Accusations about anti-Semitism at Occupy Wall Street took a turn for the ridiculous this week when a blogger for the right-wing site Pajamas Media wrote that the hashtag symbol worn by many protesters has “an echo of the swastika.”
The blogger, who goes by the name “Zombie” and is listed as a contributor, wrote on Monday about a bunch of people at Occupy Denver who were wearing “#” symbols on their clothing, also known as the hashtag popularized by Twitter.
The symbol was meant to be a way for the group’s organizers to be more identifiable in the crowd, ThinkProgress reports.
But “Zombie” wrote that a “citizen photojournalist” who goes by the name “El Marco” posted pictures of the organizers, and pointed out the supposed resemblance between the hashtag and the swastika. “When I first saw this militant-looking marking,” El Marco wrote, “it reminded me of the Order of the Double-Cross, made famous in the Charlie Chaplin movie, ‘The Great Dictator.’”
The double cross is two “x”es, pictured here.
“Zombie” posted some of the pictures, which can be seen here, and added: “Don’t these people see an echo of the swastika in their new power symbol? Don’t they realize that the early Nazi Party was (among other things, obviously) also overtly anti-capitalist?…Don’t they know that the early Nazis tried to garner sympathy with street rallies and marches?”
“As a commenter notes, the symbol may have derived originally from the Twitter ‘hashtag,’ but that in no way diminishes its creepiness,” “Zombie” continued. “It may ‘just’ be a rotated hashtag, but that doesn’t lessen its significance as a power symbol. The swastika, after all, was ‘just’ a Buddhist good luck marking before the Nazis adopted it and started using it to indicate something else. And how did the Nazis alter it for their purposes? They rotated the Buddhist swastika 45 degrees, to give it a new association. Just as the hashtag sleeve marking has been rotated here.”