‘It’s Okay To Be White’ Campaign Causes Concern Across Campus

University quickly removed the pro-white propaganda flyers.


www.blazingcatfur.ca// People fight back, writing messages of inclusion on a racist flyer at an unspecified location.

Rebecca Lorenzo, Copy Editor

A racist act of hatred across the nation has tried to damage our University.

Pro-white flyers with the slogan “It’s Okay To Be White” cropped up on campus earlier this month. Thankfully, University officials quickly tore them down.

The flyers are part of a racist movement by internet trolls trying to cause a media frenzy. Unfortunately, William Paterson was one of several schools targeted across the nation. Rocky River, Ohio, Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., Tulane University in New Orleans, Montgomery Blaire High School in Silver Spring, Md., several campuses in Cambridge, Mass. and the University of Alberta have also been hit, according to The Washington Post.

Following their removal, President Richard Helldobler released this statement:

“This is an abhorrent and cowardly act and does not reflect our values of diversity and inclusion,” he said. “These moments do not define us, but it is how we respond that demonstrates our character and moral mindset.”

Origins of the phrase

The “movement” has a weird background: an anonymous 4chan user prompted others to post the signs around a school and wait for the news reports to pick them up. He hoped white Americans in the “white nationalist ecosphere,” which he coined “normies,” would realize they are hated by “lefties” and American journalists. In turn, more “normies” would join the nationalist alt-right and spark social unrest, The Washington Post added.

Since Trump’s 2016 election, the phrase cropped up in various locations. Banners hung from highway overpasses in Illinois, Indiana Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and Washington. People also reported finding notes in packages of diapers they ordered from Target, ADL reported.

It is also an active hashtag on Twitter. On YouTube, a video titled as the slogan encourages users to participate. Sadly, neither platform has taken measures to remove them.

The “movement” is a product of insecurity.

As a Latina student, I think this “movement” is a poor attempt for purpose. Just remember that by feeding into the frenzy, it just gives these people the purpose they are desperately seeking.

There are many other ways to find purpose in life. For starters, one should make a diverse group of friends. This way, they will create purpose through love, not hate.

To racists, it is scary to see multicultural communities rise up in society and lead successful lives. It becomes a threat to their meaning, as it is all they thrive off of.

Such attempts to gain power clearly stem from insecurity. Ultimately, the best course of action is not to give these groups power.

Instead, the focus is to ensure William Paterson students and faculty are safe by all means. It is also to stay united and spread love during such scary times.

WPU continues to empower diversity.

William Paterson is proud to be the third most diverse University in New Jersey.  In 2014, WPU received distinction as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with a Hispanic/Latinx community of over 31 percent as of 2017.

The University has big plans upcoming Fall 2019. With the addition of the new Multicultural Center, multicultural students will have access to a wide array of support and resources.

As always, Helldobler gave the best response with a peaceful call-to-action:

“In that spirit, let us take time to treat each other with kindness during this turbulent time.”

The University advises students to take any and all measures to feel safe. For an escort or other help, call campus police at (973) 720-2300.