Politics

Leftists See White Power Hand Signal at Kavanaugh Hearing

Supporters leap to defense of nominee's former law clerk, Zina Bash, who is of Mexican and Jewish descent

Image Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

A woman sitting behind Judge Brett Kavanaugh Tuesday during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing appeared to make a hand gesture progressives claimed was a racist signal, prompting an explosion of ridiculous Twittersphere conspiracy theories.

Eugene Gu, a Huffington Post contributor who describes himself on Twitter as a surgeon-scientist — and who brags about suing President Donald Trump after the president blocked him on the social media platform — tweeted outrage at Zina Bash (shown above in background), who turns out to be a former clerk to the Supreme Court nominee.

“Kavanaugh’s former law clerk Zina Bash is flashing a white power sign behind him during his Senate confirmation hearing,” Gu wrote. “They literally want to bring white supremacy to the Supreme Court. What a national outrage and a disgrace to the rule of law.”

Seth Abramson, a professor and lawyer who wrote the book “Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America,” tweeted that he did not understand why “Zina Bash didn’t get thrown out of that room for flashing a signal with such grotesque dual valences.”

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Amy Siskind, a former Wall Street executive and progressive activist, demanded that the media investigate.

“I’m sure our media will avail themselves of this, but it makes sense for Zina Bash to be asked about her hand gesture today,” she wrote on Twitter. “Try it for yourself — if you watch the video you’ll see she held it in place for a long time — It’s not a natural resting position.”

The symbol that has part of the Left on fire is an “OK” sign that some regard as a secret white supremacy signal.

The conspiracy theory provoked righteous indignation and ridicule from defenders of Bash, who is of Jewish and Mexican descent.

John Bash, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas and Bash’s husband, tweeted that the attacks are “repulsive” and that people should be “ashamed of themselves” for spreading the slanderous claim.

“We weren’t even familiar with the hateful symbol being attributed to her for the random way she rested her hand during a long hearing,” he tweeted.

Bash noted that his wife’s grandparents were Holocaust survivors.

“We of course have nothing to do with hate groups, which aim to terrorize and demean other people — never have and never would … Some of the Twitter comments have even referred to our baby daughter,” he tweeted. “I know that there are good folks on both sides of the political divide. I hope that people will clearly condemn this idiotic and sickening accusation.”

Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, tweeted: “My friend Zina Bash, whose father is Polish-American Jew (whose parents escaped the Holocaust) and mother immigrated from Mexico is not a white supremacist.”

Author J.D. Vance also vouched for Bash’s character.

“Zina is a friend of mine, and I’ve never heard her utter a racist remark,” he tweeted. “She was born in Mexico and is raising a beautiful family in her adopted home. Try not to let your lunacy shade into slander of good people.”

Alice Stewart, a former aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a CNN political commentator, also tweeted support for Bash.

Related: Feminist Lawyer Tells Senate Dems to Confirm Kavanaugh

“To all of you hateful people saying hateful things about my intelligent, kind, dedicated and beautiful friend, Zina Bash, you would be ashamed of yourself for saying that if you were fortunate enough to know her,” she wrote.

A number of people tweeted images of President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other liberal figures flashing the same “OK” sign. Feminist author Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), added a picture of Eddie Murphy doing so.

“Oh no! Not Eddie Murphy, too,” she tweeted.

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