Reuters photo of George Santos by Evelyn Hockstein
It appears newly-elected Congressman George Santos (R-NY) made a white power symbol while in the House Chambers. Now before you say, “Stahhhhhp. No, he did not!,” I’ll explain. No one casually rests a hand in this awkward, backward position. It’s purposeful, made as a public statement, as in “Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.” to MAGA buddies.

The hand gesture, which involves forming a circle with the thumb and index finger while extending the other three fingers, has a long history and is used globally. It has different meanings in different cultures. In western culture, it is most commonly interpreted as “OK,” “A-OK,” or “Yes.”

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In recent years, the gesture has been used by 4chan trolls as a hoax to mock liberals and co-opted by the Proud Boys as a smug signal to like-minded white nationalists. The sign is associated with hateful ideologies, warns the Anti-Defamation League, but its consistent meaning remains obscured and far-right defenders insist any ill intent is mere liberal nonsense or paranoia. Ah, gaslighting at its finest.

As for Santos, what was he thinking? Is he confused? Not exactly. A small group of Latinos who hold biased or discriminatory views toward their own community have consistently supported the MAGA movement. MAGA has given a platform to these fringe, disgruntled voices, amplifying their extremist views in support of white separatism.

Rep-elect George Santos, R-NY sits in the chamber during opening day of the 118th Congress at the US Capitol. AP Photo - Andrew Harnik

At first, it looked like not one single grown-up wanted to be Santos’ BFF and he appeared to sit alone in the House of Representatives during most of the GOP’s opening act. The look of desperation on Santos’ pouty face was so damn pitiful. But after he flashed his gang sign, he’s been photographed cozying up to MTG, so it’s nice to know he learned some needed social skills to fit right in.

It is no surprise that Santos, who has trouble accurately recounting his own background, would align himself with a problematic movement just to gain sway. This development could potentially reveal to whom he feels obligated or indebted.

Gee, the “good news” about George Santos just keeps on coming, doesn’t it?

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