Officials from a Maryland high school say they are investigating the appearance of flyers on campus with a simple five-word message about white people — “it’s OK to be white.”
The principal of Montgomery Blair High School, Renay Johnson, explained to a local news station why some were disturbed by the otherwise benign message.
"IT'S OKAY TO BE WHITE" sign found on doors at Montgomery Blair HS in MD. School says flyers were removed and says they're investigating. pic.twitter.com/jSTUwG3gNp
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) November 2, 2017
“We are taking this seriously and are investigating this incident,” he said. “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 flyers were discovered outside the school early Wednesday but were taken down before students arrived. The principal sent a letter to the parents informing them about the incident.
According to the Washington Post, the flyers were found at other cities as well.
Stickers bearing the same message were discovered Wednesday morning on light poles and electrical boxes in Cambridge, Mass., according to a report in the Boston Globe. Similar signs were found on the campus of Tulane University in New Orleans, and in Rocky River, Ohio.
It appears that the prank was orchestrated by users of the infamous website 4Chan, where various trolling operations are conjured up and implemented by members.
While Washington Post claims the signs were posted in an effort to “spark racial division,” there is truly no reason for anyone to feel more divided by signs that encourage acceptance of one’s race instead of shaming.
Of course, if the signs said “it’s ok to be black” everyone would love that. They would see it an encouraging, uplifting quote of sorts for people of color, and white people would definitely not be allowed to speak out against that.
At the University of Alberta in Canada, one of the posters appeared Tuesday outside the school’s Native Studies department, according to a media report.
“Messaging or displays that target or marginalize any individuals or groups will not be tolerated,” the president of the University of Alberta, David Turpin, said in a statement.
Seems like attacking these signs would be targeting and marginalizing white people…
The reality is that it’s ok to be whichever race or color you are, and it’s highly problematic to ever act like it’s not ok to be white just because they are not a minority.