A US Coast Guard employee has been removed from duty after being accused of making a “white power” sign on TV.
The unidentified man was recorded making a gesture towards the camera in the background of a MSNBC broadcast interview about Tropical Storm Florence.
Footage of the incident was captured and posted on Twitter by a number of people, including one who described the gesture as “about as subtle as a train wreck, on a boat.”
Amid an outcry on social media, the US Coast Guard tweeted: “We are aware of the offensive video on Twitter – the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response.
“His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard.”
We are aware of the offensive video on twitter – the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard.
— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) September 15, 2018
The thumb-and-forefinger ‘OK’ hand gesture the Coast Guard employee appeared to make is associated with “white power”, although it is not clear how it originated.
There was an attempt to convince the media that it was a racist gesture by users of the imageboard 4chan, after which it appeared to be genuinely adopted by racists.