Most eyes were laser-focused on Donald Trump’s pick to be the next Supreme Court justice as a Senate hearing begrudgingly got underway Tuesday morning. But some were also looking behind Brett Kavanaugh at a woman whose apparent hand signals added to the dozens of questions Democrats peppered their Republican counterparts with to no avail.
The woman, identified as Zina Bash, could be seen resting her right hand on her left arm, forefinger and thumb connected to make a circle with the other three fingers fully extended. She held the hand sign for at least the full 44 seconds that the below video showed.
You could be forgiven if you thought it was a gang sign, since it sort of is.
For the uninitiated, the sign that Bash seemed to be intentionally flashing is known around the world as a gesture of white supremacy. What some will probably swear was an “OK” sign “is often seen among the Alt-Right’s followers,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
SPLC explained: “For the antigovernment Three Percenter movement this same hand gesture symbolizes their belief in the disputed claim that only three percent of American colonists fought against the British in the American Revolution. The three extended fingers represent this three percent.”
Even more damning, other folks associated with the president have been unabashedly flashing that same hand sign for at least the past year, including by an intern in Donald Trump’s White House and a Republican state lawmaker.
Bash has been described as a former assistant for Kavanaugh whose husband also has a relationship with Kavanaugh.
If the hand sign was indeed meant to promote white supremacy, Bash would be in good company since racism has emerged as all but the primary theme of the Trump administration.
Bash’s hand signal came under scrutiny less than a day after 42,000 pages of documents about Kavanaugh’s work in the White House was released at the eleventh hour, prompting Democrats to complain (to no avail) that they didn’t have enough time to properly vet the nominee who once suggested that he wouldn’t have confirmed Thurgood Marshall (also known as the first Black Supreme Court justice) to the nation’s highest bench.
Making matters worse, some of Kavanaugh’s first words after accepting Trump’s nomination in July likely had Black folks on edge about what to expect if he were to be confirmed.
Kavanaugh almost immediately pointed to his mother’s past as a teacher at two largely Black high schools as supposed evidence that he would be fair and culturally sensitive in his rulings if he were to become the Supreme Court successor of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who resigned from his coveted post at the end of July.
“My mother taught history at two largely African-Americans public schools so I understand the importance of equality,” he felt the need to say at the time.
Those words were all but tantamount to saying “some of my best friends are Black,” which is code to all people of color for an apparent over compensation for what are probably racist tendencies.