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Harvard University

Universities Ask: 'Is It okay to be... White?'

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Flyers declaring that "IT'S OK TO BE WHITE." are appearing across the country, and even in Canada.

These flyers, reported by the Washington Post, were part of a coordinated campaign that began on 4chan, an anonymous online forum, known for incendiary material. The 4chan-linked campaign was first out in detail on a message board prompting users early last week to begin displaying the flyers.

4chan image for white

The campaign's goal was to amass the ire of the public, to have the “media & lefties frothing at the mouth....”

According to the same Washington Post report, the flyers have been spotted in Ohio, as well as at several college campuses, at Concordia College, Auburn, Western Washington, Tulane, University of Michigan, Harvard and at University of Alberta in Canada. Flyers were also papered on classroom doors at Montgomery Blair High School in Maryland.

An extensive list of locations was generated by altright.com below:

4chan locations

Although attempts have been made to take down the flyers, the campaign has continued proliferating on social-media platforms, such as Twitter through the hashtag, #ItsOkToBeWhite, and on YouTube.

At Auburn University, students have taken to Twitter in support of the movement:

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University officials have since continued coming forward denouncing the flyers.

In an article by The Harvard Crimson, Law School Dean of Students Marcia L. Sells have called the flyers “provocations intended to divide us.” And this would not be a first on Harvard’s campus. Graham W. Bishai reported that an email with the subject line “Fight White Genocide - Vote Trump!” was sent to some undergraduates.

Likewise, the Multicultural Student Government at the University of Kansas issued a statement: “We will do everything to make sure there is no need to divide the students of the [university].”

And at Montgomery Blair High School, the flyers were removed before students arrived. The school’s Principal Renay Johnson explained in a letter to parents that "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."

In Moorhead, Minnesota, the president of Concordia College, William Craft, wrote on Facebook that the college will host a forum before the week’s end “about how we Concordia [will] bring the very best of our minds and hearts to this conversation about our diverse identities and shared humanity.”

In the same statement, President Craft expressed at length that “The affirmation of human dignity means that we are an inclusive community: there is and must be a place here for people of different ethnicities and skin colors, of different faith traditions or no faith traditions, of different nations, of different gender identities, of different political convictions.” He continued, “In that sense, it is indeed okay to be white — and to be black, to be brown, to be Christian, to be Muslim, to be straight, to be gay, to be conservative, to be liberal, and so on.”

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Surely, in the wake of these flyers, universities will have to weigh in on just what it means that “it’s okay to be white” is okay.

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