MSNBC, all of the media are full of racism because they have to be! Elsewise they'd have nothing to do! You "circle" people? Get a life? OK?

DNW
DNW

The 'chan' people apparently underestimated how much leftist crap society is willing to put up with, if this is considered an issue.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Because the best way to secretly show your allegiance to the Klan is to do perform a widely-recognized hand signal in a group photo that everyone will see.

A source who spoke to someone in the photo tells FOX 5 the group, which often joked around, played the circle game on multiple occasions. The game, often associated with children, allows someone to hit another person who looks into the circle formed by someone's hand below their waist.

The source says the recruits were playing the game just before someone took the photo.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

They should know better by now. Cut them loose and let them contemplate their decision while seeking another job.

reverett456117502
reverett456117502

Here we go again! Come on people, could we maybe worry more about the truly important things in life, instead of whether or not someone made some stupid gesture? When did America become such pansies by being offended with some hand gesture? Once again, let's make sure I've got this right. It's ok if the same people bitching call the police "pigs", throw stuff at them, spit at them, hit them, even kill them? Whew, ok just so the rules are known before the event(s) begin!

Jones24
Jones24

Ok. Stop now! People have got to get a spine!

LEO0301
LEO0301

People looking to be offended will find something to bitch about. The ok sign below the waist is a dumb game but by no means racist. Of course, some are always looking to be victims, just like my good buddy @Hi_estComnDenomn

RB2207
RB2207

It has been proven over and over again that the gesture has nothing to do with racism. Yet once again here it is. The word racism has completely lost its meaning. I am thinking a lot of people need to go back and read the boy who cried wolf again to comprehend not to make a false claim.

Wish505
Wish505

This crap has to stop. This is not a racist sign and whoever thinks it is drinks toilet water every morning for breakfast. This has been a game that has been around for years and just because some little heshe wets there pants when they see it does not make it so. So damn tired of these political turds trying to stuff there agenda down our throats.

flybynight
flybynight

I was at a college basketball tournament a couple of years ago and some of the black players we're sitting in the stands watching some of the other teams compete. They were doing this very same gesture/symbol as you see in the photograph and I remember wondering at the time what in the world does that mean? I just figured it was a black thing and never gave it another thought. Stupid pop culture BS.

Stanracer
Stanracer

The whole "racist" thing about this is just plain stupid!

Asher21
Asher21

To LCD- in your tiny pea-brain is there ANY subject that you mistakenly feel you are an expert on?

GreenMarine50
GreenMarine50

One of the best things about communism is when they finally manage to get their guy in control from the highest office, history proves they regularly turn against the very people who helped put them in office. Their supporters are kidnapped, tortured, and killed, usually stringing their corpses up in a highly visible public place. Why you say?

According to the commie scumbags it's because they trust no one, but they also believe the people who put them in power did so while knowing the entire time what the communist leader's intentions were.

In his mind the people who put him in office were too stupid to live. Here in the United States that scenario is not impossible, but it will likely happen in a less visible way.

Raymelson
Raymelson

How dam much longer will the snow flakes be allowed to dictate every thing we do I say stop feeding them an make them get a dam job hell it offends my just looking at them

61mouse
61mouse

Hummm now that's funny . Watch any NBA game and after the players make a 3 they do the same exact hand symbol

Janken
Janken

Amazing that some dodo bird has made this sign as a racist sign. That sign has been named way before the idiots started thinking its racist DODO BIRDS GET A LIFE

DR226
DR226

This was a non-issue until President Trump was elected as he uses this sign often. The JDL holds no credibility since labeling this as a hate symbol. They're just gullible fools for believing this shit from some online nobody. 👌

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Oh my. Here is another one from yesterday.

Read the link here for a the real story, and maybe a laugh...

www.firehouse.com/careers-education/news/21121916/chief-says-injury-led-to-me-firefighters-hand-gesture

LylaJeanne
LylaJeanne

That's a game we've played around here for, literally, decades. My sons and I pull it on each other constantly. The guy at the top wasn't playing fair tho. The game is, if you can subtly trick someone into looking at the circle, you're allowed to punch them upper arm/shoulder. I don't know anyone who actually does that part tho. It's just a trick/joke. It makes us laugh because it's both tricky and dorky. The circle has to be below their waist tho. The guy who's doing it by the other guy's shoulder is breaking the rule, so he gets two punches in the arm. There are internet memes about it, for Pete's sake!

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

I know of no symbol that means “white power” but the fist held up in the air used to mean “black power”. Is that racist? I hope not. I always thought it was cool.

If you constantly search for something, you’ll see it everywhere. Examples we see today from the idiots of “higher learning” are centered on white people being racist, men being misogynist, and conservatives being the trifecta of xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic.

These professors today don’t even sound educated when they speak. It must be easy to get a degree today. I’ve heard from some professors (yes white ones) that universities have “dumbed down” their curriculum in order to appease the masses in an effort to capture more student loan revenue.

Blacks tend to gravitate towards degrees in education which could be a factor in this new age ignorance. I’m not suggesting that blacks are ignorant but many have a victim mentality and nothing good comes from it.

Darkwing219
Darkwing219

This is so damn stupid this was not a racial charged incident they were playing the old Ball Gazer joke in a pic just to see how many people would know it and get it. Just dumb asses link this to a racial gesture.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Snowflakes at it again... how pathetic.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday


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