Allegations of Joe Biden being a white supremacist have emerged after President Donald Trump was criticized for refusing to condemn white supremacist groups and militia during the first presidential debate. Biden was alleged to have flashed a white power sign during an interview with a local news channel in Wisconsin on Sep. 21.
The Trump campaign levied the allegation against Biden citing a screenshot of the Democratic presidential nominee flashing the white power sign — a gesture made by bringing the thumb and index finger to form a circle as rest of the three fingers remain outstretched. The screenshot was posted on Trump War Room, an official Twitter account managed by the campaign.
"Last week Joe Biden flashed the 'white power' sign. President Trump condemned white supremacists yesterday. Why hasn't Joe Biden?" the tweet read.
What is the truth?
In the screenshot, Biden was seen holding his right hand making a gesture, in what his critics could assume was a white power sign. However, it was to be noted that he did not outstretch his three fingers — making it appear more like a traditional OK sign.
PolitiFact reported that Biden made the hand gesture twice during the interview with Fox 11 WLUK-TV to show that in the past Trump and large corporations paid "zero" dollars in taxes. In fact, the 77-year-old Democrat condemned the white supremacy on multiple occasions.
When did the OK sign become a white power symbol?
The use of the OK sign as the white power gesture was traced to a 4Chan post in 2017. In the post, some users of the message board started "Operation O-KKK" to see they could troll public by making them believe the symbol was associated with white supremacy.
The trick became successful and several white supremacy groups including Ku Klux Klan began using the hand gesture as a sign of white power. According to the New York Times, the letters formed by the sign were W and P for "white power" and not O and K.