Yesterday from about 5:30 PM ET until midnight, the name “Zina Bash” was trending at the very top of Twitter’s trending topics.
This was because the former Trump assistant on regulatory reform and immigration policy happened to be seated almost directly behind Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing, and it appeared as though she had flashed and maintained a gesture that represents “white power”.
Twitter became a stomping ground for bashing Ms. Bash, with many on the left unequivocally claiming that Bash had in fact made a hand gesture in the shape of the infamous white power sign.
For those unaware, the white-power sign that everyone is talking about is one that’s commonly used by alt-right groups and white supremacists. It’s also frequently used by President Trump. However other Presidents have used it as well because it also happens to be very similar to, if not the same as, the “OK” gesture. Below is an example of known white supremacist Richard Spencer using the gesture.
Tonight's the night. pic.twitter.com/grvpHKVAn6
— Richard 🐻 Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) November 8, 2016
So the question is, did Zana Bash show the world this infamous white-power gesture yesterday? You decide for yourself.
On the surface it does in fact appears to be very close to the symbol which has become synonymous with white power over the years, but when you examine it more closely it really isn’t. The main parts of this gesture include three fingers extended and in the upright position and the forefinger and thumb adjoined to form a circle.
In the video of Bash, her pinky finger is folded under her forearm and never actually is straightened out to form the third prong of the letter “W”. Her thumb and forefinger never appear to touch one another. Her thumb appears to be bent with her thumb-nail digging into her arm rather than being connected to her other finger.
So technically Bash did not intentionally or unintentionally flash and hold the white power sign.
Sure, it’s possible that she intended to but it’s also even more possible that this was simply the most comfortable position for her hands and arms at this point in time.
There is no conclusion that can be made that Zina Bash had any ill-intentions here. Fact is, a gesture similar to what Bash displayed, is flashed frequently by white supremacists, but it’s also displayed by others who are simply trying to convey the message that something is “OK”. Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have all used the “OK” gesture in the past.