It's Okay to Be White

It's Okay to Be White

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Updated Oct 16, 2018 at 01:06PM EDT by Matt.

Added Nov 02, 2017 at 10:35AM EDT by Don.

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About

"It's Okay to Be White" is a slogan launched on 4chan as a "proof of concept" to demonstrate that signs with the phrase posted in public places would be accused of promoting racism and white supremacy.

Origin

On October 23rd, 2017, the STOP/RESET YouTube channel uploaded a segment aired by the Boston television news station WHDH, reporting that police were investigating if white supremacists had placed signs featuring a picture of Uncle Sam with the caption "I want you to love who you are / don't apologize for being white" at Boston College campus (shown below).



Starting on October 31st, 2017, posts began circulating on 4chan calling for viewers to place posters with the slogan "It's Okay to Be White" in public places as a "proof of concept" that a "harmless message" would cause a "massive media shitstorm."[1]


4chan post pitching the idea of a proof of concept harmless message to put up signs saying it is OK to be white

Spread

On October 31st, 2017, YouTuber mawmoose uploaded a video about the 4chan operation titled "Its Ok To Be White – The /pol/ Halloween special 2017" (shown below).



That same day, Redditor FuckkkDrumpf submitted a picture of the poster on a telephone pole to /r/Anarchism[6] in a post titled "Racists are putting up Nazi propaganda in my town." On November 1st, The Washington Post[4] published an article reporting that posters with the message "it's okay to be white" were discovered at a Maryland high school, which included a statement from the school's principal Renay Johnson:

"We are taking this seriously and are investigating this incident. Our research so far has indicated that this may be part of a concerted national campaign to foment racial and political tension in our school and community. The same flier was posted in other cities and communities this week."

That day, Twitter user @kathleehinojosa[5] tweeted a photograph of an "It's Okay To Be White" sign, along with a message that she had "reported to the police" and the hashtag "#HateCrime." Meanwhile, Twitter user @nnekasensei tweeted a video of herself tearing down one of the signs (shown below).




Also on November 1st, the Boston Globe[7] published an article about "It's Okay To Be White" stickers found on electrical boxes in Cambridge Common and Harvard Square, noting that Cambridge police spokesman Jeremy Warnick revealed that "officers are looking into the incident." "On November 2nd, Redditor Aconserva3 submitted a post asking "Is the 'It's okay to be white' campaign racist?" to /r/NoStupidQuestions.[2]

Target Diaper Cards

On March 25th, 2018, Twitter[14] user David Tad Russell tweeted that he had discovered a laminated "It's Okay to be White" card in a box of Pampers diapers sold at a Target store in Tennessee (shown below).


Dai Tad Russell DavidTadRussell Just opened a box of @Pampers from @Target and found some knuckle-dragging racist slipped this card into the box. BOLO for regressive charlatans. (The reverse had links for fascist, neo-nazi, and alt-right sites. Though that must mean all 3 are the same thing) IT'S OKAY TO BE WHITE

On March 30th, 2018, the Anti-Defamation League[9] published an article reporting that the cards were found in other diaper boxes sold at various Target retail locations in the United States, claiming that the cards contained "references to numerous white supremacist websites and groups" on the reverse side.

On April 10th, the Star Tribune[8] reported that Target had fired the person responsible for the cards and quoted an apology delivered by Target spokesman Joshua Thomas:

"We sincerely apologize to guests who received an inappropriate message in their Target purchase and thank them for calling it to our attention. After being made aware of the situation, we immediately launched a thorough investigation to address the concerns and put a stop to it."

In the coming days, articles about the controversy were published on the news sites Adweek,[10] Newsweek[12] and Miami Herald.[13]

Australian Resolution

On October 15th, 2018, the Australian Senate narrowly voted down a resolution condemn "anti-white racism." The resolution reads, "[T]he Senate acknowledges…the deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western Civilization; and…*that it is okay to be white*." Put forth by Pauline Hanson, whom, according to The Guardian,[15] is "the leader of the anti-immigrant nativist One Nation party," the resolution lost 31 to 28.

Those who opposed the motion argued against the usage of the phrase. The Guardian writes:

"In the Senate debate, the leader of the Greens, Richard Di Natale, noted that the slogan ‘it’s OK to be white’ … has got a long history in the white supremacist movement'."

"Di Natale argued that the 'privileged white Anglo community' occupies positions of power – including in the Senate – while Aboriginal Australians are 'more likely to die younger, to be locked up' and African people are 'more likely to experience racism.'"

That day, Australian Senator Kristini Keneally tweeted[16] a photograph of the resolution that included the language. She wrote, "Right now in the Senate – the Liberals & Nationals are voting to support Pauline Hanson’s motion about 'anti-white' racism. Voting underway. #auspol." The tweet received more than 250 retweets and 300 likes in 24 hours.

Several media outlets reported on the vote, including The Guardian, Think Progress,[17] Newsweek[18] and more.

That day, Redditor[19] glasier posted about the vote on the /r/worldnews subreddit. The psot received more than 900 points (89% upvoted) and 1,100 comments in 24 hours.


Kristina Keneally @KKeneally Right now in the Senate - the Liberals & Nationals are voting to support Pauline Hanson's motion about "anti-white" racism. Voting underway. #auspol 1092 Leader of Pauline Hanson's One Nation (Senator Hanson): To move-That the Senate acknowledges (a) the deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation an (b) that it is okay to be white

Search Interest

External References

[1] Archive.is – Its Okay to Be White

[2] Reddit – /r/NoStupidQuestions

[3] WND – It's OK to be white stickers spark police probes

[4] The Washington Post – Signs saying its okay to be white found at Maryland high school

[5] Twitter – @kathleehinojosa

[6] Reddit – Racists are putting up Nazi propaganda in my town

[7] Boston Globe – Stickers saying Its okay to be white posted in Cambridge

[8] Star Tribune – Target fires employee responsible for putting Its okay to be white cards in diaper boxes

[9] Anti-Defamation League – Its Okay to be White Cards Discovered in Boxes of Diapers Purchased at Target

[10] Adweek – 4chan-Backed Slogan Finds Its Way Into Diapers Sold at Target

[11] Star Tribune – Target fires employee responsible for putting It's okay to be white cards in diaper boxes

[12] Newsweek – NEO-NAZI ITS OKAY TO BE WHITE SLOGANS FOUND INSIDE BOXES OF DIAPERS SOLD AT TARGET

[13] Miami Herald – Its okay to be white cards stuffed in diaper boxes assure Target customers

[14] Twitter – @DavidTadRussell

[15] The Guardian – 'OK to be white': Australian government senators condemn 'anti-white racism'

[16] Twitter – @KKeneally's Tweet

[17] ThinkProgress – Australia comes within 2 votes of endorsing 4chan-coined white victimhood meme as national policy

[18] Newsweek – IT'S 'OK TO BE WHITE': AUSTRALIAN SENATE NARROWLY VOTES AGAINST MOTION CONDEMNING 'ANTI-WHITE RACISM'

[19] Reddit – 'OK to be white': Australian government senators condemn 'anti-white racism'

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