Check Out The ‘Offensive’ Twitter Video That Got Hurricane Florence Response Team Member Removed

A member of the Hurricane Florence response team was “removed” by the U.S. Coast Guard after he flashed the OK hand signal in the background of a live television news report.

The unidentified team member was caught looking into the camera and then swiftly making the hand gesture over his shoulder, prompting a backlash on social media.

The hand signal was seen in the background of MSNBC’s live interview with Sector Charleston Commanding Officer Capt. John Reed, who was providing an update on actions taken by the Coast Guard in response to Hurricane Florence.

Some said it was inappropriate simply because of the seriousness of the hurricane. Others were offended because they connect the gesture to President Donald Trump and conservatives. Some leftists have claimed the OK sign is a signal of “white power.”

“We are aware of the offensive video on twitter – the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard,” the agency tweeted.

The Guard is now investigating the matter. In a statement, the agency said the incident was a “frustrating distraction” amid the dangerous hurricane that is poised to affect more than 10 million people this week in the Southeast.

There have been at least four deaths since the storm reached the coastline on Friday morning, according to officials. U.S Coast Guard said in a statement: “This is a frustrating distraction for the Coast Guard during our hurricane response. This person has been removed from the response pending an investigation. These types of actions are not reflective of the core values of the Coast Guard.”

There’s no clear consensus whether the “OK” hand gesture constitutes a hate symbol.  The Anti-Defamation League, for example, has deemed that it is not.

“Has the simple thumb-and-forefinger ‘OK’ hand gesture become a white supremacist hand sign? Well, no, it hasn’t, but you are likely to hear just the opposite from social media, thanks to the latest hoax from members of notorious website 4chan,” stated a post on the anti-racism group’s website.

In other circles, the hand signal is viewed as an occult representation of 666 or the Antichrist. It also can carry a vulgar connotation in some overseas cultures. The most benign meaning of the gesture is that it simply communicates everything is OK or good.

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