By Matt Rooney
This one is a little weird, Save Jerseyans.
So I was working on an unrelated post this morning and watching an NJ.com video of newly-minted Governor Phil Murphy‘s Tuesday oath of office.
Then I noticed something strange, right at the end of the video, right at the climax of the moment…
Did you miss it? Let me help you out…
Yes, your eyes have not deceived you!
That’s one of Phil Murphy’s four children (Josh Murphy, on the extreme left, who’s a college athlete at Tufts), making an upside-down “OK” symbol that’s increasingly popular with 20-somethings in the United States but which, so I’ve read, mostly on liberal websites (!), is sometimes considered “code” utilized by members of the American white power movement.
Some of you may even recall that the Matawan, New Jersey police department recently caught a little heat when the department posted a photo on Facebook in which one of its officers made the exact same hand gesture. Check out the photo here.
Now, of course, not everyone thinks it’s a de facto racist gesture. Or at all.
Probably most people.
Many of you are familiar with the children’s playground “circle” game, right? The 2000s-era television program Malcolm in the Middle may’ve played a key role in the gesture’s recent popularization:
What’s more? “The Anti Defamation League, one of the nation’s oldest civil rights groups was unequivocal about the ‘OK’ hand gesture NOT being anything close to a racist, bigoted sign. It’s even taught to divers to both ask and answer whether they are OK underwater. Check out these pics… are most of these scuba divers racists? Members of the so-called ‘Alt-Right’?” opined my good friend Bill Spadea of NJ 101.5 in the wake of the Matawan flap.
So I suspect the young Murphy was just being a typical college kid, playing a small prank on a big day from which many of his teammates/college chums got a good laugh.
But context is key since this is, after all, a political blog, and Josh Murphy’s father – Governor Phil – is a Leftist lion and a fan of super-heated rhetoric and playing the “racist/bigot” card liberally, infamously (and without basis) comparing Donald Trump and his supporters to Hitler and the Nazis, respectively. Everyone who disagrees with Phil is evil.
Maybe now, at the start of his four years in office, this would be a good opportunity for Murphy to stop assuming the worst in his fellow human beings?
Particularly those who oppose his agenda in good faith?
Not everything is a sign of latent bigotry, Phil.
Ask your son!