Okayyyyy

No it really isn’t okay to be a racist. But it did get you to click, didn’t it?

I woke up this morning to an alert about an incident involving Universal Studios and the firing of an employee for inappropriate behavior. My first thought was, is this really a news story? Surely an HR problem at Universal Studios is not alert worthy news. I swiped it aside and forgot about it for five minutes.

Then it struck me, this employee was fired for making the international symbol of “made you look“. Any Millenial who has not been hiding in the dark recesses of his parent’s basement knows this game. Someone says “What’s this?” while looking down. The unknowing victim looks and sees this gesture:

And then the victim goes “Ohhh, got me!” while the trickster chuckles and says “Got eem!” and gets to punch the arm of anyone who looked.

It’s all good fun.

Apparently this gesture is now “racist”.

Hence the “outrage” felt by this interracial family from Colorado who unknowingly fell prey to the game whilst visiting Universal Studios in Orlando.

That kid must be a racist!

Even the USA Today story admits that it’s important to understand that symbols have context. Without knowing the history of this employee how can we know for sure that he made the gesture as a racist prank? Did Universal actually investigate? Did they actually find anything?

For that matter, did they even actually fire him? Seeing as he was in costume, it would be easy for the company to lie and say he was fired as a virtue signal which could then be reported as front page news. How do we even know the employee is a male? Too many questions that the media hasn’t answered.

The first I heard of this gesture being “racist” was when the Anti-Defamation League decided to add it to their “Hate on Display” list. Was it racist in March? Would this employee know that?

Who knew?

I have seen people harassed for nonsense like this before. When I was a kid there was a local high school teacher and coach suspended because the baseball team was using a Klan symbol for a good luck charm. He supposedly knew there were connotations but since the team members were doing it out of tradition (and appeared ignorant of the connection) he didn’t stop them. He was practically drug out on a rail because he was “a racist.”

One of the professors at my university was threatened for handing out exams “differently” to black students on the front row of the classroom. They perceived the act as racist, and therefore it was racist.

I’m sorry, but hand gestures, random symbols, and non-motivated acts are not racist. They are what they are. Unless the person or persons making the gestures, drawing the symbols, or committing the act does so with the intent of displaying some sort of belief in racial superiority it is simply not racism.

I once helped get a real racist fired from my workplace. He was quite vocal about his beliefs that people of color (blacks and Hispanics in particular), Jews, and women were inferior species. He threatened to punch me in the face when I called him out on it. Since we worked with a black woman, several white women, and many Hispanics, we felt he was a liability, especially in the dangerous line of work we were in.

It practically took an act of congress to get him fired. Which is why I am calling BS on this story. This looks more like a “stir the pot” story to me. Note, the offended family has houses in Colorado and Orlando, and they can afford to go to a special event at Universal. Maybe it’s a stretch, but could this just be another case of rich liberal “outrage”?

I’m waiting for the follow up to see how this story turns out.

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