President Donald Trump held his final rally of the 2020 campaign in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and thousands turned up to hear the president on the eve of what could be his defeat to Democratic nominee Joe Biden, or the start of another four-year stint as the head of state.
Trump delivered his speech at midnight in the swing state where the president is hoping for a repeat of 2016, when he unexpectedly beat Hillary Clinton. A video of one of his supporters flashing the white power sign during his speech is now being widely circulated on social media.
The president was talking about how Antifa, looters, rioters and left-wing extremists have all proclaimed their support for Biden when a man standing directly behind him makes the hand gesture associated with the white supremacy movement.
The man, wearing a beanie and glasses, standing to the right of President Trump's shoulder, can be seen raising both his hands in the air before making an "OK" hand gesture by touching his thumb and index finger together to create a circle.
This is not the first time a Trump supporter has flashed the controversial sign at a campaign rally recently. Last month, a man attending Trump's rally at The Villages in Florida was also seen flashing the "white power" symbol during the president's speech at the event.
The alleged gesture follows a video in June, also from The Villages, where in a heated exchange between pro-Trump and anti-Trump demonstrators, a Trump supporter reportedly yelled "Trump 2020" and "white power". At the time, the president retweeted the video before deleting it.
What Does the White Power Symbol Mean?
The "white power" hand gesture, which resembles the initials W and P, is popular among "people across several segments of the right and far-right," according to the Anti-Defamation League and the movement associated with the gesture, called "Operation O-KKK," was reportedly started on the anonymous message board platform 4chan in 2017.
Neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and other white nationalists have been known to use the gesture in public "to signal their presence and to spot potential sympathizers and recruits," the New York Times reported in 2019.