I get it.
Racism is an ugly thing. And like most “ugly” things, we think they disappear if we simply pretend they are not there. We even go as far as to make excuses for it just to feel better about ourselves or to get rid of that level of discomfort that exists upon knowing the actual truth.
Take notice to the hand gesture that is being made behind this sports announcer. This happened on Saturday during a college football game.
It was recently discovered this is being used as a new symbol for “white power.” And of course, many of the privileged folks were quick to try and shut this down as nothing more than a game called “Made You Look.”
The game goes like this. The person (being a kid’s game, usually it is, I don’t know, a CHILD) would make this gesture and hold his or her hand below the waist. the idea is to get another person to look and upon them looking, you “win.”
I’m no hater. I don’t mind silly games like these, especially when kids are playing them. And in that context, it seems innocent enough.
Ah, but now, here come the adults and older people who started doing this a few years ago. And even though “Made You Look” has apparently been played for many years, older people, mainly white folks, have recently began making this gesture as well.
Around the same time we began to see people other than children doing this, a rumor began to circulate that this hand gesture is meant to express “White Power.”
As a black man, I am intelligent enough to know that there is enough racism out there (even blatantly as of the last few years) that everything someone decides to call “racism” should not be taken as such. Often, it simply is not that at all.
However, a few questions about this hand gesture and the timing of it.
There have been multiple occasions where white men and women have made this gesture and in the political arena. And like these cadets who did this ON CAMERA as shown in the photo above, it was the same with the older folks.
How could one play this game in front of a camera? How would the person making the gesture know if those on the other side of the camera are looking?
Next, this is supposed to be a “kid’s game,” right? So why are grown adults involved with politics playing this game? Don’t they have much more pressing business to attend to rather than allegedly playing some game designed for kids? And again, these folks are ON CAMERA.
In both instances, they are not playing against someone else and the activity is being caught on camera. That would be different. I imagine it would be the two of them facing each other and it being much clearer that one is trying to get the other to look. But these folks are making the gesture in plain view of the camera itself so that people see it.
I know, I know…it’s the “OK” gesture…
The only problem with that logic is that the “OK” gesture is not made in this manner. When people do this, the hand is usually held slightly below face-level and away from the body, toward the person being addressed. It is also usually in response to something as well. People do not often make the “OK” gesture as a “pose” of some kind, as these cadets and white male and female adults have done. And I cannot recall a single time in which the “circle” of the gesture is facing away from the person making the gesture. In other words, the circle is closest to the person who is holding his or her hand up…not away from them as seen above. Like so 👌🏾. See how the circle is toward us?
I expressed above that this is supposedly a “rumor” of some kind. Even if that were the case, why would so many people, mainly white Conservatives, be doing it?
All of them chose to play this “game” that was meant for kids?
They all decided to say “OK” to random people?
Come on now.
It is baffling how so many people think that this being a “rumor” or an attempt to troll people of color somehow makes it better. It doesn’t. Good people don’t go around trolling folks just to “trigger” them, especially with gestures that have taken on such an abhorrent meaning like this.
For example, if someone said that placing my hand on the top of my head meant something like, “I spot the white devil,” even if I find that to be totally ridiculous, I would not be posing in this manner in front of cameras. Even if some game existed that kids played, I would not be playing that same game in front of those cameras.
While most people are not so obtuse as to not understand the magnitude of what this means, a few felt the need to “correct” me and others. Guess what?
We know about the game.
This is NOT the game.
With all the excuses being given for this, I have yet to hear a single person express what exactly is meant by these hand gestures if they are not, in fact, meaning “White Power.” No explanation whatsoever. We’re all “wrong,” sure…so if that is the case, then tell us why this pose has been seen like this, and spare us the “OK sign” and “kid’s game” nonsense. We know that isn’t it.
Even if the ones making these gestures have absolutely NO racist bones in their bodies, I still question why they would engage in something like this with the meaning it now carries in this specific context. Again…good people don’t do things they know will “trigger” others. Even if we were to give a pass to these cadets, that still does not explain why adults have done the very same thing. Multiple times.
Certain folks love to claim that racism is “all in our minds” or even imply that we as people of color are “keeping racism alive” by calling out things like this. And just about every time, there is a common physical trait among those who do this.
It is exhausting having to deal with racism, whether it is blatant or not. To simply know it still exists is bad enough, even when people trip over themselves in pitiful attempts to be clever in trying to disguise it. But when things are being done right in our faces and people are still making excuses for it, without even so much as to discourage people from doing this because of its context, or even going through so much to pretend they do not notice, that shows exactly where we are as a country and where the problem exists.
And it is NOT the people of color calling it out. That would be like saying those who call the fire department are responsible for arson, while pretending you don’t see people setting all the fires.
It may be a “game” to you, but it sure as hell is not to us. And if you do not see that, then you are part of the problem.
No matter how many black friends you have.