I remember back in middle school having some douche flash me an upside down “OK” sign under a table. I had no idea what the fuck he was doing, but as I looked up at his face, I remember a distinct smile, like he had just won a prize by getting me to look at his hand, and when asked what the hell he was doing, a swift punch to my upper arm followed. This would come to be known as the circle game, another game in life I rarely ever won at.
The game is simple, make the hand gesture and trick someone into having to look at it, preferably below your waist. If they took the bait and saw it, you got to punch them as hard as you could in their arm. It’s a pretty simple game and the rules aren’t that tough to grasp. Not sure if there’s an official circle game hand book out there, but I doubt it since it seems it was just made up on the fly one day when someone was looking for an excuse to punch someone for no reason and there were no VW Beetles in sight.
The years went on and I forgot about the circle game, mostly because high school finished and in college we were too busy playing the game of “will I get laid tonight” and “how much is humanly possible to drink without having to go to the hospital.” Though I’ve basically retired from the first game, I still play the latter often. Suddenly though, with the increasing use of social media, I began to see the circle game hand gesture popping up again. Meme accounts on instagram would have pictures with hidden circle hand gestures in them that they’d trick you into looking at. Since nobody was around to punch you, you’d chuckle and try to convince yourself you didn’t really fall for it, even though deep down you know you did.
So now we live in a world where a game from my elementary school cafeteria is suddenly a thing again, and I can live with that. It’s harmless (minus the sore arm) fun that kids and adults can enjoy, until now. Now, it’s apparently a sign for racism. The website 4chan decided to show how easily the media would believe anything, and made up a hoax that the upside down “OK” was a symbol for white power. It apparently looks like W and a P? The whole thing started as a joke except then actual racist groups ran with it and figured enough people are making the gesture on social media and in life so why not claim it as a mark of their dumbass cause. So 4chan inadvertently helped spread hate speech while proving their point about how stupid the media is.
If you didn’t know it meant white power now, don’t be alarmed. Not many people did, including myself. Only when I saw it was causing an uproar at a Cubs game did I find out the current status of its meaning. Some fan, after flashing a peace sign, made the gesture behind a reporter who happened to be black. Now we live in a world where you’re not allowed to under-think things anymore or take things at face value without there being some deeper racist meaning, so the social justice warriors hopped on this. The Cubs responded by banning the fan for life for making what they perceived to be a racist gesture. Even though he flashed a peace sign first, they decided with no actual proof that he had racist intents with the upside down OK. Even if it were coincidental, and the fan had no idea it had any fake racist meaning behind it, like most of America, it didn’t matter, racist language and speech shall not be tolerated.
I can see it now, Hitler sitting in a Nazi war room, looking at Heinrich Himmler with a sly smile on his face, gesturing with his eyes for Himmler to perhaps look at something on the floor, and when he did, the good ol’ Nazi finger salute was waiting for him under the table. Hitler would follow with a girlish punch to Himmlers arm and then they’d all laugh and laugh. SS officers would hold it below their waists outside the ovens of Auschwitz as the Jews marched inside, wishing they hadn’t glanced down. Donald Trump makes it behind his back during every speech while condemning the rapist Mexicans and calling for the heads of all minorities. Then he holds it up high to taunt his haters in plain sight.
Except none of this is true, it was a stupid hand gesture that would be done during lunch so kids had even more reason to pick on me and all the other fat kids. The Cubs giving in so easily to something with no actual basis of proof is absurd. There’s obviously a chance the guy maybe knew what he was doing and flashed it with the intention of letting the world know he was an ignorant racist, but I think it’s more likely than not he was just some suburban white dude who thought he was emulating the sign he’d seen in countless memes, tricking the entire viewing world into one collective circle game that he thought he’d won. Instead, he’s now no longer allowed at Wrigley Field. Great job Cubs.