Coast Guard suspends hurricane relief operations for racial sensitivity training after circle gesture airs on national TV
A COAST GUARD STATION NEAR YOU THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW EVEN EXISTED — The Coast Guard has suspended Hurricane Florence relief operations in order to address a service-wide racism problem that nobody even knew about until one of its own played the “circle game” on national television yesterday, sources confirmed today.
During a briefing about the response to Hurricane Florence, an unnamed Coast Guardsman, seen in the background, appeared to scratch his forehead and then make a circle with his thumb and forefinger as another service member briefed reporters.
The gesture was immediately noticed by the nation’s best thinkers, who are all on Twitter, Vice and Facebook. After scores, or maybe five, intellectuals reported the offensive act, the Coast Guard sailed into — or actually, out of — action.
“We are aware of the offensive video on twitter - the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response," the service tweeted. "His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard.”
Operations then ceased as hundreds of Coast Guardsmen departed the Eastern Seaboard to assemble in front of giant screens placed well ashore, on which PowerPoint briefings projected images of reported racists making the circle gesture, such as Alabama police officers, Oprah Winfrey, Colin Kaepernick, and — briefly — Presidents Trump, Obama and Clinton.
Speaking at a hastily-called press conference far away from Florence’s impact, Vice Commandant Charles W. Ray told reporters, “We used to be tremendously busy with the response to Florence, so we don’t have time for these games, whether they are intended as harmless fun or are actually symptomatic of a long-standing, service-wide Aryan skinhead alt-right hate problem we just learned about like, nineteen hours ago.”
Ray added: “But now that the nation knows that we’re really a bunch of heehawing, Sieg-Heiling fascists just looking for the chance to ignore a minority’s distress call, we have ceased all operations worldwide in order to conduct sensitivity training about the racist ‘circle game.’”
But while speaking, Ray scratched his ear, which according to the Internet is a white power gesture that symbolizes crackers not wanting to hear minorities speak truth to power.
He was immediately removed from the podium by his own security detail and replaced by Commandant Karl Schultz, who was subsequently removed after an American Sign Language interpreter to his left made the letter “f” with his hand while Schultz spoke. That letter is the same “A-OK” symbol used by white supremacists, Coast Guardsmen and deaf Americans, according to several Redditors contacted by Duffel Blog.
Reaction to the Coast Guard’s response was swift among the nation’s five military forces.
“Overblown,” declared Air Force Master Sgt. Jermaine Grier, two-time winner of the Pacific Air Forces’ annual circle game competition. “First of all, it was above the waist. That’s a foul and the captain — or was it a petty officer? I can’t tell their ranks — should have turned right around on camera and punched that guy’s arm off.”
At the Pentagon, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russ Smith noted that while everyone needs to combat racism, the A-OK sign was disguised as a scratch, which violates rules.
“It can’t be set up like that,” he said, adding, “speaking for America’s real sailors, we work hard to maintain high standards of integrity and honor.” Smith then turned to an aide and requested the statistics on how many Pollywogs kissed the Royal Baby in the last fiscal quarter.
After the video of the gesture went viral, sales of Margaret Atwood’s 1966 poetry book, “The Circle Game,” increased dramatically in Coast Guard exchanges nationwide. This caused the Coast Guard’s Office of Public Affairs to tweet, “The book, ‘The Circle Game,’ is not an instruction manual. Furthermore, Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song of the same name is not to be played during any Coast Guard formation.”