The latest fabricated controversy over “white supremacist symbols” has shown two things. The first is that you don’t have to be smart to be a Jeopardy! contestant. The second is that there is a far greater cultural demand for white supremacists to fight against than there are white supremacists.
Some 400 former Jeopardy! contestants illustrated both points to perfection, demanding an apology from contestant Kelly Donohue for a gesture that, “whether intentional or not, resembled very closely a gesture that has been coopted by white power groups.”
That symbol was actually just a hand gesture to indicate the number three. Anyone who has watched a game of basketball at nearly any level of skill would recognize it. Donohue was indicating that he had won three times on the show, continuing the trend he started after his first and second wins.
But that didn’t matter. Apparently, more than 400 people who have been on Jeopardy! do not recognize the number three. But they do recognize what the Anti-Defamation League foolishly considers a hate symbol. Everyone wants to earn praise for pushing back on white supremacy. So much so that some people have to make up opponents to fight against.
Donohue isn’t the first. Establishment media rushed to the ramparts to fight the spread of white supremacy among West Point cadets. That was just the same gesture Donohue used in a different context: the “circle game,” where you make a circle with your thumb and index finger and punch whoever looks at it. That same schoolyard game was enough for the Chicago Cubs to ban a fan from their ballpark for life and for baseball analyst Doug Glanville to write a whole self-pitying piece about how he was the victim of “racial taunting.”
The search for white supremacists is so rabid that a San Diego Gas and Electric Employee was fired for incidentally making that same hand symbol while cracking his knuckles. He was a Mexican-American.
Our culture, from media outlets to activists, has made race the single most important aspect of our lives. As such, they’ve committed themselves to fighting the surge of white supremacy. But it’s been nearly four years since the despicable collection of racist losers assembled in Charlottesville, Virginia. They were the outlier, not the norm.
You can see that in all the examples that are propped up today. It isn’t just the number three or the circle game. The rise in anti-Asian hate crimes was chalked up to white supremacy, despite data to the contrary. Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey blamed white supremacists for the riots in his city after the killing of George Floyd.
When there isn’t enough racism to fight against, people who have made “anti-racism” their schtick simply invent something. The mob swarming to try and destroy Donohue’s reputation is doing exactly that, and they weren’t the first ones searching for white supremacy in every shadow.