A Mexican-American White House lawyer whose grandparents escaped the Holocaust was accused of flashing a white power sign during Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Zina Gelman Bash, seen on television directly behind and slightly to the left of Kavanaugh as he faced the Senate Judiciary Committee, was spotted making what appeared to be the "OK" symbol with her right hand resting on her left arm: the index finger touching the thumb with the other three fingers up.
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Some left-wing Twitter users began circulating images and photos of Bash and accused her of making the sign as a white power move; the idea that the "OK" symbol was a white supremacist symbol was falsely circulated by users of the site 4chan to troll the public last year. Nevertheless, some Twitter users argued Bash was still guilty of a racist gesture.
Kavanaugh’s former law clerk Zina Bash is flashing a white power sign behind him during his Senate confirmation hearing. They literally want to bring white supremacy to the Supreme Court. What a national outrage and a disgrace to the rule of law. pic.twitter.com/uQGOpNa6xg
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) September 4, 2018
Where have I seen this symbol before?….oh, yeah the Trump White House. pic.twitter.com/BwDDIsEEoC
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) September 4, 2018
Zina Bash, Trump White House Advisor and #Kavanaugh assistant does racist 'white power' symbol live on TV during #Kavanaugh hearing. She's been smirking and making faces since the start of the hearing. Racist government, racist judge. #StopKavanaugh https://t.co/J6RXoqdZPs
— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) September 4, 2018
— Keith R. Dumas (@rubin_kd) September 4, 2018
There is debate about whether this is a white power symbol or not. It was intentionally a troll, but it is evolving into an actual white power symbol. Either way, it is grossly inappropriate in this setting.
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) September 4, 2018
It began as a 4chan troll effort (I've written about its origins) but it has evolved into a symbol used by the alt right (and, occasionally, other white supremacists), the alt lite, and also various MAGA-type Trump supporters. Most still use it to troll (to "own the libs").
— Mark Pitcavage (@egavactip) September 4, 2018
So are some at the hearings 😱🙄. Notice her hand. WTF pic.twitter.com/TNAJH2ehKh
— laura phat & sassy (@lblovesvintage) September 4, 2018
What fresh hell is this!!!???
Kavanaugh’s assistant Zina Bash giving the white power sign right behind him during the hearing? This alone should be disqualify!!! pic.twitter.com/ZzXVqgTXhC
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) September 4, 2018
This is not an accident. Try holding your hand like this for an extended period of time and you’ll see how not natural it is. Apparently this woman, Zina Bash, has had a job in the Trump administration, was Kavanaugh’s law clerk, and may be again. #KavanaughHearings https://t.co/oO1ZiUOQny
— Leah Catherine (@MsLeahCatherine) September 4, 2018
Is this woman Zina Bash throwing a white power hand signal?? It sure looks like one pic.twitter.com/k6pIecZwTn
— Belhar (@Belhar62) September 4, 2018
Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markay set the record straight in a pair of tweets explaining Bash's biography made it unlikely she was trying to send a white supremacist message. A feature by Empower Texans on her father, Dr. Lawrence Gelman, describes him as a second-generation Polish Jew "whose parents barely escaped the Holocaust and found solace in America."
This is Zina Gelman Bash, a White House lawyer and the granddaughter of Polish Jews who just barely escaped the death camps. Take a bow. https://t.co/MpN6TT3f2Z
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) September 4, 2018
Oh and her mother is Mexican-American. Really hit the bullseye with this one.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) September 4, 2018
Or… and hear me out… maybe she isn’t making a sign at all but that’s just how her hand was resting on her arm. Because this is a stretch. https://t.co/4QnRbvhboL
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) September 4, 2018
Twitter user @ComfortablySmug pointed out prominent Democrats who have used the hand gesture as well.
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) September 4, 2018
Bash clerked for Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court and was part of his White House Supreme Court confirmation prep team.
Kavanaugh's first day of Capitol Hill hearings has been full of fireworks. Senate Democrats angrily called for a delay to the hearing to have more time to study Kavanaugh's documents, while protesters frequently disrupted the proceedings.