Stone Mountain, GA — Area racist Ray Dean Edington proclaimed on social media earlier this week that he was “just kidding” and “people need to not take words so seriously” after being called out for using quasi-racial epithets and cryptic controversial hand gestures on Facebook.
Mr. Edington, who was born, raised and has never left his native Stone Mountain, Georgia home, blames his trouble on “liberal snowflakes” who can’t take a joke. Mr. Edington made several racially insensitive “monkey” jokes and has several Facebook pictures featuring the young racist displaying the ‘OK’ white power hand sign.
“All I said was that black kid needs to stop monkeying around,” proclaimed Mr. Edington in a lengthy Facebook post. “It’s just a video of a bunch of black ghetto kids playing with guns and they’re gonna turn into another Chicago statistic. You snowflakes need to get over this. I’m the least racist person you’ll meet. I have many blacks I know. I think they’re funny and they’re great athletes. At this point, sadly, black kids just need to be told they absolutely cannot wear hoodies anymore, and it has to be dealt with firmly.”
To many people, the OK hand symbol simply means “everything is all right.” However in the past couple of years, since the 2016 election, the reactionary alt-right movement has adopted it as a cryptic white power signal to their cohort. The three upward fingers of the OK hand sign represented the letter “W” while the circle formed by joining of the index finger to the thumb leading down the arm represented the letter “P”. The acronym formed by “W” and “P” was asserted to be shorthand for “White Power.”
Despite a widespread understanding that the once innocuous hand gesture has been appropriated by the alt-right, and is being displayed by groups who should know better, that hasn’t stopped apologists for the extreme right-wing from trying to equate it with other conspiracy theories.
“Good grief, this is 2018. We’re post-racial I thought since Obama,” said Justin Bales an Internet friend of Mr. Edington who came to his defense for some reason. I thought y’all were in chemtrail trolling groups because you hated conspiracy theories and other such implausible nonsense. The notion that the circle game is some incog way of signaling support for white supremacy is absolutely ridiculous. Stop believing in stupid shit and it will all go away.”
Others took a more moderate opinion.
“Look, I get where these guys are coming from, but I think they could use some sensitivity training or a whipping from their mothers,” said Darrel Costel who represents Students for Change, an activist group at the University of Wisconsin. “I try to give these people the benefit of the doubt. But the point is, it’s now, or at least could be, a symbol of white power; it’s been appropriated. You probably should be careful and thoughtful about when you display it. You know, cops should probably avoid flashing it.”
Facebook and Twitter both have said they have no plans to block Mr. Edington’s accounts.