‘Jeopardy!’ contestant accused of making white power sign, using racial slur

‘Jeopardy!’ contestant accused of making white power sign, using racial slur
Obama flashing the half white power symbol

During his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, Joy Biden assured the nation that “we won’t ignore what our own intelligence agencies have determined – the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism.” I assume Biden was using the editorial “we.” Otherwise, I might feel impelled to respond, “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”

Just when you thought the scourge against whites and whiteness couldn’t get any worse, 467 former contestants of the game show “Jeopardy” published an open letter on Medium accusing another recent contestant, Kelly Donohue, of  flashing the white power gesture. Others noticed it as well, among them a viewer who goes by the Twitter handle “Blue Texan,” who tweeted:

Is Jeopardy and @ABCNetwork now endorsing white supremacy? What is the network and show’s plan concerning this blatant and known fascist gesture on national television? Loyal viewers deserve answers.

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

The symbol, in case it alluded you, is called out in this blow-up. Notice the forefinger tucked under, presumably forming an “O” shape with the the thumb.

Displaying this racist sign was not the contestant’s only offense. Per the letter:

On Monday, April 26, Kelly responded to a clue with a term for the Roma that is considered a slur. The use of this term doesn’t necessarily indicate malice; until recently, it was widely used by English speakers. Current diversity style guides, however, suggest that it not be used, and that Roma or Romani be used instead.

The slur, which evidently was too ugly to repeat, is gypsy. I assume that any plans to revive the Broadway musical “Gypsy” have been permanently deep-sixed. Ditto for plans to read D. H. Lawrence’s novella “The Virgin and the Gypsy” or view the film adaptation of the same.

For what it’s worth, Kelly Donohue, who had won three games, responded to the accusation that he had used a racist “dog whistle,” explaining in a since-deleted tweet:

Many of the great champions of old had a little signature hello they would do on-screen when being introduced by Johnny Gilbert. I decided to count my victories. That’s a 1. That’s a 2. That’s a 3. No more. No less. There wasn’t a hidden agenda or any malice behind it.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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